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HU tracks wraps up season with final meets

06/19/2008

By Taggert Haslam

Harwood track and field wrapped up their team season Saturday, June 7, at the Division II state meet. The boys took third with 91 points to first-place Windsor with 105 points and runner up Bellows Falls with 94 points. Considering the high temperatures and humidity, an amazing job was done by all. When it came to the heat, the distance runners took the greatest toll.

Fortunately the officials allowed coaches to hand out cups of water to the runners in the 3,000 race, a race that Harwood finished with 4 in the top 10: Nick Wisniewski, 4th, Tim Shepard, 5th, Sam McCausland, 6th, and Caleb Kernan, 10th.

Harwood continued strong in the distance with Eamon Welter taking second in the 1,500, followed by Steve LaRock, fourth, and Caleb Kernan, sixth. Eamon Welter also won the state title in the 800 followed by teammates Joe Yalicki, 7th, Steve LaRock, 8th, and freshman Zak Munro, 12th.  
One of Harwood's "horses" Eamon Welter capped his day with a third in the 400 with a sixth-place finish by Trevor Cook, who also took sixth in the 200-meter run. Another "horse" for Harwood is hurdler Zack Pfister. Zack won his second straight title in the 110 hurdles and placed third in the 300 hurdles. High jumper Dylan Peterson ran the 300 hurdles and placed third in the high jump clearing 5 feet, 8 inches. Trey Kiendl a first-timer to track and field, placed seventh as Harwood's lone 100-meter sprinter.

Josh Kernan ran the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, and is Harwood's only boy pole-vaulter. He took a very respectable 11th place at the state meet, considering Harwood does not have a pole vault pit, often traveling to other schools to practice. In the throws an outgoing senior and two incoming freshmen represented Harwood. Joe Simoes placed third in the javelin, having moved up from his sixth-place seed position. In the shot put, freshman Seth Naikus placed sixth. Thomas Fuller, the other strong freshman, placed fourth in the discus up from his ninth-place seed.

On the Harwood girls' side, they had a strong second-place showing with 97 points to Fair Haven Union's 131 points. As with the boys, the girls struggled with the heat, especially the distance runners. During the 3,000 Harwood had three coaches stationed around the track passing out cups of water. For most runners they were not thinking, get to the end of the race, but just get to the next cup of water.

Chloe Wexler had a strong finish in the 3,000 with a fourth-place finish followed by teammates Jillian Mendes, sixth, Annie Mendes, seventh, and Elena Bilodeau placing ninth. In the 1,500-meter run freshman standout Sophia Lisaius placed 2nd with Jillian Mendes coming in 3rd, Kelsey Bush, 9th, and freshman Kaitlin Mayberry, a respectable 15th.

An upcoming "horse" for the girls is sophomore Paige Cleary taking three fourths, the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash. The other sprinters include Kelsey Lacroix, who took seventh in the 100-meter and seventh in the 200. Freshmen Caitlin Touchette and Kelsey Shea also ran the 100-meter dash. Leading the female hurdlers for Harwood is Ally Bataille, who placed fourth in the 110 hurdles and fifth in the 300 hurdles. Freshman teammate Shannon Maloney also competed in the 110 hurdles

Senior Cecilia Scribner, Harwood's lone female pole vaulter, placed seventh, a very respectable place considering she too has no pit to practice with, only drills and an occasional visit to another school allowing her to practice. She also placed fifth for the second year in a row in the triple jump and competed in the high jump.
The long jump was represented by two freshmen, Caitlin Touchette and Keslsey Shea. In the throws, three seniors finish their Harwood career while two sophomores and one freshman try to fill their shoes.

The discus event ended with Kelley Foster winning her third straight title, with Heather Cutler placing third, freshman Claire Miller placing fourth and Kacey Kerrigan placing fifth. In the shot put Kelley Foster won her first shot title, followed by Kayla Dillon placing third and Kacey Kerrigan placing seventh. In the final throwing event, the javelin, sophomore Amanda Haslam placed a well-earned 7th place, moving up from her 16th-place seed position. Also in the javelin were Kacey Kerrigan, 9th, and Kelley Foster, 10th.

Harwood had seven athletes qualify for the New England Championships. Unfortunately due to conflicts, mainly graduation, only one runner represented Harwood -- Eamon Welter. Eamon ran the 800-meter run in an impressive 2:02, the only Vermonter to run in that race.

Next year the New England Championships will be held at Burlington High School. Harwood hopes to send a strong contingent of athletes to compete in front of their home crowds.

Overall it was an excellent year for the boys' and girls' Harwood track and field teams. Congratulations to the seniors moving on -- for the girls, Chloe Wexler, Kacey Kerrigan, Cecilia Scribner, Annie Mendes, Kelley Foster and Heather Cutler, and for the boys, Joe Simoes.

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