Indoor track: Jamie Lano wins a pair of titles to lead Coe-Brown boys to championship defense

Coe-Brown’s Jamie Lano pumps his fist in celebration as he crosses the line to win the 1,500-meter title at the NHIAA Division II indoor track & field championships on Sunday at Plymouth State. Lano also won the 3,000 and finished second in the 1,000 to lead Coe-Brown to back-to-back team titles.

Coe-Brown’s Jamie Lano pumps his fist in celebration as he crosses the line to win the 1,500-meter title at the NHIAA Division II indoor track & field championships on Sunday at Plymouth State. Lano also won the 3,000 and finished second in the 1,000 to lead Coe-Brown to back-to-back team titles. JAY SMITH / NHXCTF

John Stark’s Joel Douzanis throws the shot put at the NHIAA Division II indoor track & field championships on Sunday at Plymouth State. Douzanis won the event with a toss of 47 feet, 2.5 inches, to lead John Stark to second place as a team.

John Stark’s Joel Douzanis throws the shot put at the NHIAA Division II indoor track & field championships on Sunday at Plymouth State. Douzanis won the event with a toss of 47 feet, 2.5 inches, to lead John Stark to second place as a team. JAY SMITH / NHXCTF

John Stark’s Rio Calle clears the high jump bar at the NHIAA Division II indoor track & field championships on Sunday at Plymouth State. Calle won the event by clearing 6-1 in a jump off and also finished second in the long jump to lead John Stark to second place as a team.

John Stark’s Rio Calle clears the high jump bar at the NHIAA Division II indoor track & field championships on Sunday at Plymouth State. Calle won the event by clearing 6-1 in a jump off and also finished second in the long jump to lead John Stark to second place as a team. JAY SMITH / NHXCTF

Bow’s Hannah Pawlowski races towards the finish line to claim the 600 meter title at the NHIAA Division II indoor track & field championships on Sunday at Plymouth State.

Bow’s Hannah Pawlowski races towards the finish line to claim the 600 meter title at the NHIAA Division II indoor track & field championships on Sunday at Plymouth State. JAY SMITH / NHXCTF

Concord’s Ella Goulas clears the high jump bar at the NHIAA Division I indoor track and field championship on Sunday at Plymouth State. Goulas won the high jump title by clearing 5-4.

Concord’s Ella Goulas clears the high jump bar at the NHIAA Division I indoor track and field championship on Sunday at Plymouth State. Goulas won the high jump title by clearing 5-4. JAY SMITH / NHXCTF

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 02-12-2024 6:27 AM

PLYMOUTH – “If you’ve got the horses, you might as well ride them.”

Quoting former indoor track league director Larry Martin, those were Coe-Brown Northwood Academy head coach David Zink’s words regarding the Coe-Brown boys’ indoor track team’s path to victory.

Senior Jamie Lano won the 3,000 meters in 8 minutes, 48.38 seconds and the 1,500 in 4:09.79, finished second in the 1,000, and ran the anchor leg of the fourth-place 4x400-meter relay to secure back-to-back Division II titles for Coe-Brown on Sunday at Plymouth State University.

Fellow senior Sunny Nomula finished third in the 1,000, fourth in the 1,500 and anchored the fourth-place 4x800 relay, and senior Elias Warner finished second in the shot put.

Juniors Luc Kerouac (sixth 1,000) and Cameron Lee (sixth 55-meter hurdles) rounded out Coe-Brown’s individual scorers.

“They came out with their ‘A’ games today and they really stepped it up,” Zink said. “Jamie and Sunny, there were stud racehorses today and they carried us through.”

Unlike last year when the Bears scored 101 points (runner-up Oyster River scored 34) and scored in nine events with contributions from a variety of athletes, Coe-Brown entered Sunday’s championship with the top seed in six events, three of them from Lano, and relied much more heavily on the team’s top athletes to perform to those standards.

Lano took an early lead in the 3,000 and controlled the pace the entire way to win without too much trouble, but that was anything but the case with the 1,000.

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Lano, ranked No. 3 in the nation in the 1,000, battled with Hanover’s Lucian Gleiser the entire way and dove over the line in 2:27.71, just .09 seconds behind Gleiser. Both runners broke the preview Division II record of 2:32.40, set by Bow’s Jonathan Vinnenberg in 2012, but it wasn’t enough for Lano to hold his top seed.

“We knew going into the 3,000 that it was a race he could control, more than the other two races,” Zink said. “He was very comfortable in that 3,000. The recovery between the 3000 and 1000 wasn’t really in question. It was between the 1,000 and the 1,500 that was the question mark about how he could recover from that. But he knew the team rested on his shoulders.”

Lano sat behind the leaders in the 1,500, but pulled ahead with two laps to go to defeat Portsmouth Christian’s Jonas Teeter and Kearsarge’s Daniel Dalbec by two seconds for his second state title of the day.

Coe-Brown’s relays also provided valuable points, with Kerouac, junior Landon Graveline, Spina and Nomula finishing fourth in 4x800, and Kerouac, sophomore Blake Spina, Nomula and Lano finishing fifth in the 4x400.

Coe-Brown expected the meet to be close, but John Stark wasn’t expected to be the main challenger.

Stark took an early lead through the field events thanks to junior Rio Calle’s victory in the high jump (cleared 6-1 in a jump off) and second-place finish in the long jump, and a win from junior Joel Douzanis in the shot put (47-2.5), who beat his personal record by more than three feet to outdo his fourth seed.

Seniors Logan Montgomery (second 300, fifth high jump) and Eli Lemire (fifth 1,000), and junior Sam Kinsey-Turner (third high jump) were John Stark’s other individual scorers, while Calle, Lemire, senior Alex Keirstead and Montgomery formed the third-place 4x400.

The team title came down to the penultimate event, the 4x400 relay, with the Generals just six points behind the Bears. Stark competed in the second heat, posting a time that would end up securing third in the event, meaning that Coe-Brown had to score at least two points in the 4x400 to defend its title.

Just as he had all day, Lano delivered, anchoring the fifth-place relay that produced exactly the two points required to lift Coe-Brown to the title.

“I give (John Stark) a lot of credit,” Zink said. “They put together a heck of a 4x400 and gave us a scare. It was those two points that helped us win. Any one of those times where we change one position around, we lose those two points.”

For John Stark head coach Joel Kress, who revived the Generals’ indoor track program last year after being dormant for over a decade, coming home to Weare with a runner-up plaque was far greater than anything he expected for his squad of just seven boys.

“We knew we had a good team and we knew we had a chance for third place and an outside chance for second,” Kress said. “The kids outperformed all expectations. All our kids went wild. It was awesome to watch. Coe-Brown is such a talented, deep team, we didn’t even have them in our sights, but then we realized ‘holy moly, we might actually do this.’”

Souhegan (43), Portsmouth Christian (28) and Monadnock (26) rounded out the top five team scores.

Bishop Brady (14) finished 12th behind senior Josh Gentchos’ title in the 300 (36.03 seconds) and fourth-place finish in the 55 dash.

Merrimack Valley (10) tied for 13th with Pride junior Mychal Reynolds winning the 600 (1:27.35).

Bow (9) finished 15th and was led by Alden Betterley (fourth 1,000), Kody McCranie (sixth 300) and the fourth-place 4x400 of Betterley, Thomas Sargent, Owen Miller and McCranie.

Dalbec (third 1,500) led Kearsarge (6) to 18th.

The team standings on the girls’ side went as expected with Oyster River winning five and scoring in nine of the 13 events to cruise to the title with 100 points.

Kearsarge finished second with 36 points and was led by sophomore Maelle Jacques’ victory in the high jump at 5-2. 

Seniors Molly Ellison (second 3,000, fourth 1,500) and Amelia Lefebvre (third high jump), and the second-place 4x400 of Ellison, junior Ellie Wimer, sophomore Juliet Faria and Lefebvre scored the other points for the Cougars.

Newmarket (28), Kennett (28) and Sanborn (23.5) rounded out a tightly-contested top five, with Bow (19) tying for sixth behind junior Hannah Pawlowski’s title in the 600 (1:40.60). Sophomores Charlotte Larochelle (fourth long jump) and Julia Hou (fourth 1,000), and the sixth-place 4x200 of Pawlowski, Larochelle, Camden Wilson and Emily Fauteux also scored for the Falcons.

Isabella Grenier came in third in the shot put, Bristol Shirland finished fourth in the 55 hurdles and also anchored the fifth-place 4x200 with Shannon Ross, Delaney Manning and Tessa Kouchoukos as Coe-Brown (12) tied for 11th overall.

Belmont’s Ava Lacasse (fourth 55 dash, fourth 300), Adeline Takantjas (sixth 55 hurdles) and sixth-place 4x400 (Jaelyn Nialetz, Eleni Papadopoulos, Takantjas and Lacasse) led the Raiders to a tie for 13th (10 points).

John Stark’s fifth-place 4x800 (Kayla Barriere, Ayris Beliveau, Rylee Barnard and Anna Chasse) led the Generals to a tie for 22nd and MV’s Sydney Spack (sixth 600) scored the only point for the 25th-place Pride.

Division I

Concord junior Ella Goulas won the high jump, clearing 5-4, to highlight the night session at Plymouth State for the Crimson Tide.

Bedford (74 points), Exeter (54) and Pinkerton (52) were the top three girls’ teams. Concord finished seventh with 20.5 points.

Senior Morgan Doherty (fourth 55 hurdles, sixth long jump), junior Madeline Muller (fourth 600) and senior Kelley Mikelson (tied fifth high jump) also scored for the Tide.

The boys’ sixth-place 4x200 of sophomores Tim Fahnbulleh and Deagan Hines, junior Connor McGahan and senior Jackson Borkush scored Concord’s only point in the boys’ standings. Concord finished 18th.

Pinkerton (111), Bedford (72) and Nashua South (42) were the top three teams.