With over 50 teams participating at Dartmouth Relays this past weekend, qualified Oyster River athletes on the indoor track and field team, had a chance to compete with some of the most talented athletes in the northeast.
Dartmouth Relays is a two day meet, with most unseeded events on Saturday, and the majority of the seeded events on Sunday. A select group of student-athletes from Oyster River High School (ORHS) qualified to compete in one or more events on Sunday, traveling to Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. On the girls’ side, ORHS finished the meet tied 21st out of 56 teams. On the boys’ side, ORHS tied for 18th out of 54 teams.
The girls totalled 10 points, coming from Evelyn Fisher (‘20) and Jennifer Nadig (‘21). In the 55 meter hurdles, Fisher’s time of 9.14 seconds finished 3rd out of a total of 55 competitors, which led to 6 points towards the team’s score. With a time of 43.11 seconds, Nadig finished 4th out of 91 runners in the 300 meters, giving the team an additional 4 points.
On the boys’ side, Sidonio LaBelle-Brown (‘20) scored the majority of the points along with Andy O’Brien (‘21), with a total of 11 points. O’Brien competed in the 2 Mile Championship race with 19 total runners. O’Brien finished 6th with a time of 9:47.31, scoring 1 point for the team. LaBelle-Brown scored 10 total points, 8 points in the high jump and 2 points in the triple jump. The high jump championship had 13 boys, and LaBelle-Brown placed 2nd by jumping 1.87 meters. He finished 5th out of the 21 boys in the triple jump championship, jumping a total of 12.94 meters.
Nadig had a positive outlook on the team’s performance this past weekend. “I think everyone on the team did amazing. They tried their best and were super supportive. It’s still early in the season and the team ran some good times.” Nadig added, “Dartmouth Relays were a lot to take in since there is so much competition and good athletes. It was a bit nerve racking, but in the end, it was a fun experience.”
Although O’Brien believed the team performed decently, he thought there was definitely room for improvement. He added that going into the race he had high expectations. “I wanted to try and win the race, and I made a move to win with five laps left, but I was having serious stomach problems the last few laps which impeded my plan.”
Despite not having the race he wanted, O’Brien said he was happy to have had the opportunity to place well individually and score for the team, especially with the competitiveness of this meet. “The competition was definitely there. The winner [of the 2 mile championship] ran a crazy race.”
As reigning Division II State Champions, the girls side has high hopes for the rest of this season, despite losing some members of last year’s winning team. “I think the girls team is pretty strong. Even though we lost our top three sprinters, we still have a lot of good athletes that will help us get scores at states […] Hopefully we can win another state championship since our team is really strong this year,” said Nadig.
The boys finished 3rd place at the Division II State Championship last year, and hope to place well again this year. O’Brien is confident in the team’s ability and looks forward to the rest of this season, along with the upcoming year. “The future of the team is in good hands, as I head into senior year excited to see what’s ahead.”
Coming up for the boys team is the Boys’ New Hampshire Wildcat Relays this Thursday, January 16th. For the full team, those who have qualified will compete Saturday, January 25th at Exeter Academy.
Written by Zak Jones
Photo by Runner’s Alley