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Joyce Endee

Bobcat boys defend Wilderness title; girls take fourth place



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Plymouth’s Keegan Rasmussen clears the 5’10” mark to win the high jump title at Saturday’s Wilderness League Championship. Matt Perloff. (click for larger version)
May 23, 2011
NORTH CONWAY — Championship season is under way for high school track teams in New Hampshire, and Plymouth Regional High School got theirs off to a strong start this past weekend. The boys successfully defended their title and the girls placed fourth overall at the Wilderness League Championship, held Saturday at Kennett.

The erratic weather conditions couldn't deter the Bobcats from turning in some of their best performances of the season. The boys took seven titles and scored in almost every event with an entrant, while the girls collected a pair of titles and 10 medals in the sprints and relays as they gear up for the states next weekend.

The Plymouth boys had seven different athletes take home first place medals. They'd kick off with a commanding victory in the 4x800 relay, setting a school record as seniors Byron O'Donnell, Matt Sanborn, Conor Loynd and junior Mike Maclean combined for a time of eight minutes, 16.5 seconds, winning the event by nearly 36 seconds. The same team would nearly take the 4x400 title as well, nearly overtaking Kennett in the final leg before finishing two-tenths of a second back. Loynd would go on to take the 400-meter dash later that day, clocking in at 51.2 to win by 2.6 seconds, while Maclean would grab the 800-meter run title with a time of 1:58.6, 1.2 seconds ahead of the next finisher.

Sophomore Rob Mills just barely missed taking the 100-meter dash title with a time of 11.3, though he'd bounce back later with a victory in the 200, winning by three-tenths of a second at 23.6. Freshman Colin Nelson-Peck took the lead early in the 3200-meter run and never looked back, winning by over five seconds with a time of 10:38.2.

Junior Taylor Newberry soared to a title in the 110-meter high hurdles, his time of 15.2 seconds good for a 1.1-second win, while he'd add a runner-up finish in the 300-meter hurdles later in the day.

Plymouth dominated the high jump event, spearheaded by junior Keegan Rasmussen's 5'10" to take the title. Senior Jack Ringlein took third with a 5'8" leap, while juniors Cole Brooker and Zach Crane each reached the 5'6" mark to place fifth and sixth respectively.

The Bobcats collected many more medals throughout the day. Senior Ben Miller took third place in the 400-meter dash, enduring a soggy opening heat for a time of 54.7 seconds. Ringlein and Brooker would take fourth and sixth respectively in the long jump, while Brooker added a third place finish in the triple jump, joined by Loynd in sixth. Freshman Smith Merrill took fourth in the 200-meter dash and qualified for the finals in the 100, while O'Donnell added to his relay efforts with a fifth-place finish in the 1,600.

Plymouth finished the day with 129 points, 21 points ahead of Kennett to take home the Wilderness title for the sixth straight year.

The girls also had a solid day, fueled by multiple medals in the hurdle events. The Bobcats had four runners in the 100-meter hurdles; senior Abby Clark led the way with a 15.6, winning the event by a full second, while senior Rebecca Travis (17.4), freshman Marykate Melanson (17.9) and freshman Sarah Ingram (18.0) took fourth through sixth. Clark would also win the 300-meter hurdles, her time of 50.1 good for a 2.2-second victory, while Travis grabbed another fourth place finish at 53.3. Clark would also add a third place finish in the 200-meter dash, where she clocked in at 27.5 seconds, while Melanson grabbed a sixth place finish in the 400, crossing the finish line with a time of 1:05.1.

All three relay teams would also collect medals. The 4x800 team of junior Hannah Ingram, freshman Charlotte Pitts, sophomore Erin D'Aleo and senior Emily Yepez claimed fourth place with a time of 11:31, while the 4x100 team of Clark, Travis, junior Brittany Irish and freshman Delany Chabot clocked in at 54.8, also earning fourth. The 4x400 team closed out the day with a sixth place finish, as Melanson, Ingram and sophomores Maggie Gaiero and Jade McLaughlin combined for a time of 4:44.2.

The Bobcats finished the day with 47 points, good for fourth overall. Kennett won the tournament with 130.5 points, followed by White Mountains (82) and Laconia (56).

A complete list of results are available online at directathletics.com.

The Wilderness is Plymouth's final meet before the Division II State Championships, scheduled for Saturday at Milford High School, beginning at 10 a.m. For more information, visit nhiaa.org or lancertiming.com.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
Garnett HIll
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