The UNH men’s track and field team had a busy Saturday this past weekend. The team was split between a tri-meet with UVM and Maine, and the John Thomas Invitational at Boston University. The tri-meet took place here at UNH in the Field House on the Paul Sweet Oval indoor track, and the BU Invitational took place where the New England Regionals are held at: the Roger Lewis Track and Athletic Center.
The tri-meet was dominated by the Wildcats. Senior runners Joseph Hook and Nicolas Sevilla-Connelly took home first place victories in the 400-meter and 3000-meter runs respectively, while first-year runner William Curran took home the victory in the 1000-meter while setting a new personal best time of 2:32.59.
“The kids who were at home really battled and controlled their events,” said head coach Jim Boulanger of his tri-meet athletes. “It’s the kids that don’t always get to run at the front of the race, so I was very pleased with the kids that we had and how they performed.”
Outside of those first-place finishes, other Wildcats helped secure a victory by finishing right behind their faster teammates. Junior Jack Kennefick finished in second behind Joseph Hook in the 400 meter, and Alex Saveliev finished a minute and a half behind William Curran in the 1000 meter, earning UNH first and second place finishes in that race as well.
Switching events, sophomore Kevin McGrath and first-year runner Daniel Parker took first and second place finishes in the high jump. McGrath’s first place finish was thanks to a jump reaching 6’4” while Parker’s jump was a new personal best for him, which reached 6’2” . This earned him second place.
Senior Zachary Astle has had himself an amazing year so far as he has not lost a throwing event so far. That dominance continued into the tri-meet on Saturday as Astle swept the throwing events taking first place in both shot put (55’) and weight throw (58’7.25”).
“Zach came out of high school as one of the top New Hampshire kids… he has grown here and has gotten better in his throws. He’s gotten strong in the weight room. He’s very solid in the classroom. So, Zach has had a really good year,” said Coach Boulanger.
“Next week we’ll actually take him to the Millrose Games in New York… they’ll have nine of the best collegiate throwers out of New England, New Jersey, and New York there… so he’s ready to step it up another level.”
When asked about the 10 players that were sent down to Boston University to represent UNH, Boulanger said “I thought they performed solidly… we’ve got some residual tiredness from cross country. The two jumpers Jordan Buckmire and Nathan Hobbs, they’re very solid… I felt really good for Michael Monohan and Adam Spencer. They don’t get a lot of chances to run a 60-meter because we only have 55-meter in the Sweet Oval.”
Lastly, with the New England Regionals coming up this weekend, Boulanger elaborated on how his team in preparing.
“We have some new injuries so we may be scratching kids, but we’ll go into it with a team atmosphere… it’s going to be a chance for our kids to see how they stack up and how they’ll do hopefully in 21 days for the conference championships.”