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Joyce Endee

Eagle girls win Wilderness title



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NICK JENIS plows through the rain ahead of Berlin’s Forest Hinkley on his way to the win in the 1,600 meters. Dennis Coughlin. (click for larger version)
May 23, 2011
NORTH CONWAY — It only figures that in the biggest track meet of the season, rain would play a part.

In a season marred by horrific weather, Saturday's Wilderness Championship was no different, as North Conway was drenched in rain on a couple of different occasions.

However, that didn't slow down the Kennett girls, as they raced to their fourth consecutive Wilderness Championship, while the boys finished second to a strong Plymouth team.

"It poured so hard we stopped the pole vault for a while," coach Bernie Livingston said. "But that was the worst part of the meet. Everything else went great, the weather just didn't cooperate."

The meet was also the fastest league meet that Livingston had seen, as things were basically wrapped up by 1 p.m.

"I'm really happy four our girls' team," Livingston said. "Everybody came through in the events we wanted them to.

"The boys really came through and did extremely well," the veteran coach added.

The highlight of the day for the Eagles was in the relays, where five of the six Eagle teams took first place overall, including a classic finish in the day's final race, the boys' 4X400-meter relay, in which Kennett's Dalton L'Heureux edged out Plymouth's Conor Loynd at the finish line.

"It was a classic," Livingston said. "It was just fun to watch. From my perspective, it was a fitting ending to the day."

The team of Mike Albert, Nick Jenis, Tristan MacLeod and L'Heureux finished in 3:35.3 to Plymouth's 3:35.5 to take first place.

The 4X100-meter team of Ryan Goodson, Mike Mason, Albert and MacLeod finished first in 46.3 seconds, while the girls' 4X100-meter team of Maddy Smith, Vicky Weigold, Liz Major and Gigi Miller took top honors in 53.2 seconds.

The 4X400-meter team of Emmaline Ashe, Weigold, Hannah Wright and Quin Schreiber finished in 4:17.7, a new season best by six seconds. The 4X800-meter team of Ashe, Sarah Hernandez, Danielle Mason and Wright took first in 10:30.1.

The lone relay team that didn't win, the boys' 4X800-meter team, still finished a strong fifth overall in 9:09.9. That team was Jacob Lyman, Brian Behr, Alex Valliere and Brian Fox.

"We always pride ourselves on our relay teams," Livingston said. "We have a lot of talent."

For the girls, Miller ran to first place in the 100 meters in a time of 13.1 seconds, while Weigold ran to third in 13.2 seconds. Weigold came back to place second in the 200 meters in 27.4 seconds, with Miller taking fifth in 28 seconds and Gracie Ryan placing sixth in 28.1 seconds.

Schreiber ran to fifth in the 400 meters in 1:03.3, while Wright placed second in the 800 meters in a time of 2:26.1 and Hannah Benson was fifth in the 1,600 meters in 5:51.4. Hernandez clocked in second in the 3,200 meters in 12:56.3 and Benson finished fourth in 13:18.1.

Smith ran to second in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 16.6 seconds, while Christine Malchiodi picked up four points by finishing fourth in the high jump at four feet, eight inches.

Emily Leich won the pole vault at eight feet, with Megan Darcy taking second at seven feet, six inches. Elyse Clancy finished fifth at seven feet and Charlotte Kennett tied for sixth with a height of six feet, six inches.

Ryan took fifth in the lone jump at 14 feet, 11 and a quarter inches, while Major was sixth at 14 feet, nine and a half inches. Ryan was also third in the triple jump at 32 feet, 10 and a half inches. Katie Anderson was fifth in the shot put at 25 feet, seven inches and Maggie Perkins was third in the discus at 81 feet.

On the boys' side, Albert won the 100 meters in a time of 11.3 seconds, while MacLeod was fourth in 11.8 seconds. Albert was second in the 200 meters in 23.9 seconds and MacLeod was one spot back in 24.1 seconds.

L'Heureux ran to second in the 800 meters in a time of 1:59.8, one of the strong individual performances Livingston pointed to as key to the Eagles performance.

Jenis ran to first place in the 1,600 meters in a time of 4:48.6, while Peter Haine took second place in the 3,200 meters in 10:43.3 and Fox was fifth at 10:56.70.

Dustin Stewart, who missed a week of practice prior to the meet, came out with a personal best time of 16.4 in the 110-meter hurdles to finish third, another individual performance Livingston noted. Stewart also finished third in the 300-meter hurdles in 44.3 seconds.

Duncan Cromwell had another shining individual performance, as he cleared 11 feet in the pole vault after missing much of the season due to injury. The personal best height qualified him for the state championships.

Wyatt Berrier had the other big performance, vaulting himself to second overall in Division II with a second place toss in the discus with a personal best of 135 feet, eight inches.

"We had a really good time and put on a good meet," Livingston said. "If the weather had been there, it would've been a perfect 10."

The veteran coach noted that a good chunk of his kids hit personal bests, which was impressive, especially considering the weather.

"We kind of peaked at the right time," he said.

The Eagles who have qualified will now head to the Division II State Meet at Milford High School on Saturday, May 28, at 10 a.m.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
Garnett HIll
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