2022 NHIAA D1 State Championships Recap, Results, Videos, Pics (Interviews Soon)!



Division 1 Girls

Lancer Timing’s Results

Ok, yeah, can this one have been any closer regarding the team battle???  We mean Pinkerton and Bedford.  Both have white and red uniforms.  Both essentially traded places through their top 7 roster.  Both have freshmen as important cogs in their respective machines.  Both had an average time in the 20:20s, a pack time of 1:27 and 1:29, and a cumulative team time separated by less than 30 seconds!  Wow!  Congrats to both teams as they both ran so competitively.  In the end it was Pinkerton the state champs by 4 points.

This race had a little of everything as upstart Portsmouth freshman Mia Scherr bravely took the lead early.  She would eventually place 6th in 19:59, pretty promising for a freshman.  But it was the juniors and seniors who eventually formed the front pack as Winnacunnet’s Charlotte Koutalidis, Pinkerton’s Contessa Silva, Bedford’s Fiona Lee, Keene’s Reagan Hoy and Exeter’s Meadow Gregory took control.

Coming off the McIntyre loop, it was a three person race as Koutalidis, Silva and Lee were all together.  At the door, Koutalidis strongly took the lead with a gutsy move and began to pull away.  And in the end it was Winnacunnet’s Koutalidis who won the D1 title in 19:14.  Silva would be a comfortable 2nd in 19:23 with Lee third in 19:35 (the first Pinkerton/Bedford battle).  Exeter’s Gregory would end up 4th in 19:43, with Keene’s Hoy 5th in 19:44.  As previously mentioned Scherr was 6th.  Pinkerton’s Isabelle Groulx placed an important 7th in 20:10.  Dover’s top runners Alyson Bortz and Isabel McIntyre came in next 20:18 and 20:20 respectively.  And to keep their hopes alive, Bedford’s Sophie Mooney rounded out the top 10 in 20:23.

From there, focusing on the team battle, Bedford’s Kelseigh O’Neil took 13th, Pinkerton’s Althea LeBlanc 16th, Bedford’s Caitrin Duprey 18th, but Pinkerton sealed the title when Gabrielle Bedard and Sarah Rzasa claimed places 20th and 21st respectively.  Congrats to both teams!  Winnacunnet took 3rd in 115, Keene 4th with 131 and Dover would be 5th with 151 points.  6th and 7th was decided via tiebreaker as Concord edged BG, but both teams qualified for MOCs.  Congrats to all!

Interviews soon!

Division 1 Boys

Lancer Timing’s Results

The Division I race turned out to be an exciting one though predictions of it being close, completely missed the mark!

The race started as expected with BG’s Matt Giardina pushing to the lead immediately along with some of the other top contenders so it seemed he was going to try and lead the race wire to wire. A few of the other runners, including notably Ryan Fortin and Sean Clegg, seemed content to hold back in the early portion of the race, but as it went on some strategy would show its face.

The real race at Derryfield always starts at the top of the first hill after the one mile mark. Anyone can run that first mile quickly but what happens after going up that monster first hill is a different story. Individually, Giardina still found himself in the driver’s seat, but the aforementioned Fortin and Clegg had closed the gap a bit and definitely seemed to be eying a challenge.

From a team standpoint, it was still anyone’s game. Pinkerton, South and Windham all seemed to have runners in good position with South’s Daniel Byrne probably being the most notable stand out positioning himself well into the top 10 and with Pinkerton’s pack back a bit from where I was expecting, it appeared that South might have the edge at this point of the race.

By the top of McIntyre, the individual race had decided to get interesting. As the runners popped out of the woods, Fortin had charged to the lead with Clegg shortly behind him and they appeared to be pulling away from Giardina. As they rounded the turn to head towards the downhill both looked strong and like they were going to push the pace on the straightaway. It seemed pretty likely we were seeing the eventual winner though as freshman Sullivan Sturtz from Keene was also having an excellent race and was not out of contention.

From a team standpoint, the lap around the reservoir had changed the color of the race from purple to red. Pinkerton’s pack had collectively moved up and seemed to only be gaining momentum. Pack running was always going to be their strength, but their five came through in such a quick succession that it was genuinely surprising. The race had quickly turned from “it’s hard to tell who’s leading!” to “Wow, Pinkerton looks like they have this in the bag,” fast.

As we got back to the field, Giardina started what turned out to be an unstoppable surge to the finish line. He caught Clegg and then moved up on Fortin and they rounded the final tree right on top of one another. In the final 300 meters Giardina threw down an excellent kick to slowly but surely grind a lead on Fortin crossing the finish line at 16:00 to be the 2022 D1 Champion. Shout out to the two seniors for coming in with a clear strategy and executing it well to give Giardina the most competitive D1 race he had all season with Fortin taking second and Clegg finishing third.

On the team side, it was all Pinkerton at this point. That outstanding pack had continued moving forward and their lead runner Finn Christensen-Kraft had moved into the top ten of the race. The team had a 1-5 split of twenty seconds for possibly the closest 1-5 I’ve ever seen at a division race. In the end, all thoughts that it was going to be a tight race separated by only a handful of points were completely wrong and they won the meet by a full 62 points!

The next seven places were only separated by 52 points so it turned out to be a pretty close meet through the rest of the field. Windham came up big in their first year in Division I to bump off a strong South squad to be the race runner up. Logan Carter maybe didn’t have the top five finish I think he hoped for when the season started but his tenth place finish set his team up well. The rest of their five all managed to break 18:00 for the day and that’s all the edge they needed to take second place. BG ran valiantly to place 4th, just 10 points behind South but 1 point up on 5th Exeter and 3 points better than 6th place ConcordWinnacunnet would claim the final D1 MOC qualifying slot placing 7th overall.

-Ian French

Interviews Soon!

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