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Local track athletes shine at state championships

by Bob Martin
Sports Reporter - Gilford Steamer, WInnisquam Echo, Meredith News

Nine through 10-year-old boys start the 50 meter dash at the Granite State Track and Field finals. Courtesy Photo. (click for larger version)
July 03, 2017
PELHAM — The towns of Moultonborough and Meredith were well represented at the Granite State Track and Field Championships on June 23, with several young athletes taking away state titles.

For field events from Meredith, Brogan Donnelly was first in the boys' 9-10 long jump with a leap of six feet, four inches. Wyatt Buhrman narrowly missed winning the boys' 9-10 softball throw with a toss of 112 feet, two2 inches in the finals. Alex Adorno had a toss of 95 feet, nine inches to place seventh in the hammer throw.

From Moultonborough, for the girls' 11-12 softball throw, Katriana "Chewie" Gleeson had a winning toss of 124 feet, five inches.

For track events, from Meredith, Donnelly also won the boys' 9-10 50-meter dash with a time of 8.12 seconds. Buhrman was edged out by Donnelly and Exeter's Boden Lapierre, coming in third with a time of 8.14.

Donnelly continued his winning ways in the boys' 9-10 100-meter dash with a time of 15.44 seconds. Buhrman had a win in the boys' 9-10 400-meter dash with a time of 1:12.70. Coming in third was Trafton Taylor with a time of 1:17.89.

Other participants included Brooke Taylor who ran a time of 9.06, coming in seventh, in the girls' 9-10 50-meter dash. Finn Davis had a time of 8.79 seconds in the boys' 9-10 50-meter dash, giving him a seventh place finish. Keegan Snyder was right behind him with a time of 8.92 seconds. Snyder also had a ninth place finish in the 400 meters with a time of 1:21.29.

In the boys' 9-10 200-meter dash, Tagel Ort had a time of 34.64 seconds placing seventh. Aiden Snyder was just behind him in eighth with a time of 35.09 seconds.

The Meredith Parks and Recreation 4X100 relay "A" team for boys aged 9-10 came in second to Exeter with a time of 1:06.85. The "B" team came in fourth with a time of 1:08.14.

From Moultonborough, Gleeson had a time of 15.37 in the 100-meter dash for girls 11-12 placing seventh. Ryan Carroll came in fourth in the boys' 9-10 50-meter dash with a time of 8.40. He also came in seventh with a time of 16.39 seconds in the 100-meter dash. Brett Johnson was fourth in the boys' 9-10 400-meter dash with a time of 1:17.96.

Moultonborough Parks and Recreation Director Donna Kuethe has been involved with the event for many years. It began in 1977 by Hershey Foods, and it grew to all 50 states and beyond. She said it was a wonderful program that had a local and state contingent. The children who were winners in each district would get a trip to Hershey Park and were "treated like kings" by their staff. It also included a big national final event.

Kuethe commended Hershey for their generosity, saying they gave the Parks and Recreation department $3,000 a year to run the program. However, plans shifted and Hershey stopped the program.

Those at New Hampshire Recreation and Park Association were such big fans of the program that they decided to use it as a model.

There are two district meets in Rochester and Lebanon, and then top four finishers go to the state meet in Pelham. If someone can't make it they are replaced by the next best time. This year there were 29 communities represented, which included several children from Moultonborough.

"We are hoping to move it to the next level to have a northern regional in the next few years so we can have Vermont and Maine involved, but we haven't gotten there yet," said Kuethe.

Meredith Parks and Recreation Director Sarah Perkins said there were nine athletes in the state finals from Meredith. She said this was the biggest turnout for those who went on to states. While the state finals is for anyone aged nine through 14, the majority from Meredith were in the 9-10 range. Starting the year they had 26 athletes. She said everyone is invited to regionals and has the ability to qualify for states.

"There were a few who made it last year and had a goal of making it back again, and improving their times," said Perkins. "They all achieved that, which was really awesome."

She added, "Those who went, pushed themselves and did the best they could."

For more information log onto http://granitestatetrackandfield.weebly.com/.

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