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Joyce Endee

Weather holds off for Bristol Lions Invitational



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Plymouth’s Rebecca Travis hands off to Abby Clark for the final leg of the 4x100-meter relay. Matt Perloff. (click for larger version)
May 16, 2011
BRISTOL — Mother Nature may have taken a step backwards this weekend, but it wasn't enough to deter the many schools and spectators on hand for another successful run of the Bristol Lions Invitational, held Saturday at Newfound Regional High School.

The Bears' track and field program hosted 10 teams from central and northern New Hampshire, including Plymouth Regional High School, in a full docket of events under gray skies that threatened but were otherwise merciful.

The Newfound boys collected four medals for the day. Frank Roach nearly took the high jump title, finishing runner-up with a leap of five feet, eight inches, while Kerry Mattson cracked the top six with a leap of 5'6". Fisher Bourbeau took runner-up honors in the shot put, where his best throw landed at the 42'1.75" mark, while he'd also earned a sixth place finish in the javelin, his best attempt coming in at 124'1". Brendan Adair would also take home a second place medal, easily securing his spot in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.2 seconds, while Cam Semeta would also place in the event, taking sixth with a time of 52.6. The 4x400-meter relay team would close out the day with a medal finish, clocking in at three minutes and 49.1 seconds. Matt Blake would add a sixth-place finish in the 200-meter dash, clocking in at 25.41.

The Newfound girls earned a number of top six finishes, while Alex Jewell picked up both medals with titles in the long jump and triple jump. The junior leaped 15'3" to take the long jump by nearly two inches, while her distance of 31'2.25" put her a full inch ahead of any other competitor as she took the triple jump victory. Cailey Newton earned a fifth place finish with a throw of 75'9" in the javelin, while sixth place finishes went to Kelly Gallagher in the high jump (4'4"), Victoria Spencer in the 100-meter hurdles (19.31) and Abby Erler in the 400-meter dash.

Plymouth would also shine at the meet, picking up several medals and many more top six finishes. On the boys' side, Mike Maclean and Conor Loynd each earned a pair of individual titles. Maclean rolled to a victory in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:28.99, nearly 16 seconds ahead of the next runner, while he'd later take the 800 as the only runner to clock in under two minutes, beating the mark by a second. Teammate Byron O'Donnell was not far off the pace, however, claiming third place with a time of 2:04.87.

Loynd was equally dominant in the sprints, taking the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.44 while Ben Miller grabbed the runner-up spot at a personal best of 53.64. Loynd later raced teammates Rob Mills, Shaun Young and Smith Merrill in the finals of the 200-meter dash; Loynd clocked in at 23.62, followed by Mills (23.78) in the runner-up spot and Young and Merrill in the fourth and fifth-place spots. Loynd would also grab a runner-up medal in the triple jump, hitting the sand at a distance of 38'7.5".

The 4x400-meter relay team provided a tense finale, battling neck-and-neck with Kennett until the final leg, when they broke away to win by three seconds with a time of 3:33.51. The 4x100-meter team just missed picking up a medal too, clocking in at 48.09 to place fourth overall.

Other notable track finishes including Colin Nelson-Peck, who led most of the way in the 3,200-meter run before settling for runner-up, while Mills complimented his runner-up finish in the 200 with a third place finish in the 100-meter dash. Tim Bolan would also earn a top six finish, taking fifth in the 110-meter hurdles.

Keegan Rasmussen gave the Bobcats their lone title off the track, taking the title in the high jump with a leap of 5'8", beating Newfound's Roach to the mark. Jake Ringlein would add a third place finish in the long jump with his leap of 18'1.25", while Cole Brooker took fifth in the same event with a mark of 17'8". In the throwing events, Dan Hiltz took fourth in the shot put with a top throw of 39'1", while Nick D'Ambruoso tied with Newfound's Bourbeau in the javelin, also landing at the 124'1" mark.

On the girls' side, Abby Clark collected two titles as she dominated the hurdles, winning the 100 with a time of 15.83, nearly a second ahead of the next finisher, while she'd take the 300 by over two seconds, clocking in at 48.83. Rebecca Travis would also place in both events, taking fourth in the 100 at 17.88 and sixth in the 300 at 53.62. Clark would also take fifth place in the 800-meter run, clocking in at 2:44.02.

Plymouth's 4x100-meter relay team would also take home medals, placing third with a time of 55.21.

Newfound and Plymouth will begin their championship season this weekend in Conway, when they travel to Kennett for the Wilderness Championship, beginning at 9 a.m. It will be the last opportunity for athletes to qualify for the state championships the following weekend, with Newfound Regional High School hosting this year's Division III meet.

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