The 42nd 2015 New Hampshire Middle School Cross Country Championships will be held at Londonderry High School this Saturday starting at 11:30. There will be ten races throughout the day concluding in order with the Girls Small and Large School Championships, followed up by the Boys Small and Large School Championships.
Just like last year, the Girls Small School Champion is the most difficult to predict. Who will step up and spearhead their team to victory. The battle now seems to be between several teams that include Hopkinton, 2014 Champion Deerfield, Northwood, Litchfield, Hampstead, Boynton, and Chester.
Individually, Manchester Invitational Champion Addison Cox of Northwood is the returning state champion. After a runner-up finish at the Black Bear Invitational to home school Caroline Fischer, she got back to her winning ways by capturing her second straight Southeast League Championship. Tri County Division 3 Champion Hailey Doherty of South Meadow, Nashua Catholic’s Haley Schmitt, Hampstead’s Meghan Cross, Litchfield’s Gigi Gallagher, Deerfield’s Serena Britos and Tri County Division 4 Champion Samantha Hughson of Boynton will be battling out for their team’s low numbers.
In the Girls Large School race, after winning the Middle School Manchester Invitational, Hillside girls of Manchester look ready to challenge last year’s Girls’ Large School Champions Amherst. Tri County Division 2 Champions McLaughlin still has a formidable squad and should make it quite a race. Seacoast League Champions CMS and Ross A. Lurgio should round out the top 5 teams.
Individually, Tri State Champion Carly Rinko of Ross A. Lurgio, Kateyn Pepin of Hillside and Morgan Nault of McLaughlin should be the front runners. CMS Grace Mercier, Seacoast League Champion Portsmouth’s Angela Hagstrom and Keegan Pepin of Hillside should make this a very close finish.
Defending Boys’ Small School Champion Deerfield will be looking for its fourth state championship Saturday. After winning The Black Bear, Ocean State and the Thetford Woods Vt. Invitational, it will face a stiff challenge from the really deep Seacoast League Champion Oyster River. Northwood will give a legitimate challenge boasting perhaps the best top three in the state. Hampton Academy and Boynton should round out the top five teams.
After winning the Thetford Woods, Manchester and Black Bear Invitational, individually Deerfield’s Southeast League Champion Ryan Devine is the race favorite with teammate David Cook hot on his heels. Tri County Division 2 Champion Carson Bottomley of Hollis Brookline, Hampton Academy’s Noah Taracena, Northwood’s Aidan Cox, Oyster River Myles Carrico and last year’s top returnee Jake Velazquez of Chesterfield will make this a very intriguing race.
Last year’s Boys Large School Champion and 2015 Manchester Invitational Champions Londonderry will face a tough battle from Keene for the team title. They faced each other earlier in the year with Keene winning a close one at the Milford SAU40 Cross Country Race.
Top runners in the Boys Large School Race will be defending 2014 State and 2015 Seacoast League Champion Will Coogan of CMS, Tri State Champion Matthew Griffin and Ryan Young of Londonderry, Nico Ramirez of Keene, Mason Silk of Amherst and Elm Street’s Christopher Keefe will compete to make this perhaps the race of the day.