On your mark, get set, GO! Track and field team members head to State meet in individual, relay events


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While the spring sports season is over for most NH athletes, a few elite competitors were gearing up for one final competition:  the state track and field meet, which was held at Morgan State University on Friday and Saturday, May 26-27.

Sophomore Blake De Kozlowski said he “was super hyped to be going to states again” and that he prepared for the meet by “practicing every day, getting a good night’s sleep, and keeping a good diet.”  The pole vaulter said he is hoping to do cross country this fall and he would like to qualify for states in more events next year.

After an end of season injury last year, Sarah St. Clair and could not compete in the State meet, but this year, she was back in action.  The junior pole vaulter said that she prepared for the event by continuing to practice and watch what she ate since her weight determined which pole she was permitted to use for vaulting.

Senior Robert Pekarek returned to the state meet one final time for pole vault.   “I was pretty excited and happy, but this will be my fourth time at states, so it wasn’t really much of a surprise,” said the veteran team member.  He commented that his goal was to clear 12 feet at the meet and to place in the top 5 in the state.    Like St. Clair, the senior added that in preparation for the meet he was “vaulting every day, trying his hardest, and eating right.”

Freshman Abby Kroener and Rachel Freeland alongside senior Valerie Taylor, and sophomore Natalie Jacobs, were all members of the 4×800 relay, which competed at the state meet as well.

Kroener said she was very excited but also very surprised when she learned she qualified for the state competition since it is “very rare for freshman to go to states.”  She added that her goal was to do the best that she could and that her team would “make it as far they could.”

Freeland also said that she was surprised and excited as well.  The freshman added that in addition to running well, she wanted to “have fun” at the meet as well.

“I was super excited. I was working really hard all season… I was really proud of myself for making a dream come true,” said Taylor on her state bid for the women’s 4×800 and the mile.  The athlete said she prepared for the state meet by “sticking it out at practice even though there are only a few of them left.” She said that since it was her last year, she was prepared to “put everything in it[the race].

Senior Charece Michel represented NH in the high jump at the meet.  Michel said she was “really surprised” about getting to states.   The athlete was seeded fifth in the region and admitted she felt a lot of pressure to get to the final meet.  Prior to this last meet, the senior said she prepared by continuing to jump daily and she also called on her former coach, Mr. Ryan Bayne, for some added assistance.  The athlete was hoping to clear 4’10” and added that she felt it was her form that was keeping her back, but said if she “could improve on her form [she] could get a higher height.”

The boys 4X800 relay also made it the big dance at Morgan.  The group included seniors Ben Nardi,  Will Sadowski,  George Schiminger, and junior Lane Kavanagh.

Kavanagh commented that the boys 4X8 team was so excited about making it to the state meet and that the group had “been working so hard all season.”  First time runner Sadowski agreed.  “Our hard work paid off,” the senior commented. Kavanagh joked that prior to the meet the group was “staying loose” and that their goal at the state event was “not to come in last.”  His long term goal is to get back to the state meet with “a solid 4×800 and maybe in the mile.”

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On your mark, get set, GO! Track and field team members head to State meet in individual, relay events