LONDONDERRY — Betsy Garnick of Nashua's Bishop Guertin and Hillary Holmes of Exeter used Sunday's Meet of Champions competition at Londonderry as the latest stage for their friendly rivalry for superiority among girls' scholastic track and field athletes.
Garnick, who continues to amaze in the hurdles competition, topped her own Granite State record in the 100-meter hurdles with a best-ever 14.27, while Holmes, who ran second to Garnick, rebounded to win the 300-meter hurdles in 44.69.
In addition, Holmes won the long and triple jumps with leaps of 17-feet, 9.5 inches and 38-5 to emerge as the meet's only triple winner.
On the boys' side, sprinter Jerickson Fedrick of Salem, distance runner Dylan Lafond of Manchester Central and weight man Mike Lynch of Nashua North were double winners.
Garnick has had a strong spring season. Several weeks ago, the Cardinal junior posted a PR (personal record) of 14.36 in the short hurdles at the Loucks Games in White Plains, N.Y. Last week she won the Division I Meet in a state record 14.48.
“I think an athlete like Betsy comes along once in a coaching generation,” said her hurdles coach, Robert Desisto. “She is strong, coachable and loaded with natural ability.”
► Meet results from lancertiming.com.
Garnick credits her coach with her success.
“I've been making small adjustments, like bringing my front foot down faster, leaning at the finish, and bringing my arms in with my thumbs down,” said the state record-holder.
“She's changing little things that are adding up as her time is constantly improving,” said Desisto.
Holmes noted that Garnick is bringing her added success on the track.
“Betsy is great competition,” said the Exeter stalwart. “She brings out more in me. It's easier to PR when you have someone like her in front of you. The 100 hurdles is Betsy's race, and I'm still trying to improve. She's pushing me to the next level. I never thought I'd run in the 44s (300 hurdles, where she was the lone hurdler under 45 seconds).”
The Garnick-Holmes in-state rivalry may have ended with Sunday's meet. Garnick is focusing on competing in the heptathlon at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals later this month and may forgo the New England Scholastic Championships at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine, next weekend. At the Loucks Games, she set the pentathlon record with individual victories in the 100 hurdles, long jump and 800-meter run.
Holmes, meanwhile, is gearing to end her senior season with a NE appearance before competing in the New Hampshire Heptathlon.
“Hillary's main goal was to earn all-America in the pentathlon this past winter, and she did,” said her indoor coach, Joe Scascitelli. “Her spring goal is to win the state heptathlon championship and break the total points record.”
Holmes will further her academics and athletics at Cornell in the fall, so it may be several years before the two meet again on the track at the collegiate level.
Fedrick was on a private mission when he set himself into the blocks prior to his two races. Back in 2010, the Salem track and football standout won both the 100- and 200-meter sprints, but injury prevented him from competing last year. Sunday, he wanted those sprint titles once again.
“I had something to prove,” admitted the Salem senior who will prep at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut in September. “There were some real strong athletes in the heats, so I just wanted to compete. But people expect something from me, and I expect something from myself, too.”
Fedrick posted a 10.97 in the 100 and a 22.16 in the 200.
Lafond closed his high school career with victories in the 1600- and 3200-meter runs with times of 4:18.47 and 9:16.66.
“I wanted to win both races, but not worry about the times,” said the NH cross country champion. “I want to show a fast time next week at the New Englands in the 1600. I'm hoping to dip under 4:10, and then run the mile at the nationals.”