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Stackhouse, Brunton move on to Meet of Champions

HANNAH BRUNTON charges from the starting blocks in the 100 meters at Saturday’s Class I Meet. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 31, 2010
NORTHWOOD — While Kingswood only had four athletes competing in the Class I Meet on Saturday, two of them finished strong enough to earn automatic bids to the Meet of Champions this coming Saturday in Merrimack.

Brendan Stackhouse probably had the most emotional day of anyone in attendance at the meet.

The Kingswood senior received his diploma a bit early prior to the graduation ceremony, then made a beeline for Northwood, where he was slated to compete in the 1,600 meters and the 3,200 meters.

He hung around well in the 1,600 meters and on the final turn, pushed past Coe-Brown's Eric McCann and grabbed fourth place with a time of 4:27.91, giving himself the automatic bid to the Meet of Champions.

As he finished, Stackhouse pumped his fist in the air, a sign that the usually reserved Knight star was pretty psyched about his win. Coach Paul Harvey noted that it was the first time Stackhouse had managed to overtake McCann in a race.

The Kingswood graduate then turned around and ran the 3,200 meters later in the day and came away with a fifth place finish in 10:10.63. While the top four finishers earn automatic berths at the Meet of Champions, the top finishers (across all classes) outside of the automatic qualifiers also earn bids, so Stackhouse could still qualify in the 3,200 meters as well.

The same goes for junior Hannah Brunton. She secured an automatic bid for herself in the 100 meters, finishing fourth with a time of 13.15 seconds. That time was equal to the time she recorded in her preliminary heat, in which she finished second.

Brunton then went on to finish sixth in the 200 meters with a time of 27.33 seconds to put her near a possibly qualifying spot in that event as well.

While the other two Knight competitors didn't advance to the Meet of Champions, they both picked up valuable experience against some of the top competition in the state, experience they can use as they both make bids to return to the meet next season.

Martin Orlowicz qualified for the Class I Meet in the 110-meter hurdles and was in the third preliminary heat. He finished fifth in that heat with a time of 17.45 seconds and missed qualifying for the finals.

Sophomore Britney Newlin qualified for the meet in both the shot put and the discus.

In the shot put, she was in the top flight and finished 13th overall with a top throw of 29 feet, three inches.

In the discus, she finished 15th overall, throwing a distance of 80 feet, two inches.

The Knights had a couple of other kids qualify for the Class I Meet, but the graduation ceremonies, which were held a few weeks earlier than normal due to the construction at Kingswood, kept a number of athletes busy on Saturday and they didn't make the trip.

Stackhouse and Brunton have at least one more week of competition to go, as they will both compete at the Meet of Champions on Saturday, June 5, at 2:30 p.m. at Merrimack High School.

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