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The 42nd New Hampshire Middle School State Cross Country Championships were held at Londonderry High School. With 3000 entrants and 10 races, this made for a very exciting day of racing. The weather was cool and mostly cloudy, so for a mid-October day, it was pretty much running heaven. The course was slightly changed from last year by removing the lap around the softball field to measure 2 miles in length. Trophies were given out to the winning teams and plaques to the top ten finishers in all of the championship races.
The Small School Girls Championship race was the first of four team scoring championship races slated for the day. 7th grader and defending state champion Addison Cox of Northwood ran an unchallenged wire-to-wire race to win in 12:35. The competition for second thru ninth was the real race where there were nine girls separated by nine seconds. Sophia Reynolds of Andover won the battle royal placing 2nd in 13:15 followed by Sophie Sullivan of Oyster River 3rd (13:16), Gillian Gallagher of Litchfield 4th (13:17), a pair of Deerfield runners Serena Britos 5th (13:17) and Caley Nault 6th (13:18). Hollis Brookline’s Lily Jackson placed 7th in 13:21 ahead of a pair of Hopkinton runners Sydney Stockwell 8th (13:22) and Anna O’Reilly 9th (13:22). Haley Schmitt of Nashua Catholic, (13:26), finished tenth.
Hopkinton Girls won the Girls’ State Championship with 58 points, Litchfield was second with 109 points, Deerfield 3rd 116 points, Northwood 4th 128 points, and Portsmouth 5th with 177 points. Winning team members for Hopkinton were, Stockwell, O’Reilly, Lilia Klinger, Cailey Stockwell, Addison Locke, Lily Sabol and Emma Roth.
The Large School Girls Championship was won by home schooler Caroline Fischer in 11:54. She controlled the race from start to finish, running the fastest time of the day by any girl. Carly Rinko of Ross A. Lurgio finished second in 12:11 ahead of Hillside sister sensations Katelyn Pepin 3rd (12:21) and Keegan Pepin 4th (12:28). Elm St. Grace Jones placed 5th (12:36), Morgan Nault of McLaughlin 6th (12:40), while Silvia Caddell of Woodbury 7th (12:55) just nipped Jessica Carrier of McLaughlin 8th (12:55), Charlotte Bausha of Mountain View School 9th 12:56 and Grace Mercier of CMS rounded out the top 10 in 13:07.
Hillside of Manchester won the Girls Large School State team championship with 89 points. The battle for second was very close with McLaughlin of Manchester placing 2nd with 101 points besting Amherst by only 3 points! Ross A. Lurgio of Bedford placed 4th 125 points and Londonderry was 5th with 143 points. Hillside’s winning team members included, The Pepin sisters, Ella Tartsa, Erin Flurey, Emma Krantz, Alexandra Topic, and Fiona Doherty.
The Small School Boys Championship was won by Jake Velazquez 1st 11:14 of Surry. He was the top returnee improving from last year’s third place finish. He ran a very strong race to defeat Deerfield’s Ryan Devine (11:21). Noah Taracena of Hampton Academy took the day’s second battle royal placing 3rd just outleaning Myles Carrico of Oyster River in 11:30. Deerfield’s David Cook took 5th (11:32) followed by Hollis Brookline’s Carson Bottomley 6th (11:34), Logan Patnode 7th (11:34), Northwood’s Aidan Cox 8th (11:38), and Boynton’s Dakota Somero 9th (11:42). and Eli Misavage (11:51) clinched tenth.
The closest team battle of the day was won by Deerfield. They won their 3rd straight State Championship and fourth in five years with 86 points, a mere two points better than Oyster River’s 88 point total. Northwood placed 3rd with 126 points, Hampton Academy 4th (148 points) and Boynton 5th (196 points). Deerfield winning team members were Devine, Cook, Brandon Richards, John Murphy, Joey O’Brien, Brayden Kearns and Shaun Fifield.
Keene Middle School’s Nico Ramirez ran the fastest time of the day winning the Boys Large School individual title in 11:13 over 2014 champion William Coogan of CMS, 11:16. The next four were all Londonderry harriers Matt Griffin 11:24, Ryan Young 11:36, Kerry Daley 11:39 and Will Heenan 11:43. Fairground’s John Sullivan placed 7th (11:45), followed by Woodbury’s Bradley St. Laurent 8th (11:52), Elm St. Christopher Keefe 9th (11:52) and Amherst Mason Silk rounded out the top ten in 11:53.
Londonderry defended its 2014 championship with 31 points by placing all 5 boys in the top 13 to beat Keene (58 points). Rundlett placed 3rd with 187 points, Elm St. 4th and Woodbury 5th with 214 points. Londonderry’s winning team members included Griffin, Young, Daley, Heenan, Nicholas Camuso, Levi Nezballa and Shane Ball.
Thanks always to Londonderry High School, Larry Martin and Lancer Timing for putting this very special event together for so many years for all of the New Hampshire middle school runners. Martin founded this meet back in 1973 in Raymond. The meet moved to Londonderry 9 years later. Let that sink in!! 42 years of selflessly organizing and directing a meet for middle school kids (often the overlooked in our world of high school and college athletics), which has grown to around 3000 entries year after year after year! Thanks Larry and crew!!! No one can do it better!