With the championship hanging in the balance, Pinkerton’s Conor Seleny took the baton in second place, with 200 meters to decide the title.
“According to the scoreboard, we were trailing by 0.5 points heading into the final event,” said Astros coach Ian French. “Conor got the baton in second and he was exhausted. But we had to win.
“Suddenly he passed the (opponent) and was in first place, and we were just going crazy. Then he crossed the finish line for the win and we just thought, ‘Oh my God, we did it!”
The team of Ryan Dane, Patrick Cotnoir, JR Rosario and anchor Seleny won the 4x200 relay — the final event of the day — in 1:34.97, clinching the Astros’ second straight New Hampshire Division 1 Track Championship title on Sunday at Leverone Field House at Dartmouth College.
The Astros took the crown with 75 points, besting No. 2 Nashua North (67.5 points). Londonderry came in ninth out of 16 scoring teams with 15 points.
“The guys really stepped up, and it was amazing,” said French. “I’ve won seven titles, and the first will always hold a special place in my heart. But after that moment, this is my second favorite. Seeing all the guys step up like that was amazing.”
Trailing heading into the final two events, French decided to shake up his lineup.
“Our 4x400 was seeded seventh and we weren’t going to win without points,” said French. “So we put Conor in as the anchor and added our alternate, Terry Coyle, who had run it just once all year. And he ran the best race of his life.”
Adam Spencer, Coyle, Seleney and Ethan Desmaris placed third in 3:36.42, setting up the 4x200 dramatics.
Those weren’t the only Astros that stepped up big.
Dane won the long jump (21-9.0), was third in the 55-meter dash (6.77) and took fifth in the 300 (37.00).
Matt Small added the other Astro victory, winning the high jump with a 6-2.
“Dane stunned everybody,” said French. “He was seeded fourth in the long jump, and won by beating his PR (personal record) by more than a foot. That’s absurd.
“We were so happy to see Matt win the high jump. Going into this season he looked like someone that might place. He worked so hard and he loves track, so to see him do that is awesome.”
HAGEARTY REPEATS IN SHOT
Londonderry’s Patrick Hagearty is the defending state champion in the shot put, and that wasn’t a title he was going to give up lightly.
Sunday, the senior completed the repeat, finishing first with a impressive toss of 51-4.50.
Hagearty didn’t just win, he dominated. His throw beat second-place Ryan Whitney of Exeter by nearly six feet.
Next up, Hagearty will look to defend his Meet of Champion shot put crown from a year ago.
ASTRO GIRLS TAKE THIRD
Pinkerton placed an area-best third at Sunday’s Division 1 state championship with 46 points. Bishop Guertin (68 points) was the team champion.
Macy Graves chipped in with a victory, winning the 600 in 1:40.76. Sister Amelia Graves added a second in the 300 (42.56) and was sixth in the 55 dash (7.71.)
Chipping in with thirds for the Astros were Meghan Cross in the 3,000 (10:34.3) and the 4x400 (M. Graves, Meaghan Robidoux, Megan O’Brien, A. Graves.)
“We performed well,” said Astro coach Mike Karthas. “We had a fairly small number of girls competing. We were successful overall and we are proud of the way the team performed.”
Londonderry came in 13th out of the 17 teams that scored with 4 points.
NH Division 1 Boys Championship
Top team scores plus locals (16 teams scored): 1. Pinkerton 75, 2. Nashua North 67.5, 3. Exeter 67, 4. Concord 35, 5. Keene 24.5; ALSO: 9. Londonderry 15
Top-6 area finishers:
55 meter dash: 3. Ryan Dane (Pink) 6.77; 300: 2. Conor Seleny (Pink) 36.20, 5. Dane (Pink) 37.00, 6. Justin Cassidy (Lond) 37.23; 1,000: 5. Ethan Desmaris (Pink) 2:40.19; 55 hurdles: 2. Adam Spencer (Pink) 7.76, 3. Seleny (Pink) 7.79; 4x200: 1. Pinkerton (JR Rosario, Patrick Cotnoir, Dane, Seleny) 1:34.97; 4x400: 3. Pinkerton 3:36.42; 4x800: 3. Pinkerton 8:35.23, 4. Londonderry 8:40.29; HJ: 1. Matt Small (Pink) 6-2; LJ: 1. Dane (Pink) 21-9.0, 6. Joron Harrell (Pink) 20-0; SP: 1. Patrick Hagearty (Lond) 51-4.50
NH Division 1 Girls Championship
Top area scores (17 teams scored): 1. Bishop Guertin 68, 2. Exeter 66, 3. Pinkerton 46; ALSO: 13. Londonderry 4
Top-6 area finishers:
55 meter dash: 6. Amelia Graves (Pinkerton) 7.71; 300: 2. A. Graves (Pink) 42.56; 600: 1. Macy Graves (Pink) 1:40.76; 3,000: 3. Meghan Cross (Pink) 10:34.33; 4x200: 5. Pinkerton 1:51.82; 4x400: 3. Pinkerton 4:12.86; HJ: 4. Emily Lesbury (Pink) 4-10; SP: 4. Gia Komst (Lond) 31-11.75, 5. Adrianna Buccieri (Pink) 31-11.25