High schools: Devanny paces strong showing from Concord track at D-I meet

  • Concord’s Grace Devanny was a standout for the Crimson Tide track and field team on Friday during the Division I championships at the University of New Hampshire. She’s pictured here in 2018 in Merrimack. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor file

  • Grace Devanny

  • Manny Feliz

  • Eli Boesch-Dining

  • Sarah Waite

Monitor staff
Published: 5/24/2019 10:48:19 PM

DURHAM – The Concord roster looked like a complicated puzzle at the beginning of the season, but when the pieces came together in Friday evening’s Division I Track and Field Championship, the final picture was even better than what the Tide thought it could’ve been.

Concord senior Grace Devanny captured two titles, including her fourth 400-meter crown in four years, to lead the girls, junior Manny Feliz and senior Eli Boesch-Dining had second-place finishes for the boys, and a slew of athletes outperformed their expectations on both sides, helping the Concord boys’ team finish fifth and the girls’ team sixth at University of New Hampshire’s Wildcat Stadium.

“You always hope you show up to the state championship and peak,” Concord coach Hayden Daly said. “The fact that most of them did is pretty satisfying. Many kids outperformed their seeds … there’s kids who showed today with huge breakout performances. I’m pretty happy.”

As expected, Exeter (117 points) and Pinkerton (97) ran away with the top two finishes on the boys’ side, while Bedford (47), Merrimack (46), Concord (44) and Nashua North (38) rounded out a tightly contested top six.

Exeter also won the girls’ title (90 points), comfortably ahead of the rest of the top seven – Nashua South (58), Bishop Guertin (54), Salem (47), Pinkerton (45), Concord (41) and Nashua North (40.5).

But nobody in a Crimson Tide uniform was upset with how the team fared, especially Devanny, who won the 400 meters in 56.40 seconds (1.23 seconds ahead of the runner-up) and the 200 in a personal-record time of 25.13 seconds, in addition to running a leg on the fifth-place 4x100 and anchoring the eighth-place 4x400.

“I’m used to doing a lot (of events) in a meet, but I was just trying to focus on my personal bests,” Devanny said. “I knew my relay teams are so strong they would help me out if I was struggling a bit.”

Devanny, who generally puts more focus into the 400, the event she finished third in at New Englands last year, now has something to think about looking ahead to next weekend’s Meet of Champions and beyond.

“I usually come into every meet wanting to do better in the 400, but today I felt a lot better in the 200,” Devanny said. “I felt a lot more energized.”

Among the breakout performances Daly referred to included a strong day from the young girls’ distance runners.

Sophomore Morgane Orcutt stayed in the lead pack of six the whole way en route to a fourth-place finish, while freshman Abby Goulas scored in the 1,600 thanks to a sixth-place finish.

Junior Sarah Waite finished third in the 200, fourth in the 100 and anchored the fifth-place 4x100 (51.03) with Kayleigh Doherty and Samantha Ossoff, while senior Hannah Barton finished fourth in the pole vault to round out the girls’ scoring.

The boys also had a string of breakout performances, starting with the 4x800 of Fisto Ndayishimiye, Martin O’Sulivan, Eben Bragg and Ryan Devine, which finished second in the first event of the day, before Feliz took the track for the 110 hurdles.

Feliz won his preliminary heat in 14.91 seconds before finishing second in a personal-record time of 14.78 seconds in the finals, up a couple of places from last year’s fourth-place result. He also finished fifth in the long jump and anchored the third-place 4x100.

“I had a meeting with the coaches where we talked about learning to look at the process of how to actually work for a time, instead of looking for the time itself,” Feliz said, “so I was pretty happy with that.”

Feliz, whose older brothers have won several Division I titles between them – his older brother George holds the 110 hurdles school record – also had another local source of inspiration.

“I’ve also got one of my favorite coaches back, (World Cup skeleton competitor) Kyle Brown,” Feliz said. “He was out for a couple of years, but he is back now and he’s been pushing me a lot harder.”

Boesch-Dining also outperformed his seed, running a personal-best 9:21.65, and challenged the heavy favorite, Winnacunnet’s Colin Donnelly, who won in 9:21.02.

“That was pretty exciting,” Boesch-Dining said. “I was not expecting much, but I PR’d by 10 seconds. I usually try to hang back and catch people at the end. I wasn’t expecting at all to beat (Donnelly), so I was happy.”

Senior Forest MacKenzie finished fourth after leading the 3,200 most of the way, while the Concord distance crew also received points from Brayden Kearns (fourth 1,600) and Ndayishimiye (fifth 800).

Nick Richards (sixth 300 hurdles) and Liam Devanny (sixth javelin) also scored individually, while Nicholas Snyder, Alex Galatis and Devanny joined Feliz on the scoring 4x100.

According to Daly, the girls’ lineup and relay teams became clear around the middle of the season, whereas the points still had a few questions right up to the championships, including what to do with the abundance of talent in the distance events.

Daly thought about having some of the distance runners double up on events in an attempt to score more points, but ultimately decided against it when Concord’s top 1,600 runner, Aidan O’Hern, became injured and was unable to compete at the D-I meet, limiting the Tide’s ability to match Exeter and Pinkerton.

But luckily for the Tide, the season is not over, with the top three finishers from each event in each division automatically qualifying for next weekend’s MOC, alongside the top performers from throughout the season.

Baseball

Exeter 6, Concord 3

Key players: Concord – Sean McDonough (3⅓ IP in relief, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K), Trevor Smith (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Kyle Hill (hit, run), Zach Miles (hit, run), Eric Sullivan (hit, RBI), Tommy Duhaime (hit), Cam Thompson (double)

Highlights: Concord took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, but Exeter answered with five in the bottom of the third.

Coach's quote: “We gave up six runs with two outs today and that was the story of the game. We now need to get ready for the tournament.” – Concord’s Scott Owen

Records: Exeter 15-3; Concord 16-3

Pembroke 5, Merrimack Valley 2

Key players: Pembroke – Ryan Ardine (5⅓ IP, W, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 H, 1 K), Cam Nixon (1⅔IP, save), Hayden Drew (2-for-3, SB, RBI), Cove Boucher (1-for-3, 3 RBI, double)

Highlights: The Spartans took a 1-0 lead in the first and made it 5-0 in the fourth, the rally highlighted by a three-run double from Nixon. The win gives Pembroke a chance of sliding into the Division II tournament.

Records: Pembroke 7-9; Merrimack Valley 9-7

Bow 10, Manchester West 0 (5 inn.)

Key players: Bow – Riley Elliott (3 IP, W, 2 H, 4 K, 0 BB; 3-for-3, 3 RBI), Nick Kiah (2 IP, 0 H, 2 K, 1 BB; 3-for-3, 3 runs), Steven Guerrette (3-for-3, 4 RBI, 3 runs), Connor Blandini (2-for-4, run), Matt Hamilton (2-for-3, 2 runs), Ben HArris (2-for-4, RBI)

Coach’s quote: “We played well tonight to end our season on a high note. Everyone made solid contact at the plate and we strung a few hits together. It was good to see from top to bottom of the lineup. A little rest and a lot of prep for the tournament.” – Bow assistant coach Dennis Ordway

Records: Bow 15-2; West 1-17

John Stark 13, Pelham 2 (6 inn.)

Key players: John Stark – Brett Patnode (2-for-5, double, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 2 runs), Aaron Robertson (3-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 runs), Rian Queen (3-run HR), Jake Cole (2-for-3, 2 runs, SB), Austin Hazzard (4 IP, W, 0 H)

Highlights: The Generals fell behind 2-0 early, but they exploded for 13 unanswered runs to put this one away an inning early.

Coach's quote: “Nice bounce-back and close-out to the regular season today. We got a lot of at bats and some big hitters got their bats rolling again today after a little lull. Proud of how well our team played this season, but there’s a lot of baseball still to be played.” – Stark’s Dennis Pelletier

Records: John Stark 14-2; Pelham 4-12

Bishop Brady 8, Hopkinton 6

Key players: Bishop Brady – Connor Treybig (6 IP, W, 4 ER, 10 K; 2 hits, 2 RBI); Tom Daly (1 IP, save, 2 K, 0 ER), Jack Compton (double, 2 RBI), Pat Brust (double, 2 runs)

Highlights: After Hopkinton jumped on top by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first, Brady answered with one in the bottom of the second, took the lead with five runs in the fourth and pushed it to 8-2 with two more in the fifth. Hopkinton rallied to push four across the plate in the sixth, but Daly shut the door in the seventh for the Giants.

Coach’s quote: “Hopkinton is a good baseball team. Connor hung in there for a solid six innings and Tom did a great job in the seventh. Hopefully this win gives us a home playoff game first round.” – Brady’s Skip Foy

Records: Bishop Brady10-6; Hopkinton 13-4

Belmont 10, Prospect Mountain 0

Key players: Belmont – Brett Auclair (7 IP, W, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K; 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 runs), Austin Didsbury (2-for-3, BB, 2 SB, RBI, run), Cam Magerer (1-for-3, 2 BB, RBI, 2 runs), Colby Brown (1-for-2, 3 BB, SB, 2 runs)

Highlights: Auclair was extremely efficient with all of his pitches, throwing 77 pitches in a seven-inning, complete-game effort.

Coach’s quote: “As has been the case all year, we were not led by the output of one or two guys, but a full team effort. We feel good about where we are in our play as we enter what should be a very competitive playoffs.” – Belmont’s Matt LeBlanc

Records: Belmont 14-2; Prospect Mountain 6-9

Softball

Merrimack Valley 12,
Pembroke 0 (6 inn.)

Key players: Merrimack Valley – Sadie Barton (4 IP, 9 K, 2 H; 2-for-3, 4 RBI), Kinley Gaudette (2 IP, K, 0 H), Miah Boucher (2 hits), Sadie Merrow (2 hits), Lauren McLaughlin (2 hits), Molly McLaughlin (2 hits)

Highlights: The Pride plated one in the first and ballooned its lead to 6-0 in the third on its way to the home.

Coach's quote: “Good performance all around to end the regular season and celebrate our three seniors. We now turn our attention to the tournament.” – MV’s Sam York

Records: Merrimack Valley 13-3; Pembroke 8-8

John Stark 9, Pelham 1

Key players: John Stark – Izzy Nelson (7 IP, W, 10 K, 1 H), Lilli Stogner (3-for-4, 3-run HR), Brooke Patnode (2-for-3, walk)

Highlights: The Generals, who played error-free defense, were holding a slight 2-0 lead in the sixth when Stogner connected for her home run to spark a six-run inning.

Records: John Stark 13-3; Pelham 8-8

Bishop Brady 6, Hopkinton 0

Key players: Brady – Jayden Johnson (7 IP, W, 4 K, 2 BB, 0 ER, 6 H; 3-for-4, RBI, run), Ami Rivera (2-run HR), Kat Weed (2 hits, run), Abby Santis (RBI single, run), Isabella Rivera (single, run); Hopkinton – Julia Baer (2-for-4), Maurgan McGrath (1-for-2, nice defense), Megan Blanchette (2 ER allowed), Katie Meserve (triple), Angelica Pasquale

Highlights: Rivera’s two-run home run in the third started the scoring, and the Giants plated two more that inning after some Hopkinton errors.

Coach’s quote: “Not the way we wanted senior night to go – we seemed a little fazed at times. Brady took advantage and is a solid team.” – Hopkinton’s Dan Meserve

“Today wasn’t our best execution, but we took advantage of their mistakes with some aggressive play. Ami got us on the board with her two-run bomb over the left-center-field fence and Johnson had another great pitching performance.” – Brady’s Freddy Rivera

Records: Brady 13-3; Hopkinton 12-4

Boys’ Lacrosse

Merrimack Valley 12, John Stark 4

Key players: Stark – Kayden Easter (G, A), Cam Fortin (G, A), Peyton Marden (G), Logan Beliveau (G)

Coach’s quote: “We started slow today and it has dogged us all year when we do. It’s tough to dig out of a hole. The good part is that in spite of that we still have a reason to practice next week to get ready for a playoff game. We’ll be ready.” – Stark’s Howie Roever

Records: MV 10-4; John Stark 8-6

Hopkinton 14, Gilford 1

Key players: Hopkinton – Colby Quiet (5 G, 2 A, 16 GB), Steven Benson (3 G, A), Allan Faulkner (2 G, 2 A), Paul Molnar (2 G, A, 7 GB), Corey Breault (3 A), Ryan Hughes (great defense, 5 GB), Cole Johnson (great defense), Thayer Maughan (great defense, 4 groundballs), Kiernan Byrne (great defense, 3 GB), Benny Madden (6 saves)

Highlights: Both teams played a solid first quarter and Hopkinton held just a 2-1 lead going into the second. That’s when the Hawks solved Gilford’s zone defense and built a 5-1 halftime lead they would extend throughout the second half as they dominated on faceoffs and ground balls.

Coach’s quote: “Today was a great team effort, and we did a fine job of finding each other on the clear and on offense. The seniors in particular stepped up on their senior night, and played an impressive final regular season game. We are looking forward to the playoffs and are hungry for three more wins.” – Hopkinton’s Deacon Blue

Records: Hopkinton 13-1; Gilford 5-9




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