Photos by Chuck Martin
When it comes to the middle-distance events in her home state, New Hampshire’s Maegan Doody often plays second fiddle to Coe-Brown junior Hannah Parker.
Saturday afternoon at the New England Championships, the sophomore from Oyster River had the spotlight all to herself.
With Parker down in North Carolina competing at the New Balance Nationals, Doody took full advantage of the defending champion’s absence by winning the 800-meter run with a personal best of 2 minutes, 10.80 seconds at Bridgewater State University.
“I was hoping for around 2:08 but I got boxed in very badly at the beginning of the race,” she said. “I think it was on the second lap over there I had to go to lane 4 just to go around everybody. That definitely set me back a little bit, but overall I’m happy.”
Doody, who was a runner-up to Parker at the divisionals and state meet the past two weeks, learned of her rival’s decision to head south last week. She gives credit to the Coe-Brown star for her improvement as a runner, especially this past spring.
“I’ve been lucky enough to race against Hannah Parker the whole season,” she said. “She’s not here today but she has definitely helped me to get where I am now.”
Doody finished ahead fast-charging sophomore Danae Rivers of Wilbur Cross (Conn) who was second overall in 2:12.77. Just an hour earlier. Rivers defended her crown in the 1,600m where she was timed in 4:53.46.
The gifted tenth-grader took the pace out hard for the metric mile, passing the halfway mark in 2:20. She beat a field that had the top six runner’s crack five minutes.
“I wanted the record (4:47.3) but I took it out too fast,” said Rivers, who ran a best of 4:47.45 to defeat Staples’ All-American Hannah DeBalsi at Monday’s CIAC Open Championship. “It still was a nice way to end the season.”
In the 3,200m, Simsbury (Conn.) senior Sarah Mattison took sole possession of the lead at just past the mile mark and held it to the finish, crossing the line with a PB of 10:32.47. Top seed Autumn Eastman of Champlain Valley (Vt.) took second at 10:36.16.
“My plan was to take off with 800 to go but (Eastman) was slowing down a little bit so I figured I had to take it now because I felt good,” Mattison said. “I felt good going into it. I ran the 4x800 in the morning. I ran that, took a long nap and had just been jogging around. I felt ready for it. At the end, I was a little tired but I was trying really hard to keep my pace. I really wanted to break 10:40 so I was very happy with the time.”
Hope (R.I.) sprinter Quashira McIntosh was the only multiple winner in the meet, held under hot and often humid conditions. The speedy junior captured the 100m dash with a time of 11.84 and the 200m in 24.55. She also ran the anchor on the Blue Wave’s victorious 4x100m relay (48.77) and third-place 4x400m squad (3:59.07).
“It feels good. It feels really, really good,” said McIntosh, after her 100m win. “I came in seeded first and came out first. That’s all that really matters.”
The Hope runner, a multiple state champion and record-holder, looked smooth and relaxed in her 200m win. Finishing second and also dipping under 25 seconds was People Academy (Vt.) senior Hannah Merrian, who was timed in 24.94.
“(My start) was kind of slow but the rest of the race felt really great,” McIntosh said. “I felt like I was really pushing myself. It was really close coming around the turn so I had to really push myself. I am really, really hoping to break the state record (24.21) next year. That’s my goal for now on.”
“It was great (today),” she continued. “I ran back-to-back-to-back so I am really tired. My team did great. We really did great today so I’m excited.”
Rhode Island also fared well in the 4x800 with the team of Alicia DeCastro, Caroline Falvey, Sheridan Wilbur and Eliza Rego combining for a meet record time of 9:05.30. New Milford (Conn.) was a distance second at 9:16.14.
“We came in looking to win and to break the meet record,” Wilbur said.
To no one’s surprise, Hingham (Mass.) junior Sierra Irvin copped the 400m title with a time of 55.14. Finishing second was sophomore Ashley Lewis of Latin Academy (Mass.) with a 56.73 clocking.
Irvin was hoping to break the longstanding record of 54.6, set by Boston Technical’s Tasha Downing in 1986.
“I didn’t think it was my best race,” she said. “I didn’t feel good going into it. I was a little exhausted, just a lot of running (lately). It’s been a long season. I could sense (it would be tough) warming up. I was exhausted.”
Marshfield (Mass.) senior Ellen DiPietro, a multiple state high-jump champion and winner of the NBNI meet this past March, took her specialty with a leap of 5 feet, 7 inches. There was a four-way tie for second at 5-5.
Megan Perrin, a senior from Watertown (Conn.), made it to the top of the podium in the javelin was a distance of 133-6. Hopkinton (Mass.) senior Autumn Kramer was second at 129-11.
“It’s not my PR. My PR is 136-10. But it was still a great throw,” Perrin said. “It feels pretty good. Last year I got third and I was seeded second. Just winning it feels great. I knew my best throw was ranked No. 1 in New England. I haven’t been throwing my best lately. I have really been saving it for this day. I did pretty well with it.”
The pole vault crown belonged to Westford Academy (Mass.) senior Ashely Craig, who went over the bar at 11-6. Bay Staters’ Madison Arndt of Central Catholic and Megan Reese of Concord tied for second at 11-3.
In an exciting race, Maloney (Conn.) senior Brianna Burt went from third place to first on the final hurdle of the 110m event to win with a time of 14.57.Chenoa Sebastian, a senior Ledyard, was second at 14.61. North Kingstown (R.I.) was third in 14.81.
“The only thing I have been working for this meet is a strong, strong finish,” she said. “Boy did I do it.”
Freshman Corinne Kennedy of Lebanon (N.H.) broke the tape in the 300m hurdles with a time of 44.04.
Coe-Brown (N.H.) junior Ariel Clacher took the long jump with a leap of 18-5.5. Dana Bramble of East Hartford (Conn) was second at 17-9. Bramble didn’t go home without a plaque. She took the triple jump with a distance of 37-10.5.
Oxford (Ct.) senior Taylor Drayton was busy inside the circle. She won the discus with a heave of 133-6. Autumn Kramer of Hopkinton (Mass.) was second at 129-11. Drayton also finished second in the shot out with a distance of 42-2. Maya Umoren, a senior from North Quincy, won with a throw of 42-10.
With Irvin as its anchor, Hingham took the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:52.65.
Isaiah Harris of Lewiston won the New England title with a new Maine all-time best for 800m with his 1:51.47, Cheverus boys added a 4x400m Maine all-time best to close out the meet, the Stags ran 3:24.34. There were several other athletes earning ALL-NE honors, check out our coverage.
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The New England Championships are this weekend at Bridgewater State University. Attached to this article is all the important imformation needed.
The regional competition for the metric mile (or 1,600 meters) at Bridgewater State University for the New England Championships will certainly generate some excitement for track & field enthusiasts.
With the New England Championships and the New Balance Nationals taking place the same weekend this year, some of the elite athletes from the northeast portion of the country were faced with a difficult decision – New England’s or Nationals? One of those athletes was Sierra Irvin. The Hingham High junior, a fifth-place finisher in the 400-meter dash at the indoor nationals, will be taking her talents to Bridgewater State University on Saturday to compete at the 67th annual New England meet.
Here is this weekends New England Championships Performance List
- 100 Meter Dash - Quashira Mcintosh (Hope High School) 11.84 SB;
- 1,600 Meter Run - Danae Rivers (Wilbur Cross High School) 4:53.46; Shannon Murdock (Exeter High School) 4:54.14 SB; Meghan Verner-Crist (Barrington High School) 4:57.10 SB; Alyssa Brehler (Griswold High School) 4:58.13 SB; Kialeigh Marston (Bonny Eagle High School) 4:59.04 SB; Olivia Lantz (Gloucester High School) 4:59.64 SB;
- 300 Meter Hurdles - Corinne Kennedy (Lebanon High School) 44.04;
- 3,200 Meter Run - Sarah Mattison (Simsbury High School) 10:32.47 SB; Autumn Eastman (Champlain Valley Union High School) 10:36.16 SB; Elisabeth Danis (Coe Brown Academy) 10:50.56; Kaleigh Roberts (Mercy High School) 10:54.76;
- 400 Meter Dash - Sierra Irvin (Hingham High School) 55.14;
- 4x400 Meter Relay - Hingham High School 3:52.65;
- 4x800 Meter Relay - La Salle Academy 9:05.30; New Milford High School 9:16.14; Concord Carlisle High School 9:18.81; Glastonbury High School 9:19.71; Pomperaug High School 9:23.24; Simsbury High School 9:23.27; Wachusett Regional High School 9:28.47;
- 800 Meter Run - Maegan Doody (Oyster River High School) 2:10.80 SB; Danae Rivers (Wilbur Cross High School) 2:12.27; Sarah Edwards (Bellingham High School) 2:13.43;
- High Jump - Ellen Dipietro (Marshfield High School) 5-7;
- Pole Vault - Ashley Craig (Westford Academy) 11-9;
- Shot Put - Maya Umoren (North Quincy High School) 42-10 SB; Taylor Drayton (Oxford High School) 42-2 SB;
- 110 Meter Hurdles - Ben Colello (Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School) 14.29 SB;
- 1,600 Meter Run - Jeremy Brassard (Coe Brown Academy) 4:12.44 SB; Jack Salisbury (La Salle Academy) 4:12.97 SB;
- 4x400 Meter Relay - Natick High School 3:18.73; Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School 3:19.65;
- 4x800 Meter Relay - Danbury High School 7:52.64; Lowell High School 7:57.52;
- 800 Meter Run - Isaiah Harris (Lewiston High School) 1:51.47 SB; Sean Munnelly (Campbell High School) 1:53.02 SB; Connor Murphy (Saint John's High School) 1:54.33; Randall Neish (Glastonbury High School) 1:54.67; Tyler Mannion (Brookfield High School) 1:54.72 SB; Ben Trapani (Camden Hills Regional High School) 1:54.73 SB; James Lewis (Staples High School) 1:54.96;
- High Jump - Adam Couitt (Somerset Berkley Regional High School) 6-9 SB;
- Javelin - Kevin O'leary (Norton High School) 191-6 SB; David Jackson (Griswold High School) 187-11 SB;
- Pole Vault - Joseph Fogarasi (Windham High School) 15-3;