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Division II indoor track championships

Coe-Brown leaves no doubt

Bears repeat, win 6th straight running title

  • Coe-Brown's Jelesa Nelson lands a long jump at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Nelson placed second in the event with a season best 16' 5".<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

    Coe-Brown's Jelesa Nelson lands a long jump at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014. Nelson placed second in the event with a season best 16' 5".

    ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

  • Coe-Brown's Meg Scannell, left, and Elisabeth Danis run in the 3000 meter race at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Danis placed second with a time of 10:32.07 and Scannel placed fifth with a time of 11:07.71.  <br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

    Coe-Brown's Meg Scannell, left, and Elisabeth Danis run in the 3000 meter race at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014. Danis placed second with a time of 10:32.07 and Scannel placed fifth with a time of 11:07.71.

    ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

  • Belmont's Bruce Zimmer throws the shot at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Zimmer placed fifth with a throw of 43' 3.5".<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

    Belmont's Bruce Zimmer throws the shot at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014. Zimmer placed fifth with a throw of 43' 3.5".

    ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

  • Merrimack Valley's Nancy Taban ran through the finish line of the 55 meter hurdles finals at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Taban won the race with a time of 8.72 seconds.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

    Merrimack Valley's Nancy Taban ran through the finish line of the 55 meter hurdles finals at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014. Taban won the race with a time of 8.72 seconds.

    ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

  • Coe-Brown's Jelasa Nelson hugs assistant track coach Tim Toscano after placing second in the 55 meter dash at at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  <br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

    Coe-Brown's Jelasa Nelson hugs assistant track coach Tim Toscano after placing second in the 55 meter dash at at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.

    ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

  • Merrimack Valley's Nancy Taban ran the 55 meter hurdles at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Taban won the race with a time of 8.72 seconds.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

    Merrimack Valley's Nancy Taban ran the 55 meter hurdles at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014. Taban won the race with a time of 8.72 seconds.

    ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

  • Belmont's Joseph Boles races in the 1500 meter run at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Boles won with a time of 4:17.97.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

    Belmont's Joseph Boles races in the 1500 meter run at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014. Boles won with a time of 4:17.97.

    ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

  • Coe-Brown's Brooke Laskowsky begins the 600 meter run at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Laskowsky placed sixth with a time  of 1:45.83.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

    Coe-Brown's Brooke Laskowsky begins the 600 meter run at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014. Laskowsky placed sixth with a time of 1:45.83.

    ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

  • Coe-Brown's Elisabeth Danis, front, and Meg Scannell run the 1500 meter race at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Danis placed fourth and Scannell placed sixth.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

    Coe-Brown's Elisabeth Danis, front, and Meg Scannell run the 1500 meter race at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014. Danis placed fourth and Scannell placed sixth.

    ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

  • Coe-Brown's Hannah Parker hugs her cousin Ian Cabral, 4, after she finished running the 4x400 meter relay at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Coe-Brown placed third.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

    Coe-Brown's Hannah Parker hugs her cousin Ian Cabral, 4, after she finished running the 4x400 meter relay at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014. Coe-Brown placed third.

    ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

  • Coe-Brown's Jelesa Nelson lands a long jump at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Nelson placed second in the event with a season best 16' 5".<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff
  • Coe-Brown's Meg Scannell, left, and Elisabeth Danis run in the 3000 meter race at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Danis placed second with a time of 10:32.07 and Scannel placed fifth with a time of 11:07.71.  <br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff
  • Belmont's Bruce Zimmer throws the shot at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Zimmer placed fifth with a throw of 43' 3.5".<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff
  • Merrimack Valley's Nancy Taban ran through the finish line of the 55 meter hurdles finals at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Taban won the race with a time of 8.72 seconds.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff
  • Coe-Brown's Jelasa Nelson hugs assistant track coach Tim Toscano after placing second in the 55 meter dash at at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  <br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff
  • Merrimack Valley's Nancy Taban ran the 55 meter hurdles at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Taban won the race with a time of 8.72 seconds.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff
  • Belmont's Joseph Boles races in the 1500 meter run at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Boles won with a time of 4:17.97.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff
  • Coe-Brown's Brooke Laskowsky begins the 600 meter run at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Laskowsky placed sixth with a time  of 1:45.83.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff
  • Coe-Brown's Elisabeth Danis, front, and Meg Scannell run the 1500 meter race at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Danis placed fourth and Scannell placed sixth.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff
  • Coe-Brown's Hannah Parker hugs her cousin Ian Cabral, 4, after she finished running the 4x400 meter relay at the Division II Indoor Track and Field championships at Dartmouth College on February 2, 2014.  Coe-Brown placed third.<br/><br/>ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff

HANOVER – Right from the first event, Coe-Brown showed it was the team to beat. Not only were the Bears the defending Division II girls’ indoor track champions, but they had just won the opening event, the 4x800 relay, in a D-II record time.

It was the first of many strong performances for Coe-Brown and the Bears left no doubt as to who deserved the title, scoring in 10 events and winning three to tally 81 points, nearly doubling runner-up Oyster River (42) and third-place Lebanon (36). A Merrimack Valley squad featuring only three athletes, but plenty of talent, surprised the field with 29 points to finish fourth, ahead of Hollis-Brookline (28), Souhegan (27.5), Milford (26) and Monadnock (20), rounding out the top eight.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Going in we had a pretty good feeling that we were going to win, but things can change in the blink of an eye,” Bears Coach Dave Zink-Mailloux said.

That was the case when Katie Scannell, the third leg on the 4x800, took the baton and brought her team from third to a tie for first and relay anchor Hannah Parker crossed the line in 9:45.82 for the division record.

Although to an outsider it might look like Coe-Brown, fresh off a cross country season as the New England champion and five consecutive divisional running championships (indoor and outdoor track and cross country seasons), there were some questions as to whether the team, which thrives on an abundance of talented distance runners, could recover from an extended season and then be ready to compete for the indoor season.

“I actually had a meet in Providence where I took the cross country girls and some of our sprinters, just to build that team chemistry and it really seemed to work because they really had a fun time. That was where I knew, ‘Okay, we’re all set, we’re good and the season is going to go as we hoped it would,’ ” Zink-Mailloux said. “Up until that point it was 50/50, because they (the distance runners) only had five weeks of training versus the nine everybody else had, but they’re so strong and so focused, even that five weeks was more than enough.”

Parker, in her first indoor track season, won the 1,000 (3:00.42) and finished third in the 300, while Mary Fowler (fifth 600), Brooke Laskowsky (sixth 600) and Scannell (fourth 1,000), who “was one of the highlights of the day,” according to Zink-Mailloux, scored points individually as well as contributing on the record-breaking relay. Elisabeth Danis started the day with a second-place finish in the 3,000 and still had enough left in the tank for a fourth-place finish in the 1,500 and to run on the third-place 4x400 relay with Parker, Laskowsky and Fowler. Alli Pratt (sixth 1,000) and Meg Scannell (fifth 3,000, sixth 1,500) also scored in the distance events.

“It was so cool, I was so happy all of us could start off that well,” said Parker of breaking the 4x800 record. Parker later battled with Oyster River’s Maegan Doody in the 1,000, just beating her by half a second to claim the win. “My strategy was just to stay on her for as long as I can and then kick it at the end.”

Danis was also in a tight race with Hollis-Brookline’s Emma Newton before falling back in the final three laps of the 3,000.

“I pushed it a little too hard too early (in the 3,000) … in the 1,500 I was just trying to place and score for the team, I was trying to give whatever I had left for that race. It was exhausting,” said Danis, adding that, “it’s such an honor to win again … and the competition in New Hampshire is great. We don’t just come in and expect to win, it’s something we have to work hard for every time.”

Outside of the distance events, the Bears scored plenty of points, with Jelasa Nelson finishing second in both the 55 dash and the long jump, while Alley Savioli completed her second undefeated season in the shot put (also was undefeated in the 2013 outdoor season), winning yesterday’s event with a toss of 37-11½.

Merrimack Valley doesn’t boast the depth that Coe-Brown has, but showed it, too, has a talented girls’ team, scoring 29 points between only three athletes, with senior Nancy Taban winning the 55 hurdles in 8.72 seconds, successfully completing a comeback from a torn ACL during the prelims of the 55 hurdles during her sophomore year.

“We circled this day on the map two years ago, knowing it takes a full year or more to recover from a torn ACL … It wasn’t her cleanest race, but for her it was a mentally gritty race today, ’cause she had to get this one done and in the books,” MV co-Head Coach Bob Mullen said. “I told her two years ago we would sit back and reflect on this one day and say, “Wow, we’re back,” and that’s exactly what we did today.”

“It feels amazing. I’ve worked so hard to be here and it feels great,” said Taban, adding that, “I was very careful and very smart with the things I did (in training).”

Immediately after the hurdles, Taban finished fifth in the 55 dash and with some more recovery time grabbed fourth in the 300. Freshman phenom Kristie Schoffield placed third in both the 1,500 and 3,000, running negative splits, and Mary Mullen, who sustained a finger injury in a basketball game Friday night, still pulled out a sixth-place finish in the shot put.

The Pride also had the distinction of being the top local boys’ team in D-II. Lebanon (69.5), Portsmouth (65) and Souhegan (53) took the top three spots, but MV tied for fourth with Monadnock at 21 point each. Belmont finished 12th with 12 points, Bishop Brady (8) was 16th and Kearsarge (6) tied for 17th.

Local individual winners included Belmont’s Joseph Boles, who followed up last year’s 1,000 indoor title by winning the 1,500 this year in 4:17.97 (a school record), outkicking his opponents down the stretch. Brendan Polichronopoulos won the 600 (1:24.7) to lead MV to fourth place.

“I finished third behind two seniors last year (in the 600) and I was really looking forward to that and then a lot of people qualified in front of me, so I was really hungry for it,” Polichronopoulos said after the race.

Polichronopoulos also was on the second-place 4x800 relay that finished second in 8:19.96, which would have set a division record, but was bested by .01 seconds by Portsmouth. Keegan Hanks (sixth 1,000), Walker John and Carter Saltmarsh also were on the 4x800 that broke their personal best by 25 seconds. The same quartet comprised the fifth-place 4x400.

“We challenged them to step it up and stop reading the battlenotes and just put it on the track. And you know what? They did that. They flushed their seedings … I’m proud of all of them,” Mullen said of both his boys’ and girls’ squads.

Boles and Bruce Zimmer (fifth shot put) scored for Belmont, while Warren Bartlett took 2½ seconds off his personal best to place second in the 1,000 for Bishop Brady’s points. Reed Bell (fourth 300) and Shane Corley (fifth 1,500) scored for Kearsarge.

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