Track and field: Northwood’s Aidan Cox, Coe-Brown quartet finish 2nd at Nationals; MV’s Victoria Leak takes 4th in state heptathlon

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 06-22-2023 1:22 AM

Division champions were crowned four weeks ago, but for some of the area’s top track and field athletes, the season didn’t end until this past weekend. Coe-Brown sent its powerful boys’ distance runners to New Balance Nationals at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Penn., while many of the state’s most versatile track and field competitors battled in the New Hampshire Decathlon/Heptathlon at Nashua South over the weekend.

Nationals

The Coe-Brown boys’ 4x800 relay won the New England title on June 10, and that same combination of four, competing as the Black Bear Track Club, were just a few strides away from becoming national champions in the 4x1 mile relay.

Junior Jamie Lano and senior Gavin Demas ran the first two legs, while senior Tyler Tkaczyk made a huge move in his third leg, moving the Black Bears up from ninth to fifth place. Senior Aidan Cox overtook the leading team, the Concord-Carlisle (Mass.) High School Patriots, with 500 meters to go, but was passed by Monroe-Woodbury, N.Y., with about 100 meters to go. 

Monroe-Woodbury clocked a 17 minute, 29.49 second 4x1 mile time, with Coe-Brown less than a full second behind in 17:30.12.

All four Black Bear runners earned All-American status for their runner-up effort on June 15 and Cox also earned that distinction individually by finishing fifth in the 2 mile on June 16.

Cox challenged the eventual champion, Daniel Simmons of American Fork High School in Utah, all race long, running in second place for the majority of the race before falling back a few spots with just over a lap to go.

Cox finished fifth with a personal best time of 8:50.45, while Simmons held on for the national title in 8:41.23. Cox and Simmons battled for a second time in the boys’ 1 mile race on June 17, with Simmons out-leaning Cox for the final All-American spot in that event.

Devan Kipyego of St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, R.I., won the national title in 4:04.78, with Simmons (4:09.15) and Cox (4:09.28) finishing sixth and seventh, respectively.

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Demas, New Hampshire’s MOC and Division II champion in the 800 meters, competed in the national championship on Sunday, finishing 61st with a time of 1:55.46.

Cox (University of Virginia), Tkaczyk (Siena College) and Demas (Eastern Kentucky University) will all be competing at the NCAA Division I level in college.

Decathlon/Heptathlon

The state’s best all-around track and field athletes competed in the 66th annual New Hampshire Decathlon and the 46th annual N.H. Heptathlon on June 17-18.

Merrimack Valley senior Victoria Leak was the highest local finisher on either side, finishing fourth in the girls’ heptathlon with 3,271 points.

Nashua North’s Isabella Di Vernieri (4,035) edged Newfound’s Malina Bohlmann (4,009) for the state title.

Leak, who finished in the top six and scored points in all four of her individual events at the Division II championship (second discus, third shot put, fifth 100-meter hurdles, sixth javelin), finished in the top eight in five of seven heptathlon events, including the best mark in the shot put (32 feet, 9 inches), second place in the javelin (103-8) and fourth place in the long jump (15-3.25).

“Victoria was a joy to coach all season because she is a great competitor with an even stronger work ethic,” said Merrimack Valley co-head coach Dyrace Maxfield. “All the coaches are excited to see this senior leader finish her MV track career with a personal best in the heptathlon.”

Kearsarge’s Amelia Lefebvre (3,155) and Winnisquam’s Victoria Kelly (3,085) finished seventh and eighth, respectively, while Winnisquam’s Skye Tibbetts (14th) and Becc Kulengosky (21st), Bow’s Sabrina Bernard (15th), John Stark’s Izabel Korbet (17th), Coe-Brown’s Brooke Bachhuber (20th), and MV’s Keira Cote (22nd) and Tessa Lynch (35th) also competed.

Conant’s Ben Sawyer (5,825 points) took home the state title in the boys’ decathlon, with Hopkinton’s Roman Finlayson (eighth, 4,618) and Bishop Brady’s Nate Steigmeyer (10th, 4,610) completing the 10 events as the top Capital Area finishers.

Bishop Brady’s Josh Gentchos (18th), Chris Messmore (21st) and Alan Yap (28th); MV’s Mychal Reynolds (20th), Nathan Bain (60th) and Brayden Laroche (63rd); Winnisquam’s Brendan Goodwin (26th), Aidan Donahue (36th) and Carter Fredette (64th); Hopkinton’s Max Bishop (38th); Coe-Brown’s Luc Kerouac (41st) and Alex Conner (50th); and Kearsarge’s Daniel Dalbec (42nd) also competed in the field of 84.

All-State

New Hampshire Track and Field Coaches Association members voted on All-State rosters prior to the NHIAA division championships, with relay champions from those championships also earning All-State status. Unsurprisingly, Coe-Brown won more All-State spots than any other program in the state, with 11 individuals (seven boys, four girls) and three relays making the roster. All area All-State selections are listed below.

Division I girls: Concord’s Kendall Barton (senior) and Ella Goulas (sophomore).

Division II boys: Coe-Brown’s Zach Bistany (senior), Matt Corriveau (senior), Aidan Cox (senior), Gavin Demas (senior), Jamie Lano (junior), Tyler Tkaczyk (senior), Elias Warner (junior) and 4x400 (Lano, Demas, Corriveau, senior Ben Robinson); John Stark’s Logan Montgomery (junior); Merrimack Valley’s Bishop Thapa (senior) and Tyler Wallace (senior).

Division II girls: Bow’s Maya Brochu (senior); Coe-Brown’s Anushka Chavda (senior), Sheldyn Fisher (senior), Josie Malloy (senior), Natalie Sicard (senior), 4x100 (Malloy, sophomore Shannon Ross, junior Kylie Prusia, Chavda) and 4x800 (sophomores Samantha Perron and Paige Murdough, junior Anna Bergeron, senior Mallory Taylor); Merrimack Valley’s Victoria Leak (senior); Pembroke’s Natalie Longacre (senior).

Division III boys: Bishop Brady’s Josh Gentchos (senior), Nate Steigmeyer (senior) and 4x100 (Gentchos, junior Alan Yap, seniors Chris Messmore and Jack Beauchesne); Hopkinton’s Roman Finlayson (sophomore).

Division III girls: Belmont’s Emma Winslow (senior), Adeline Takantjas (sophomore) and 4x100 (Winslow, freshmen Hannah Young and Ava Lacasee, junior Cate McDonald); Hopkinton’s Hannah Bennett (senior), Grace Hall (junior) and 4x800 (Bennett, sophomores Reese Bove and Shaylee Murdough, freshman Sophia Upton); Kearsarge’s Molly Ellison (junior) and Amelia Lefebvre (junior); Winnisquam’s Becc Kulengosky (senior)

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