Bellows Falls has a long tradition in the decathlon. Russ Nauceder (1982), Fred Waryas Jr. (1985 and 1986), and Dammy Mustapha (2009) have all won the men’s individual title over the four decades the event has been held in Vermont.
Now you can add a new name to the list.
DJ Snide won the 41st annual Jerry Jasinski Vermont State Decathlon on June 13 and 14 in Burlington. A junior who won state titles earlier this month in the high jump and 110 and 300 meter hurdles, Snide excelled in the track events and held his own in the field events to win the men’s individual title for the Terriers with a total of 5,219 points.
Even more so than the Olympic event, the decathlon is a true test of skill and versatility among high school track & field athletes.
Most specialize in one or two track & field events over their high school careers. Sprinters don’t usually throw the shot put, and discus throwers don’t usually try running hurdles. But in Bellows Falls, track team members are encouraged to be as versatile as possible, with an eye toward being in this annual meet.
Decathletes do the 100 meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400 meter run on the first day, then finish up on day two with the 110 meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and a 1,500 meter run.
On day one, Snide was second in the 100 in 11.7 seconds, fourth in the long jump (18 feet, 10 inches), first in the shot put (37-10), tied for 25th in the high jump (5-1), and was 12th in the 400 (55.26).
Snide then started day two with a win in the 110 hurdles in 15.21 seconds, and followed with a seventh in the discus (95 feet), a 20th place finish in the pole vault (8 feet, 6 inches), a 10th in the javelin (120 feet, 11 inches), and a 37th in the 1,500 (5:18.77).
Three other BF boys competed in the decathlon. Sophomore Shane Clark was 11th with 4,497 points, while senior Nate Fairbrother was 28th with 3,807 points and senior Chris McKeen was 33rd with 3,649 points.
Together, they gave Bellows Falls a second place team score in the event. Mount Mansfield won with 290 points, while BF was not far behind with 265. There were 76 competitors from 16 schools in the men’s event.
Clark had five top-10 performances, finishing third in the javelin (139-8), sixth in pole vault (9-11.75), ninth in discus (89-4) and 10th in long jump (18-3.75) and shot put (34-5.75). Fairbrother’s best showing was a sixth in the discus (95-1) and an 11th in the shot put (34-2.75). McKeen took sixth in the pole vault (9-11.75).
Bellows Falls also had several competitors in the women’s decathlon.
Ninth-grader Brigid Hodsden was 26th with 3,331 points, while junior Keri Ticino was 28th with 3,262 points and ninth-grader Halley Covillion was 34th with 3,021 points. They combined for an eighth place finish for the Terriers.
Ticino finished second in the pole vault (8-6), ninth in javelin (87-4), 14th in discus (59-9) and 22nd in the 100 hurdles (19.63), while Hodsden was 11th in the 100 hurdles (18.05), 18th in shot put (22-5.75), 19th in pole vault (6-5.5), and 22nd in javelin (69-1).
Covillion tied for eighth in the pole vault (7-5.25), was 16th in shot put (23-0), 21st in the 100 hurdles (19.56), 24th in discus (55-4) and 25th in javelin (64-9).
St. Johnsbury was the team winner in the women’s event, which featured 61 competitors from 22 schools.
Local athletes impress at New Englands
• The New England Interscholastic Championship Track & Field meet was held June 11 in New Britain, Conn., and Brattleboro and Bellows Falls both sent sizeable contingents to the event.
• In the girls’ 4x800 relay, the Brattleboro foursome of senior Catey Yost and ninth-graders Liz Morse, Ellery Loggia, and Sarah Gallagher finished 29th in 10:45,86, while the BF team of junior Fallon Vancor, sophomore Reaghan Baldesaro, and ninth-graders Sophia Hyslop and Megan Banik were 30th in 11:16:48.
Brattleboro’s Kai Boyd finished 19th in the girls’ javelin with a throw of 111 feet. BF’s Kari Ticino tied for 21st in the girls’ high jump, clearing 9 feet, and was 30th in the javelin with a toss of 93 feet, 6 inches.
• In the boys’ events, Brattleboro sophomore Jasper Reed finished seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 43 feet, 3 inches.
The Brattleboro boys’ 4x100 relay team of senior Tyler Clement, sophomore Isiah Gilbeau, Reed and ninth-grader Orion Stone were 22nd in 46.69, while the 4x800 relay team of seniors Dan Burdo and Jonah Koch, junior Spencer Loggia, and sophomore Isaac Freitas-Eagan also finished 22nd in 8:22.97.
Brattleboro’s Jonah Goldenbird competed in the high jump, but did not place, while Reed (20 feet, 4 inches) and Burdo (19 feet, 5 inches) were 10th and 23rd, respectively in the long jump. Jon Lonardo was 28th in the javelin (107 feet, 5 inches).
BF’s Shane Clark was 14th in the discus with a throw of 147 feet, 5 inches, while teammate DJ Snide warmed up for his decathlon victory with a 25th place finish in the boys’ 300 hurdles in 43.26. He competed, but did not place, in the triple jump.
Teammate Chris Doucet tied for 16th in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 11 inches. Doucet also competed in the high jump, but did not place, while ninth-grader Reno Tuttle was 27th in the shot put (40 feet, 0.5 inches) and 24th in the discus (114 feet, 11 inches).
Streeter, Ognenoff play in Twin State Baseball Classic
• Zac Streeter of Bellows Falls and Sam Ognenoff of Brattleboro were both selected to the Vermont squad that played in last Saturday’s Twin State Baseball Classic at Lyndon State College.
They were among 18 Vermont seniors from 14 different schools that were selected for the team, which played two games against a New Hampshire all-star team. BF coach Bob Lockerby was selected to be part of the Vermont team’s coaching staff.
Vermont and New Hampshire split their two games. In game one, New Hampshire rallied in the bottom of the seventh to win, 6-5. Vermont won the second game, 3-2.
Local collegians on the diamond
• Few consider Vermont a hot bed of baseball talent but, according to the Vermont Baseball Coaches Association, there were more than 70 former Vermont high school players on NCAA Division I, II, or III college baseball rosters this season, including three local players.
George Molner of Twin Valley pitched for Fairfield University, the only local player to land on a Division I roster. In Division III, Mike LaBeau of Bellows Falls pitched for Castleton University, while his former BF teammate Colby Howe pitched for New England College.
Be safe on the water
• The Vermont State Police Marine Division is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for ensuring the safety of public recreation on Vermont waterways. In addition to enforcing marine laws, the division provides education programs designed to make the waterways safer, according to a news release.
With boating season in full swing, the Vermont State Police Marine Division would like to remind boaters of the following state boating laws:
• Those born after Jan. 1, 1974, must have successfully completed an approved boating-safety education course to legally operate any motorized vessel, including a personal watercraft.
• All vessels must carry a U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable personal flotation device (PFD) for each person on board. This includes canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards.
• All children under the age of 12 must wear a USCG-approved PFD while underway on the open deck of any vessel.
• An operator must stop his or her vessel when signaled to do so by a trooper wearing an identifying insignia or by a state police vessel sounding a siren or displaying a blue light. It is unlawful to fail to stop or attempt to elude the trooper. The trooper has the authority to stop and board vessels to check for compliance with state and federal laws.
• To legally operate a vessel propelled by a motor on the public waters of Vermont, the vessel must have a Vermont Certificate of Registration and validation sticker.