Souhegan boys, Coe-Brown girls repeat in Div. II meets
By ALLEN LESSELS New Hampshire Union Leader
PELHAM — Amherst's Souhegan High School boys did it again.
So, too, did the Coe-Brown Academy of Northwood girls.
Both teams won Division II state championships in outdoor track and field at Pelham High School on a chilly and blustery Sunday afternoon to run their streaks of titles to five straight when they throw in cross country crowns last fall.
"We like to call it the Triple Crown," Tanner Kent, a senior and captain at Souhegan, said of winning all three titles in a school year. "It's been awesome to be part of it. We have so many tremendous athletes and we keep pushing each other." Ditto for Coe-Brown. "We've gotten so close as a team," said Coe-Brown sophomore Hannah Parker, who won the 800- and 1,600-meter runs, and also led the school's winning 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams. "There's always pressure when you're ranked as the first team, but I think we handled it real well. Everyone did the job today. It was great."
Both Souhegan and Coe-Brown swept indoor and outdoor titles a year ago, tacked on the cross country titles in the fall and indoors titles a few months ago and came in as favorites.
And they then proceeded to live up to the label.
Kent, who is headed to the University of New Hampshire to run in the fall, won the 400 and anchored his team's winning 4x400 entry.
Junior Ben DeForest won the 110-meter hurdles in 14 minutes 53 secondsand the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 39:83, and was second in the high jump. He has not lost to a New Hampshire hurdler in the past two seasons.
"He's a diligent, hard worker, and he's talented, very talented," said Souhegan coach Geoff Wilson. "He's been very consistent and very good."
Kent had already qualified to run in the 800 and 1,600 in the upcoming Meet of Champions, and did not run in those events. He instead went looking for points for the team in the 100, where he came up just short.
"That's the great thing about Tanner," Wilson said. "He's a team player and will run where you need him."
Tanner wasn't thrilled about his own results.
"But you can't hang your head after a day like today," he said. "You have to be happy. We definitely responded."
Senior Sam Ballard was among those helping the Saber cause when he won the 800 in a time of 1:58.14.
Souhegan grabbed the boys' title with 90 points. Portsmouth finished second with 80 points, Merrimack Valley of Penacook was third with 65 and Lebanon (58) and Pelham (50) rounded out the top five.
Coe-Brown junior Jeremy Brassard won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and Lebanon junior John Cioffredi won the high jump and shot put.
Pelham's Kevin Cheam added 32 points to his team's total with a win in the long jump, runner-up finishes in both hurdle events and a third in the triple jump.
The Coe-Brown girls rolled to their victory with 147.5 points to the 74 of runner-up Milford. Lebanon was a close third at 72.5, Merrimack Valley had 65 and Oyster River of Durham 38.
Coe-Brown did it with a young team, too.
"A lot of freshmen made an impact in their first year," said coach Dave Zink-Mailloux. "And our sophomores have been competitive at this level for a while. We look forward to having this group with us for the next two to three years, and hopefully good things continue to happen."
They certainly have so far.
Freshman Liz Danis finished second in both the 1,600 and 3,200.
Several Coe-Brown competitors stepped up. Junior Ashley Savioli, seeded sixth, won the shot put, and sophomore Katie Scannell, seeded 11th in the 3,200, finished fourth in the event.
"I was really proud of all of our runners," Parker said.
Oyster River freshman Dominique Twombley won the 100-meter dash in 12:58 and the 200 in 26:11, and Lebanon senior Kelly Ludew won the 100 hurdles in 15:67 and the 300 hurdles in 46:57.