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MV’s Lindonen captures state decathlon title

John Lindonen (front row, center) of Merrimack Valley captures the state high school heptathlon title.

John Lindonen (front row, center) of Merrimack Valley captures the state high school heptathlon title.

John Lindonen of Merrimack Valley vaulted to the New Hampshire high school decathlon title … literally.

Trailing Pelham’s Kevin Cheam by 142 points at the start of yesterday’s competition, Lindonen finished an impressive fifth place in the 110 hurdles in 16.39 seconds, but Cheam’s 15.15 won the event and increased his lead to 300 points. Lindonen remained in contention with his discus throw of 75 feet, 3 inches, but it was his pole vault of 10 feet that nearly neutralized the deficit on his way to scoring 5,509 points to Cheam’s 5,433.

“I wasn’t really looking forward to the pole vault,” said Lindonen, whose highest vault in practice leading up to the decathlon was 9 feet. “But I was able to get 10 feet, which really lifted my spirits.”

Lindonen’s throw of 160-11 in the javelin and his time of 4:58.3 in the 1,500 put him on top in the final standings, making him the second consecutive Merrimack Valley decathlon winner, following Chris Bohi’s victory last year.

“It definitely feels nice to have two Merrimack Valley athletes win in a row,” Lindonen said. “To be honest, this really hasn’t even sunk in yet.”

Also placing well for MV were Brendan Polichronopoulos (23rd) and Keegan Hanks (25th). Results, C4

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