Track stars put their best foot forward at Londonderry Invitational

·8 min read

May 21—LONDONDERRY — Jordan Wheaton felt a little slow and shaky entering the Londonderry Invitational track and field meet on Saturday at Londonderry High School.

Despite her initial feelings, the Pinkerton Academy senior won the 100-meter hurdles in a personal-best time that was within striking distance of the state record.

Wheaton blazed through the hurdles to her first-place time of 14.38 seconds, which was .15 of a second slower than the state mark set in 2013 by Bishop Guertin's Betsy Garnick. Wheaton's previous personal-best time was 14.7 seconds.

Wheaton said she knew Bedford sophomore Anika Scott, who took second with a time of 14.64 seconds, would push her to get a better time.

"I was just trying to go out and compete and just do my thing — just use this as a practice meet for states," said Wheaton, who also placed fifth in the high jump and helped the Astros 4-x-100-meter relay team finish second.

The invitational, which did not have team scoring, came on the final weekend before the NHIAA division championship meets. The Division III championships are scheduled for Wednesday and the Division I and Division II championships are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Pinkerton coach Carol Quarles said Wheaton continues to impress her each time she races.

"For her right now, it's about executing over the hurdle and get your feet down," Quarles said.

"She has the speed in between so it's just the little nuances that we're tweaking to get her faster and faster. The hope is to break the state record and she's very close."

Quarles said her focus for the Astros at the invitational was to have all the runners lower their times and test their race strategies on the track.

Pinkerton posted seven top-three finishers on the boys side and eight on the girls side. Wheaton, Contessa Silva (1,600-meter run, 5:28.92), Joseph Packowski (javelin, 156 feet, 7 inches) and the 4-x-100-meter boys relay team of Nicholas Harrington, Braydon Parker, Zackary Smith and Caden Michaud (43.08 seconds) all won their events.

Lebanon senior Birhanu Harriman won the boys 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs, both of which he will run at the Division II championships. Harriman, who missed about a month of the indoor season with a right knee injury, won the 1,600 in 4:27.41, finally reaching his spring season goal of finishing the event in under 4:30.

Harriman won the 3,200 in 9:33.22, edging out classmate Thomas Wolfe (9:34.69). The two separated themselves from the rest of the field and ran 1-2 over the final three laps.

Harriman said he wants to work on racing smarter ahead of the Division II championships.

"Earlier in the season, I just kind of went out hard and then wasn't able to close," Harriman said. "I think going a little more even and seeing what I can do on that last lap or two laps."

Keene junior Chris Stevens, still getting over the flu, won the 100-meter dash in 10.82 seconds and the 200 in 21.78 seconds. Stevens said one of his goals since his false start at the Division I indoor championships was to beat 100-meter runner-up AJ Sebastien of Manchester Memorial but the two have not competed much this spring.

"Finals, I was not feeling up for it at all," Stevens said. " AJ had me on the start. He was there. I thought he was going to beat me and pull away. Then I started pulling away and I did a little celebration before the (finish) line."

Concord junior Chloe Gudas won the 800-meter run in 2:22.67, setting a personal-record by one second. She also helped the Crimson Tide take second in the 4-x-400 relay. Saturday marked Gudas' first time entering an 800 final as the top seed. Gudas, who will compete in the 800 at the Division I championships, ran the 400 dash as a sophomore before switching to the 800 this spring.

"I do come from a cross-country and nordic skiing background so it wasn't like I was going out too fast," Gudas said of her transition to the 800 from the 400. "It's just been a bit difficult to pace because usually I go out too slow but I'm working on that."

Lebanon senior Isabella Hastings won the girls 3,200-meter run in 12:20.86. Hastings, who placed seventh in the 3,200 at last year's Division II championships, finished 27.02 seconds ahead of runner-up Althea LeBlanc of Pinkerton.

Manchester Central junior Harriet Barber set a season-best time to win the 400-meter dash in 57.09 seconds. She entered as the event's top seed with her previous season-best time of 57.46. Barber also won the 200 dash in 25.35 seconds, edging out Nashua South junior Soraya Ross (26.8 seconds).

Bedford junior Christopher Chong won both the 110 hurdles (14.73 seconds) and 300 hurdles (38.43 seconds) and helped the Bulldogs take second in the 4-x-100 relay (43.96 seconds).

Nashua North senior Madelyn Novak won the javelin (118-11), shot put (33-1.25) and discus (114-03).

Girls individual results

100 dash: 1. Soraya Ross, Nashua South, 12.25; 2. Alexis Best, Merrimack, 12.27; 3. Iyana Braswell, Nashua South, 12.3.

200 dash: 1. Harriet Barber, Manchester Central, 25.35; 2. Soraya Ross, Nashua South, 26.8; 3. Caroline Cooper, Concord, 26.88.

400 dash: 1. Harriet Barber, Manchester Central, 57.09; 2. Samantha Ducharme, Bedford, 60.77; 3. Madeline Muller, Concord, 61.18.

800 run: 1. Chloe Gudas, Concord, 2:22.67; 2. Kara Tschida, Goffstown, 2:23.6; 3. Isabella Di Vernieri, Nashua North, 2:27.94.

1,600 run: 1. Contessa Silva, Pinkerton, 5:28.92; 2. Isabella Groulx, Pinkerton, 5:29.02; 3. Melanie Bedard, Merrimack, 5:29.96.

3,200 run: 1. Isabella Hastings, Lebanon, 12:20.86; 2. Althea LeBlanc, Pinkerton, 12:47.84; 3. Samantha Philipp, Pinkerton, 13:31.55;

100 hurdles: 1. Jordan Wheaton, Pinkerton, 14.38; 2. Anika Scott, Bedford, 14.64; 3. Jhanelle Thomas, Nashua North, 15.2.

300 hurdles: 1. Jhanelle Thomas, Nashua North, 44.45; 2. Kailey Dillon, Merrimack, 46.15; 3. Katherine Muller, Concord, 47.56.

4-x-100 relay: 1. Nashua South, 48.47; 2. Pinkerton, 49.28; 3. Nashua North, 50.38.

4-x-400 relay: 1. Nashua North, 4:09.33; 2. Concord, 4:10; 3. Alvirne, 4:27.69.

4-x-800 relay: 1. Bedford, 9:50.75; 2. Alvirne, 10:26.77; 3. Manchester Memorial, 10:48.34.

High jump: 1. Grace Crowder, Bedford, 5-02; 2. Ella Goulas, Concord, 5; 3. Kelley Mikelson, Concord, 5.

Pole vault: 1. Madeline Muller, Concord, 10; 2. Maya Malatesta, Bedford, 10; 2. Amanda Robinson, Londonderry, 10.

Long jump: 1. Anika Scott, Bedford; 2. Iyana Braswell, Nashua South, 17-05.5; 3. Alexis Best, Merrimack, 17-3.

Triple jump: 1. Alexis Best, 37-02.25; 2. Ella Goulas, Concord, 35-09.25; 3. Iyana Braswell, Nashua South, 34-09.5.

Shot put: 1. Madelyn Novak, Nashua North, 33-01.25; 2. Abigail Ahlers, Salem, 32-01.25; 3. Mia Getchell, Merrimack, 31-09.

Discus: 1. Madelyn Novak, Nashua North, 114-03; 2. Jameson Trask, Pinkerton, 100-10; 3. Victoria Leak, Merrimack Valley, 97-06.

Javelin: 1. Madelyn Novak, Nashua North, 118-11; 2. Kayla Franks, Pinkerton, 105-04; 3. Kelly Wright, Windham, 105-01.

Boys individual results

100 dash: 1. Chris Stevens, Keene, 10.82; 2. AJ Sebastien, Manchester Memorial, 11.02; 3. Caden Michaud, Pinkerton, 11.04.

200 dash: 1. Chris Stevens, Keene, 21.78; 2. Ethan Schnyer, Nashua South, 22.61; 3. Jamison Isaac, Pinkerton, 22.74.

400 dash: 1. Sean Clegg, Londonderry, 50.07; 2. Erik Nolan, Keene, 51.08; 3. Caden Michaud, Pinkerton, 51.45.

800 run: 1. Jacob Redman, 1:55.8; 2. Tyler Safstrom, Merrimack, 1:57.79; 3. Nathan Binda, Pinkerton, 1:58.77.

1,600 run: 1. Birhanu Harriman, Lebanon, 4:27.41; 2. Sully Sturtz, Keene, 4:30.82; 3. Ryan Fortin, Londonderry, 4:31.1.

3,200 run: 1. Birhanu Harriman, Lebanon, 9:33.22; 2. Wolfe, Lebanon, 9:34.69; 3. Sully Sturtz, Keene, 9:46.37.

110 hurdles: 1. Christopher Chong, Bedford, 14.73; 2. Cole Henderson, Souhegan, 15.45; 3. JJ Powers, Bedford, 15.92.

300 hurdles: 1. Christopher Chong, Bedford, 38.43; 2. Rory Olsen, Nashua South, 39.54; 3. Devin Keith, Pinkerton, 42.3.

4-x-100 relay: 1. Pinkerton, 43.08; 2. Bedford, 43.96; 3. Manchester Memorial, 44.46.

4-x-400 relay: 1. Merrimack Valley, 3:33.08; 2. Nashua South, 3:35.47; 3. Merrimack, 3:38.76.

4-x-800 relay: 1. Bedford, 8:10.35; 2. Goffstown, 8:24.45; 3. Nashua South, 8:26.61.

High jump: 1. Sami Witta, Nashua South, 6-02; 2. Andrew Kullman, Londonderry, 6-02; 3. Alain Twite, Concord, 5-10.

Pole vault: 1. Colby Nyhan, Concord, 12; 1. Donovan Gannon, Londonderry, 12; 3. D'Sean Coffie, Nashua North, 10-06.

Long jump: 1. Andrew Kullman, Londonderry, 20-06; 2. Alain Twite, Concord, 20-03; 3. Sami Witta, Nahua South, 19-09.

Triple jump: 1. Donovan Gannon, Londonderry, 41-07.75; 2. Alain Twite, Concord, 41-07; 3. Nick Dumond, Keene, 40-05.5.

Shot put: 1. Toby Brown, Nashua North, 51-11.75; 2. Darius Smith, Nashua North, 50-03; 3. Antonio Martinez, Nashua South, 49-11.25.

Discus: 1. Darius Smith, Nashua North, 139-04; 2. Tanner Ames, Lebanon, 132-06; 3. Sam Foulds, 131-10.

Javelin: 1. Joseph Packowski, Pinkerton, 156-07; 2. Alexander Grudinskas, Bedford, 152-10; 3. Darius Smith, Nashua North, 147-06.