Indoor track: Aidan Cox sets a pair of records as Coe-Brown boys dominate D-II for program’s first team title

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 02-13-2023 11:40 PM

It was three years ago the last time NHIAA had indoor track state championships and there was a lot of uncertainty entering this season. In the end, perhaps it was unwarranted.

The Coe-Brown boys’ team scored points in nine of 13 events and won four, the state’s best distance runner Aidan Cox set a Division II record in the 1,500 meters and a state record in the 3,000 meters, and the Bears – five-team defending cross country champions and three-time outdoor track champions – added their first ever indoor track team title to its trophy case.

Coe-Brown scored 101 points to cruise to the title, with Oyster River (34), Hanover (30), Souhegan (29) and Lebanon (23) rounding out the top five on Sunday at Dartmouth College.

Cox, a senior, won the 3,000 in 8 minutes, 28.61 seconds, breaking the previous state record set by Oyster River’s Patrick O’Brien (8:39.52) in 2017, and topped the 1,500 in 3:58.06, breaking Bow’s Jono Vinnenberg’s mark of 4:06.50 that he ran in 2012. 

Fellow senior Gavin Demas won the 600 in 1:22.74, junior Jamie Lano won the 1,000 in 2:33.86 and was runner-up in the 1,500 (about 20 seconds behind Cox), and Coe-Brown piled on points in the distance events with seniors Tyler Tkaczyk (second 3,000, third 1,500), Nikhil Chavda (fourth 3,000, fifth 1,500) and Ben Robinson (fourth 600) scoring additional points.

Cox also anchored the third-place 4x800 relay with sophomore Sanjith Nomula, Robinson and junior Gavin Dyjak.

Senior Matt Corriveau (second 300, third long jump, tied third high jump) anchored the sprints and jumps, and also ran on the fourth-place 4x400 with Robinson, Lano and Demas.

“Our boys team really had a fun time yesterday and came ready to compete. It was one of the stronger performances a team has had at an indoor track championship,” Coe-Brown head coach David Zink said.

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He isn’t wrong. No team has met the 100 point threshold in a D-II championship since Souhegan matched it in 2013. Based on pre-meet seedings, the Bears were projected to score around 80 points.

 “It was a true team effort as we scored in nearly all events,” Zink said, adding that, “Aidan Cox really made a case for himself as one of the best runners New Hampshire has ever had.” 

Bishop Brady finished sixth with 20 points, led by junior Josh Gentchos who won the 55 dash finals in 6.70 seconds (he ran a 6.60 in the prelims) and ran leadoff leg on the champion 4x200-meter relay (1:36.29) with fellow junior Alan Yap, and seniors Nate Steigmeyer and Jack Beauchesne. 

Merrimack Valley (14) finished 12th, Pembroke (6) tied for 17th and John Stark (2) tied for 23rd.

Senior Bishow Thapa finished second in the 600 and ran the anchor leg for the third-place 4x400 with Tyler Wallace, Marshall Carey-Matthews and Mychal Reynolds to lead MV.

Gavin Currier (tied third high jump) and Jimmy Valotto (sixth shot put) scored for Pembroke, and Sam Kinsey-Turner (fifth high jump) scored for John Stark.

On the girls’ side, Coe-Brown was also the top area team, with the 4x800 relay of juniors Anna Bergeron and Francesca Ferguson, and sophomores Samantha Perron and Paige Murdough holding off a late charge from Bow to win the first race of the day.

The relay clocked a 10:47.59 to win the title, outdoing its fifth seed, highlighting Coe-Brown’s third-place finish overall.

“It was such a fantastic way to start the meet for our teams,” Zink said. “I can't say enough about the way the kids competed (on Sunday), each and every one of them used (Sunday) as a capstone performance of an indoor track and field season that very few of them had experienced before.”

Oyster River (53.5) narrowly edged Newmarket (51) for the team title, with Coe-Brown (38), Kingswood (36), Kearsarge (34), Portsmouth Christian (20), Milford (19) and Bow (18) completing the top eight.

Senior Anushka Chavda finished second in the 300, third in the 55 dash and anchored the runner-up 4x200 senior Natalie Sicard (fifth 55 hurdles), sophomore Delaney Manning and freshman Brooke Bachhuber.

The Bears’ 4x400 of Bergeron, Perron, and seniors Molly Sawyer and Anissa Thorne finished fourth.

Kearsarge was led by junior Amelia Lefebvre (second high jump, second shot put, fourth 1,000), who also ran on the third-place 4x400 with junior Molly Ellison (third 3,000), sophomore Ellie Wimer (fifth 600) and freshman Juliet Faria. 

Bow was led by senior Maya Brochu (fourth 1,500, fourth 3,000), who also ran the third leg of the runner-up 4x800 with twin sister Delia Brochu, sophomore Lexi Insana (sixth 600) and freshman Julia Hou.

Belmont (10) tied for 15th, Winnisquam (4) tied for 20th, MV (3) tied for 22nd and Pembroke (1) tied for 25th. 

Belmont’s Emma Winslow (second long jump, fifth 55 dash), Winnisquam’s Becca Kulengosky (fourth shot put) an Pembroke’s Zoie Wall (sixth 55 hurdles) provided all the points for their respective teams, while MV was led by the fifth-place 4x800 (Kendra Davidson, Madison Geddes, Sydney Spack and Samantha Kimball) and Victoria Leak (sixth shot put).

Division I

In the morning session at Dartmouth, the Concord girls challenged the top teams in Division I by qualifying athletes in nine of 13 events and scoring in six of them, but finished in fourth with 39 points, behind Pinkerton (75), Bedford (57) and Dover (40). 

Sophomores Shelly Smith (second 3,000) and Ella Goulas (second high jump), juniors Kelley Mikelson (third high jump), Morgan Doherty (third 55 hurdles) and Ayva Mullen (fourth long jump); and senior Katherine Muller (sixth 55 hurdles) all scored individually, while the fourth-place 4x200 (junior Rachel Gridley, Muller, senior Caroline Quirk, Mullen) and fifth-place 4x400 (senior Nydia Lane, sophomore Madeleine Muller, Goulas and Doherty) also scored points.

The Tide (13) finished 13th on the boys’ side, with Bedford (60), Pinkerton (44), Portsmouth (43), Windham (35) and Nashua South (34) finishing in the top five.

Freshman Josiah Conley (third 3,000), senior Shaun Fifield (sixth 1,500) and the third-place 4x200 (freshmen Deagan Hines and Meier Kuepper, and seniors Sam Fouls and Quinn Marino) scored for the Concord boys.

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