By Liz Haas
Traditionally, at the practice before the state meet, head track and field coach Tim Clark brings the entire team together to give some words of wisdom and motivation. This year, his most helpful idea was not allowing a single competitor to utter the “h-word” before they had finished their events. The “h-word” was “hot”: everyone knew the temperature would be climbing to around 80 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the day. However, Coach Clark did not want the Hanover athletes to get too caught up in wondering why the weather was not perfect to run a personal record (pr), or to think about the humidity while running lap after lap in events like the four-lap mile and the eight-lap two-mile.
What no one knew was that in addition to the heat and humidity, there would be further complications to overcome.
The day began with a bang as the jumpers and throwers began the preliminary rounds in the hopes of qualifying for the finals. The meet sped along—the state meet is known to go by quickly, since only the most elite athletes qualify to compete—and by the girls’ two-mile, it was nearly an hour ahead of schedule. That was when the weather decided to turn.
During sunny, humid lap six of the girls’ two-mile, thunder was heard. Luckily for the athletes racing, they were allowed to finish the remaining two laps of the race. Unfortunately, the boys’ two-mile was not allowed to proceed. In accordance with the rules of the NHIAA (New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association), the meet was postponed by thirty minutes, and all competitors were relocated to the Milford High School gym. As the rules state that the meet must be postponed for half an hour after each occurrence of thunder, the athletes were kept in the gymnasium for nearly an hour and a half.
Finally, the meet was resumed, and the last three races of the day—the boys’ two-mile and the boys’ and girls’ four-by-four hundred-meter relays—were completed.
The track and field team left for Milford at seven a.m. and did not return to Hanover High until after eight p.m. But despite the long day, the team took on and “slaughtered” the competition. Joe Carey placed second in the mile and fifth in the eight hundred, which guarantees his participation in the Meet of Champions next week. Noah Williams will be joining Carey at the meet next Saturday, having secured a fifth-place finish in the two-mile, an impressive feat for a sophomore. Isaiah Fariel and Trey Rebman placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the long jump, and Roland Herrmann-Stanzel will also be advancing with his fourth place in the javelin.
Hanover girls also placed well in the competition. Aidan Bardos placed first in the eight hundred, qualifying her for next week’s meet. Leah Eickhoff was fifth in the mile and fourth in the two-mile, allowing her to potentially compete in two events this Saturday. Senior Emma Rosen tied for third place in the pole vault, and senior Emily Nice’s triple jump of thirty-five feet and seven inches won her second place.
After the Meet of Champions, Bardos, Carey, Nice and Rosen will continue on to New Englands, where they will compete in the eight hundred-meter run, sixteen hundred-meter run, triple jump, and pole vault, respectively.
Neither Hanover team brought home a states championship plaque; however, all the athletes put everything they had into their races without complaint, even in the face of adverse weather conditions. This is what sports are all about: giving it your all without complaint, whether you are ranked number one or number fifteen, and having fun while doing it.