High schools: Clachar shines for Coe-Brown at D-II Indoor Track Championships

Monitor staff
Sunday, February 04, 2018

HANOVER – Orion Clachar is one of the fittest athletes coach Dave Zink has seen don a Coe-Brown uniform, and nothing – not even four races in a span of about 45 minutes – was enough to wear him down.

Clachar lived up to his top seed in the 55 hurdles, winning the title in 7.91 seconds and outperformed in the 55-meter dash and the 300, leading the Coe-Brown boys to fourth place at Sunday’s Division II Indoor Track and Field Championship at Leverone Field House at Dartmouth College.

“He’s always been one of our top fitness-level athletes,” Zink said. “He does a lot of work in the offseason and at home. That’s the key to his success.”

Clachar supplied 15 of Coe-Brown’s 33 points and the Bears also got a boost from the first-place 4x800 relay. Merrimack Valley (26) rounded out the top five.

Windham (79 points), Portsmouth (53) and Oyster River (41) were the top three teams.

Belmont (15) finished 11th and Kearsarge (10) tied for 13th behind Ben Corbyn’s victory in the high jump.

Entering the season with a talented, but young roster filled with newcomers and key senior leaders in Clachar and Evan Tanguay, Zink figured the Bears were looking at a sixth or seventh-place finish.

Coe-Brown blew those expectations out of the water from the first event, as a trio of freshmen – Luke Tkaczyk, Wyatt Mackey and Porter Heigis (sixth in the 600) – along with Tanguay, outdid their fourth seed in the 4x800, winning in 8:37, 12 seconds faster than their previous best.

“It was phenomenal,” Zink said. “It was better than we had hoped.”

Then Clachar took the track for the first of what turned out to be six races, winning his preliminary heat of the hurdles in 8.06 seconds, as expected.

What was not expected was his time of 6.83 seconds in the 55 dash, immediately after the hurdle trials, to qualify for the finals.

“It surprised me how well he did in the dash trials,” Zink said. “He didn’t have the best start, but he didn’t panic.”

After a relatively brief break to watch Tanguay finish third in the 3,000 (he also finished sixth in the 1,500), Clachar was right back on the track for the finals.

“When I qualified for the finals in the dash, I decided to take the finals of the hurdles a little bit easier to conserve myself,” Clachar said. “So I did what I needed to do to win and focused on the dash finals after that.”

Clachar’s time of 8.06 was still the fastest time in the prelims and his “conservative” finals time of 7.91 seconds was only .03 seconds slower than his personal best.

“The coaches are great at getting us to peak at the right time,” Clachar said. “(My training) has been building up all season and I knew today I had a shot at it. I also want to give a shout out to my father. He’s been more of a coach outside of school. I couldn’t be here without him.”

Immediately following the hurdle finals, Clachar smashed his No. 11 seed in the 55 dash with a fourth-place finish in an even faster time of 6.79 seconds and still had enough left in the tank to finish sixth in the 300 (he was seeded ninth) and anchor the 12th-place 4x400 relay at the end of the meet.

“It was a great season. These guys like to have fun,” Zink said. “It’s fun to be around them. They had a lot of great energy.”

David Reynolds (second 3,000), Isaiah Shedd (fourth 1,000) and Camden Donovan (fifth high jump) scored for MV, which also got support from the third-place 4x400 (Herman Nixon, Dylan Lessard, Christian Oglesby and Matt Lyle) and 4x800 (Lyle, Oglesby, Matt Reynolds and Shedd).

Hunter Dupuis (second 300), Nick Randos (third 1,000) and the sixth-place 4x200 (Hunter Dupuis, Connor Dupuis, Marc Forgione and Ian Remenar) scored for Belmont.

Coe-Brown was also the top team on the girls’ side, finishing sixth with 19 points.

Freshman Addison Cox and Ella Malone joined sophomore Sophie Laird and senior Elly McDonough on the runner-up 4x800 relay and senior Kathleen Collins finished third in the shot put.

Laird (fourth 600) and McDonough (sixth 1,000) also scored individually, while Cox (seventh 1,500) and Malone (seventh 1,000) just missed out on scoring in their other events.

Souhegan (67) defended its title on the girls’ side with Milford (65), Manchester West (49), Portsmouth (43) and Oyster River (36) rounding out the top five.

Belmont’s Sana Syed and Merrimack Valley’s Kaitlyn Covell finished second and third in the 55 hurdles and tied for 13th in the team standings with Campbell and St. Thomas with eight points each.

MV also had scoring from the fifth-place 4x400 made up of Covell, Emma York, Nicole Considine and Theresa Irving.

Division I

Concord competed in the Division I Championships at Dartmouth on Sunday afternoon and senior Matt O’Brien came away with a victory in the 1,000 for the boys and sophomore Grace Devanny won the 300 for the girls.

The Tide boys tallied 53.33 points, but ran into some steep competition, finishing fifth.

Pinkerton (90.33), Nashua North (68.33), Bedford (66), Winnacunnet (58) and Concord easily outpaced the rest of the field.

O’Brien won the 1,000 in 2:41, one second ahead of teammate Colin Conery in a 1-2 sweep.

“Matt ran a really smart race,” coach Hayden Daly said. “He put the race away with about 300 meters to go and never looked back.”

Forest MacKenzie (third 3,000 and fourth 1,500), Eli Boesch-Dining (fifth 3,000 and sixth 1,500) and Josh Adams (third 600) also scored points in the distance events.

One of the other bright spots for Concord was the second-place 4x200 relay of Sam Orzechowski, Kyle Hill, Nate Hillyer and Dalton Mutz, whose time of 1:35.64 was just .43 seconds behind the winners from Pinkerton.

“Our handoffs were great and the boys ran their tails off,” Daly said.

Hillyer also tied for fourth in the high jump and Manny Felix finished third in the 55 hurdles to complete Concord’s scoring.

The Tide girls tied for eighth with 16 points and Devanny accounted for all of them with her win in the 300 (41.88 seconds) and third-place finish in the 55 dash.

“Grace made All-State and then showed us how talented she is at this meet,” Daly said. “She is one tough competitor.”

Pinkerton (86), Exeter (59) and Nashua (55) were the top three teams.