EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 24, 2013

Sports in a Minute

Dave Dyer
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Honor for Dunham

At the recent USA Track and Field annual meeting, Bradford’s Dave Dunham was presented with one of the coveted President’s Awards for his contributions to running.

Dunham was cited for being a founding member of the USATF Mountain, Ultra & Trail (MUT) Running Council, founding the New England Mountain Running Circuit and being a staff member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team from 1992 to 2009. He also has served as the race director for many trail and snowshoe races, including the annual Merrimack River Trail Race.

Also, of course, Dunham is an outstanding runner at virtually any distance, but the longer the better.

Merrimack nabs Harris

Merrimack College softball coach Jim Cardello announced seven recruits for the 2014-15 season, one of whom is Londonderry first baseman/outfielder Samantha Harris. She does not have startling statistics for the Lancers, but her play in summer ball as a member of the Granite State Gamers impressed Cardello.

“Sam brings a powerful bat to our team,” said Cardello. “She has dedicated herself as a softball player to perfecting her swing to maximize her ability.”

Also a field hockey player for the Lancers, Harris plans on majoring in sports medicine.

The free race

The Andover Striders, in association with the Winners’ Circle Running Club, will once again be presenting the Annual Run to the Beach 30K. It’s March 16, starting at 10 a.m. at the VFW on Route 125 in North Andover and finishing at the Winners’ Circle Sports Bar in Salisbury.

What’s unique about this “race” is that it’s free and not really a race at all. It’s more of a good training run, with plenty of hills, in preparation for the Boston Marathon or any other race. The unofficial records are 1:50 for men, 2:00 for women, but that’s hardly important.

There are no awards, numbers, T-shirts, charities or even registration. But it’s a good, fun workout and shouldn’t be missed.

Nicoll ranked No. 4

Former Timberlane heavyweight standout Brian Nicoll of Plaistow, a senior at Rhode Island College, has considered — due to injuries — giving up on wrestling during his collegiate career. But he’s probably happy that he decided to stick with it.

Nicoll is ranked No. 8 in the nation and No. 1 in New England at 285 pounds. He is 9-1 with nine takedowns, six escapes, one near-fall and three pins.

One prolific passer

Passing statistics have proliferated over the last decade or so, but it’d be hard to match Texas high schooler Travis Quintanilla. In the 2A playoffs, he threw for a whopping state record 712 yards to carry Refugio High to a 73-72 victory. He has four-year totals of 13,405 yards and 178 touchdowns.

New Year races

For local runners wanting to ring in the New Year with a bang, there are at least two choices — the popular Hangover Classic 5K and 10K races in Salisbury, starting at 11:30 a.m., and the Millennium Mile in Londonderry. That gets underway at 2 p.m.

Charitable Lancers

First-year Londonderry coach Nate Stanton is taking the entire basketball program this morning to the New Horizons in Manchester, donating clothes and food, volunteering in the soup kitchen and taking a tour. Stanton wants to show his players how others will be spending their Christmas and how fortunate we are.

“I want my players to help others, build character and not take things for granted,” said Stanton.