Dube dominates as Kearsarge sweeps D-III track and field championships

  • Kearsarge’s Mya Dube competes in the 800 meters at the Division III Track & Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday. Dube won three individual events and was part of a winning relay team to lead the Cougars to their first championship in program history. SCOTT FITZGERALD / Kearsarge Athletics

  • Kearsarge’s Mya Dube competes in the 1,600 meters at the Division III Track & Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday. Dube won three individual events and was part of a winning relay team to lead the Cougars to their first championship in program history. SCOTT FITZGERALD / Kearsarge Athletics

  • The Kearsarge boys’ and girls’ track & field teams pose with their championship trophies after winning their respective meets at the Division III Championships at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday. SCOTT FITZGERALD / Kearsarge Athletics

Monitor staff
Published: 5/25/2019 10:36:51 PM

DURHAM – When the Kearsarge track teams realized they both had a realistic chance at winning Division III titles, the Cougars committed to stretching themselves. When Mya Dube realized that her team could make history, she stretched herself even more.

Dube, a junior, ran an almost-unheard of combination of events, committing to run the 800-, 1,600-, and 3,200-meter races. Somehow she lived up to her No. 1 seed in all of them, and anchored the winning 4x400 relay for good measure, helping Kearsarge to its first girls’ track team title school history on Saturday at the University of New Hampshire.

The Kearsarge boys also reaped the rewards of stretching by winning their fourth title in the last seven years.

Although Dube’s individual victories provided 30 points, it took efforts from several athletes to help the Cougars accrue 80 points to secure the title over runner-up Inter-Lakes (49). Conant was third with 45 points, followed by Stevens (45) and Newfound (40).

The Kearsarge boys, behind an ensemble cast of top finishes, scored 68 points to earn the crown over Campbell (57), Trinity (48) and White Mountains (43).

Hillsboro-Deering’s Ben Ketterer won the 100 (12.01 seconds), the long jump (20-7¼) and finished second in the triple jump to lead the H-D boys’ team to 38 points and a fifth-place finish.

Winnisquam provided the other three area titles with Hunter Hinxman winning the 200 (24.17), and the 4x800 relay team of Kyle Mann, Riley Mann, Evan Griffin and Dylan Robert winning in 8:22. Winnisquam’s Shannon Goodwin won the girls’ discus in 90-5.

Although Capital Area athletes had several excellent performances and Meet of Champions qualifiers (by finishing in the top three of an event), it was Dube and her teammates, and their willingness to push themselves beyond their limits, that turned heads on Saturday at UNH.

“I’m still wrapping my head around that we won both,” Kearsarge coach Ernie Brake said amidst a raucous celebration on the Wildcat Stadium infield.

“We thought the girls had a chance this year, but it wasn’t just Mya,” Kearsarge head coach Ed Rehor said. “We needed throwers, we needed others … but as the boys’ season went along, things started to come together for them.”

“We hadn’t been talking about it,” said Kearsarge senior Ben Boulton, who finished fifth in the 1,600 and sixth in the 4x800 with Trevor Pauling, Aidan Kellogg and Tom Lick. “We just focused on running our races and trying to improve, but last week (after winning the Wilderness League Championship) we were like, ‘We have a shot, we’re going for it. Everybody is going all-in.’ ”

“They all really wanted it,” Rehor added. “We asked Mya if she wanted to be out (of an event) and she said, ‘Nope.’ She didn’t want to be out. Same with Ben (Boulton) and Eddie (Stowell) and our freshman JJ (Davis). He was sick as a dog for a while today, but they all wanted to go for it. Their attitude was, ‘if (the coaches) wanted us in it, we would be in it.’ ”

Although Dube was attempting an ambitious quartet of events, she went about it tactically with the help of Brake (who works with the distance runners and is the Kearsarge cross country coach), first winning the 1,600 (5:07.78), then the 800 (2:20.90), then the 3,200 (11:38.83) and finally the 4x400 (4:12.99) with Kate Cochran, Avril Prak and Lili Baer, in relatively conservative times.

“She ran smart,” Brake said.

“We had been talking about (doing four events) for a while,” Dube said. “It was kind of a rush (between the 800 and the 3,200), although it was worse between the 1,600 and the 800.”

Despite the challenges Dube faced, she had teammates doubling and tripling up on events alongside her, with Baer (second 3,200, fourth 1,600), Jenna Bears (fourth 3,200) and the sixth-place 4x800 team (Marlia Richer, Baer, Bears and Ada Gardner) also scoring in the distance events. Senior Avril Prak (third 400, fifth 200), senior Megan Roy (fourth shot put and discus) and freshman Kate Cochran (third 100 hurdles, sixth 300 hurdles) provided balanced scoring.

For the Cougar boys, Davis posted the fastest time in the 100 prelims (11.85 seconds) before settling for second in the 100 finals (12.03) and posting a runner-up finish in the 400 (52.10). Senior Ben Corbyn (second 110 hurdles, third high jump, fourth pole vault), junior Ed Stowell (third 400, fifth 800), sophomore Berhan Kidane (third triple jump, fifth high jump) and senior Max Salathe (fifth pole vault, sixth javelin) all scored in multiple events.

The second-place 4x100 team (Corbyn, Davis, Stowell, Kidane) and the fourth-place 4x400 (Stowell, Davis, Pauling, Corbin Montminy) also provided valuable points for Kearsarge.

Other top area competitors on the girls’ side were Hopkinton’s second-place 4x800 of Anna O’Reilly, Sydney Stockwell (sixth 800), Cailey Stockwell (fifth 1,600) and Cate Westbrook, as well as the fourth-place 4x400 (O’Reilly, Megan Ellsworth and the Stockwell sisters) and Jessie Carney in the javelin (third).

The Hawks finished 12th, right in front of 13th-place Belmont.

Belmont was led by the second-place 4x100 of Sana Syed (third 300 hurdles), Jada Edgren, Sylar Ruelke and Gabrielle Day, and Alice Riley (fifth 3,200, sixth 1,600).

Abby Shagena (sixth triple jump) scored the lone point for 23rd-place Bishop Brady.

On the boys’ side, Ketterer also anchored the fourth-place 4x100 with Jordan Berrocales, Thomas Grammitt and Cameron Jones for the fifth-place Hillcats, while Charles Veitch (fourth long jump, fifth shot put) also placed well.

Zach Ennis (second 800 and 1,600), Aidan Rupp (fourth 300 hurdles), Lucas Mathieu (fifth 200) and the second-place 4x400 (Nolan Gagnon, Micah Edgren, Eddie Mann, Ennis) led Belmont to seventh place, while Winnisquam tied Gilford for 12th behind scoring efforts from Robert (fifth 800) and Hixman (sixth pole vault).

Samuel Tuck (third 100) scored all of Franklin’s points, leading the Golden Tornadoes to 17th.

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