Results Link to all Races – Thanks Granite State Race Services
Although smaller than the most recent versions, the 2022 edition of the Black Bear Invitational the competition was certainly fierce.
Middle School Races!
Welcome back to Black Bear Middle Schools! What a way to kick off the day with the spirit of the future and the closest race of the meet. Oyster River Middle School’s Madelyn Cook and Barrington’s Haley Bezanson certainly set the tone as they traded leading duties throughout the 3k+ course. Cook would eek out the win in the end as both kicked to the finish. Jaffrey-Rindge’s Olivia Richard would follow in 3rd, Heronfield’s Evelyn Marshall would claim 4th and Cook’s teammate Carrigan Sekera would round out the top 5. Led by Cook and Sekera, Oyster River would take this one as a team, scoring a scant 24 points over Hampton Academy’s 56 and Newmarket’s 82.
The boys side saw a similar dual as the eventual top 2 battled for most the course. Hampton Academy’s Ethan Roy would eventually win out on this one over Portsmouth Middle’s Austin Corbett. Plymouth’s Patrick Youngs ran a strong, steady race for a comfortable 3rd. The battle for fourth was tremendous as Barrington’s James Travis and Northwood’s Broden Cox battled the entire race and final straightaway with Travis gaining the 1 second advantage. Team-wise, Hampton eeked out a 2 point victory over Newmarket Junior High School. Oyster River was 3rd in 70 points.
The girls JV race was a bit of a runaway as Kayla Hyett of Phillips Exeter Academy (PEA) won by 46 seconds over Hanover freshmen Megan Faris. Leta Griffith (PEA) gained an 8 second advantage over Hanover’s Lily Terry and placed 4th. PEA took 5th as well with Emerson Seymour as she was able to out-lean Winnacunnet’s Sofia Nardone. Off the strength of their top three, PEA would take the team title by just 11 points over Hanover. Host Coe-Brown would be 3rd with 72 points over 4th place Winnacunnet’s 90.
The boys race was all PEA as they swept the top 7 places to claim the immaculate shut out of all teams. Coe-Brown’s Keegan Sousa was the lone harrier to break up their top 10! Credit to PEA’s Michael Zhu, Advay Nomula, Owen Welch, Paul Kiesling and Rex Bedwick as they swept the top 5 from 18:15 through 18:44. Impressive for sure. Coe-Brown would wind up 2nd with 57 points over Hanover with 94 and Bishop Guertin with 103.
The girls varsity race certainly became round 2 between Bow’s and MI47 Small School champ, Susannah Zahn and PCA’s Brianna Malone, who is the defending Black Bear champ. From the get-go it seemed Malone was the aggressor of sorts, running her own race. And it became clear over the middle section of the race, as Malone opened up a comfortable lead, that it was her day. Malone would break the finish line tape in 18:43, with Zahn second in 19:17. Coe-Brown’s Sheldyn Fisher and Hanover freshman Lea Pereard had their own round 2 as they mirrored each other for the entire race. In the end, the CBNA senior, Fisher would kick to finish a step ahead, both crossing in 19:28. Bow’s Maya Brochu, steady as ever, would be 5th in 19:55. PEA’s top 2 Tenley Nelson and Daria Ivanova would begin PEA’s quest for the team title placing 5th and 6th 20:07 and 20:11 respectively. Dover’s Alyson Bortz would be 8th in 20:28 pulling away from Winnacunnet’s Charlotte Koutalidis who placed 9th in 20:35. Dover’s Isabel McIntyre would round out the medals and top 10 in 20:53.
As mentioned above, PEA off the strength of their top 2 in finishing in the top 6 couple with some strong pack running as their 3-4-5 of Maleni Dowling (21:23), Annika Finelli (21:26) and Sophie Zhu (21:37) took placed 14th – 16th totaling 55 points to seal the deal. Hanover would be second with 77 points just 8 in front of a strong Winnacunnet contingent. Dover placed 4th totaling 97 points.
The boys race had a little bit of everything as the top 3 favorites did not disappoint providing some incredible racing. All eyes were on MI47 champ CBNA’s Aidan Cox, Spring Track All-American PEA’s Byron Grevious and D3/Black Bear defending champion Gilford’s Patrick Gandini. The first mile was certainly conservative even for the rolling CBNA woods course, as the leaders went through at around 4:57. At this point Cox absolutely dropped the hammer up the subsequent hill dropping the field with Grevious and Gandini valiantly giving chase. Over the rest of the challenging middle mile, Cox attempted to keep the pressure on and widen the gap. This worked on Gandini but not on PEA’s Grevious. Approaching the grand junction at about 3k, Grevious closed the gap and took the lead with Cox now giving chase. Grevious’s counter was effective as he opened up 70 meters over the course of the next 1k (give or take). And in the end, Grevious would cross the line with the comfortable win breaking the course record in 15:29. Cox would cruise in for second in 15:51, and the ever strong Gandini would become only the 3rd high schooler to break 16 on this challenging course to place 3rd in 15:59.
If that wasn’t enough, the team competition was full of battles and the guests from PEA won every one of them beginning with Oliver Brandes and Mateo Bango placing 4th and 5th both crossing in 16:22. They were holding off the trio of BG’s Matthew Giardina, but more importantly CBNA’s Jamie Lano and Tyler Tkaczyk. Tkaczyk would have the strongest last 800 to place 6th in 16:26 to Giardina’s 16:28 and Lano’s 16:31. Portsmouth Christian’s Jonas Teeter placed 8th and Winnacunnet’s Jon Savage rounded out the top 10 in 17:12. However, PEA’s Max Lacombe would hold off the hard charging Nikhil Chavda (CBNA) to place 11th, with both of them clocking the same 17:15. PEA’s 5th Jack Hutchins would seal the deal as he placed 16th to CBNA’s 5th Max Lemay who placed just a handful behind for 21st. Congrats to PEA as they placed first with 37 points to win by 12 over Coe-Brown. Bishop Guertin would be 3rd with 93 points besting Hanover’s 112 points. Winnacunnet would round out the top 5 teams totaling 133 points.
Congrats to all!!!