By Roger Brown
It's unlikely that anyone set higher goals for Saturday's Class I track and field championships than Milford's Dwight Barbiasz.
Barbiasz provided the afternoon's No. 1 highlight when he became the first New Hampshire high school athlete to clear 7 feet in the high jump. Barbiasz, a University of Maryland-bound senior, seemed to have the entire crowd's attention when he made it over the bar set at an even 7 feet on his third and final attempt at the height.
"I was just trying to focus on my jump, and then they announced what I was going for and everyone came over," Barbiasz said. "I kind of zoned everything out until I landed. Then I could hear them.
"I brought good speed to the bar. It felt smooth. It was like a perfect jump for me."
Barbiasz, who won the long jump later in the day, will attempt to better his state record in the high jump at this weekend's Meet of Champions, which features the top track and field athletes from all classes. After that he'll compete in the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Raleigh, N.C.
One day earlier, Pinkerton Academy's Bree Robinson set a state record in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 4 inches at the Class L track and field championships. Concord's Tina Guerin set the previous record (18-11½) in 1977.
Team champions from last weekend:
Class L boys: Manchester Memorial
Class L girls: Bishop Guertin
Class I boys: Lebanon
Class I girls: Lebanon
Class M-S boys: Sanborn
Class M-S girls: Hopkinton
Baseball: Welch Finishes Strong
Portsmouth High School's Tim Welch completed the Class I regular season the same way he started it – by tossing a no-hitter.
Welch, who throws left-handed, held Kingswood hitless in an 8-0 victory that improved Portsmouth's record to 19-0. He opened the season by throwing a no-hitter against Bedford.
"He walked the first (Kingswood) batter on four pitches and after that he was untouchable," Portsmouth coach Tim Hopley said. "He had it all and showed why he's one of the best in Class I and in the state.”
Welch didn't allow a run (earned or unearned) during the regular season. He allowed 10 hits and 14 walks in 39 innings. He recorded 63 strikeouts.
Portsmouth will be the No. 1 seed for this year's Class I tournament. Preliminary-round pairings for each of the state's baseball tournaments will be released this week.
Preliminary-round games will be played Thursday – one day after the state's softball tournaments start - at the home of the higher-seeded team.
Tennis: Hanover Ends Portsmouth's Streak
Although the Portsmouth boys tennis team entered the Class I championship match with a 33-game winning streak, it was clear that the Clippers hadn't faced a team as talented as Hanover.
The Marauders defeated the Clippers to win the Class I title, and did so in impressive fashion. Hanover swept all six singles matches to cap a 17-0 season.
The doubles matches weren't held since Hanover had already secured the victory. It was Hanover's fourth championship in the last five years. Portsmouth won the 2007 championship.
"We knew it would be an uphill battle, but we didn't know how steep it would be," Portsmouth coach Dana Levenson said. "Hanover is a deserving champion."
Third-seeded St. Thomas won the Class I girls championship by beating fourth-seeded Bishop Brady, 5-4.
The top-seeded Salem boys won the program's first Class L state championship with a 5-4 triumph over sixth-seeded Londonderry; and second-seeded Concord knocked off previously unbeaten Londonderry, 5-4, to win the Class L girls title.