Race Schedule: Middle School Girls 9:00am, Middle School Boys 9:30am, JV Girls 10:00am, JV Boys 10:40, Varsity Girls 11:15, Boys Varsity Race 11:50
This Year: Coaches can register and run up to 9 in the varsity races
Course Video Preview
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Runners to Watch: Maegan Doody (Oyster River), Elisabeth Danis (Coe-Brown), Alli Pratt (Coe-Brown), Susan Poore (Windham), Brooke Laskowsky (Coe-Brown), Katie Schmitt (Oyster River), Julia Cormier (Coe-Brown), Sadie Lingelback-Pie (Hanover)
The Black Bear Invite looks to be a great mid-season test of some of the top teams in the state, including 4 currently ranked teams: #2 Coe-Brown, #4 Bishop Guertin, #5 Hanover, and #8 Oyster River. There are also a couple teams looking to break into the rankings, most significantly Windham.
Coe-Brown is coming off their first loss to a NH team since 2012. Look for them to bounce back rather strongly on their home course. Look for a pretty tight battle between Bishop Guertin, Hanover and Oyster River. While the Bobcats will most certainly benefit from Maegan Doody’s 1 point, can the remainder of Oyster River’s scorers finish close enough to Bishop Guertin’s and Hanover’s tight packs to move up in the rankings. Hanover’s key will be how close their #5 scorer can be to their top 4 who had a pack time of 30 seconds at Manchester Invitational. Bishop Guertin seems to be very similar. They posted a pack time of 25 seconds for their top 4 at Rhode Island’s Ocean State Invitational 2 weeks ago.
Individually, Oyster River’s Maegan Doody is coming off a NH course record and Manchester Invitational record of 17:41 at Derryfield, so the question will be how fast can she go on CBNA’s rolling course. She holds the current course’s record, BUT can she roll fast enough to take down the MEET record held by Hanover’s Georgia Griffin, 17:45 set back in 2008. Coe-Brown’s Elisabeth Danis quietly posted an 18:19 at Derryfield, so look for her to be leading the chase pack.
Look for Coe-Brown’s Pratt, Laskowsky and Cormier, along with OR’s Schmitt, Windham’s Poore, BG’s Ntengeri and Hanover’s Lingelback-Pie to be among those chasing Doody and Danis. With good weather predicted a few days out, this is looking like a another fast year!
Runners to Watch: Patrick O’Brien (Oyster River), Nick Brown (Kennett), Hunter Miller (Kingswood), Evan Tanguay (Coe-Brown), Andrew Cabot (Plymouth), Jackson Brannen (Goffstown), Matt Caron (Windham), Neville Caufield (Oyster River)
Oyster River (NH-4) won the 2012 and 2013 Black Bear Invitationals utilizing tight packing while lacking a true star front runner. To the contrary, Coe-Brown (NH-3) did possess the top harrier in the state and individual champion in Jeremy Brassard, but did not claim the team title in those years. Well it seems as if the Route 4 Rivals have switched positions. In 2014, the first season after Brassard graduated, Coe-Brown employed pack running to not only take the Black Bear but also D2. This compared to OR now having a majordomo in Patrick O’Brien, last year’s individual champ, who is quickly rising to the top of NH. Who is the favorite to take this year’s team title? While CBNA seems to be a bit banged up, the last 3 years, the team with the better pack time were the victors.
Other teams to watch include Hanover, Goffstown, Windham, Kingswood, Kennett and Phillips Exeter Academy, who will be making their Black Bear debut. Each have fast runners who will represent in the front pack, so it will come down to everyone’s 2-5 scorers.
Individually, look for O’Brien to pull away over the second half of the race. Question will be how fast can he cover the course after being in the 15’s the last 2 weeks. Look for a group of red jerseys from CBNA as well as Nick Brown (Kennett), Hunter Miller (Kingswood), Andrew Cabot (Plymouth), Jackson Brannen (Goffstown), Matt Caron (Windham), and Neville Caufield (Oyster River)
See you all Saturday!