GORHAM, Maine — Senior Sam LiPetri and junior MacKenna Whelan had the best individual performances from the Winnacunnet High School girls track team at Sunday’s Seacoast Championship meet at the University of Southern Maine.
Exeter won five events and easily outdistanced the eight-team field with a total of 81 points. Portsmouth was second with 53 points and was followed by Oyster River (42), Sanborn (35), Winnacunnet (26), Coe-Brown (25), Spaulding (18) and St. Thomas Aquinas (8).
“We had some really good efforts,” Winnacunnet head coach Richard Osborne said. “Exeter is loaded, I think they will win Division I this year; it will be a battle as Guertin and Pinkerton will put up a fight. Exeter is loaded, though, they have everything; they have throwers, jumpers, hurdlers, relays and distance kids. They have everything, they are really good. Sanborn, to me, was a surprise. We didn’t expect them to finish fourth, they have some quality kids.”
LiPetri placed second in the 600 in a time of 1 minute, 44.02 seconds and Whelan was third in the 3,000 (5:45.33). LiPetri improved her time in the 600, and is now ranked third in Division I.
The foursome of LiPetri, senior Tess Rodgers, freshman Kylee Quinlan and senior Kennedy McCarthy was fourth in the 4x400-meter relay in a time of 4:19.23.
“We killed our best team of the season,” Osborne said in reference to the relay.
LiPetri ran a 64-second opening leg, while Quinlan had the fastest split of 63.5.
“(LiPetri) ran a pretty fast leg and (Quinlan) is a talent,” Osborne said. “We had a really good day.”
Winnacunnet also placed fourth in the 4x200; sophomore Jessica Proulx, junior Haley Blaisdell, sophomore Brenna Bushe and senior Taylor Nydam placed fourth in a time of 1:59.03.
Winnacunnet had four in the top 10 in the shot put led by sophomore’s Morgan Kelley who placed sixth with a throw of 28 feet. She was followed by seniors Nikki Tredwell (seventh, 27-07.5) and Molly Maynard (eighth, 27-05) and junior Grace Baker (10th, 26-2.5).
All four qualified for the open qualifying meet later this month. Both Tredwell and Kelley had personal-best throws. Osborne credits that improvement to volunteer coach George Jump.
“He’s made a really big difference for those shot put kids,” Osborne said.
Proulx was fourth in the long jump (15 feet, 3.5 inches), while sophomore Olivia Binette was sixth in the 3,000 (12:11.63).
Proulx’s jump, a near 3-foot improvement from her previous best, qualified her for the open meet.
“She’s really a hard worker, she deserved it,” Osborne said. “This is her first year at track, and she’s going to get better and better. It will be fun to watch her develop.”
Other top 10 performances were turned in by Quinlan (1,000, seventh, 3:27.76), junior Alexis Quinlan (1,000, eighth, 3:28.34), Nydam (300, ninth, 47.02), Blaisdell (300, 10th, 47.09)
Other top 20 performances were from Whelan (1,500, 11th, 5:45.33), Nydam (high jump, 11th, 4-02), sophomore Kaitlyn Lennox (300, 11th, 48.59), McCarthy (600, 11th, 1:49.07), Rodgers (600, 12th, 1:49.86), sophomore Kendall Leuven (1,500, 12th, 5:51.12), Maynard (long jump, 13th, 13-09), sophomore Sarah Peirson (1,500, 15th, 6:15.99), and sophomore Callie Kendellen (long jump, 17th, 13-02.5).
Osborne is taking five kids to Saturday’s Dartmouth Relays, while the rest of the team will be at a league meet at the University of New Hampshire.
LiPetri, Rodgers and McCarthy will compete in the 600 at the Dartmouth Relays, while Kylee and Alexis Quinlan will compete in the 1,000. LiPetri, McCarthy and the Quinlans will run in the 4x800-meter relay.
Osborne hopes a few of his athletes who are close to qualifying for the open meet will meet the standard. Such girls include Proulx (55), Kristen Gyorda (55 hurdles), Eva Willcox (600), Katie Lennox (300), Blaisdell, Nydam and Hannah Kelley in the 300.