“Let’s Go NEW HAMPSHIRE!” was the battle-cry heard moments before the boys race and was the prevailing feeling among Granite Staters competing, coaching and spectating at the 81st New England Championships held at Thetford Academy in Vermont. Thetford presents some unique challenges, from its congested, funnel-like start to it unrelenting rolling hills. Thetford is arguably the toughest, but most true cross country course in New England.
The Coe-Brown Girls and Pinkerton Boys were up for the challenge as both NH’s #1 ranked teams gamely took on the heavy favorites in their respective races. It was ladies first this year, and the Lady Bears could not quite catch LaSalle of Rhode Island placing runner-up for the second consecutive year and 3rd time in the last 4 years. This showing seemingly completes a 5-year run of 3rd-2nd-1st-2nd-2nd for Coe-Brown. Racing in third position most of the course, Elisabeth Danis led CBNA with a 5th place finish, highest in school history. She was supported by the 20 second pack time from their 2-5 runners which was led by All-New England Alli Pratt’s 23rd place finish. Brooke Laskowsky placed 33rd, Meg Scannell 36th and Julia Cormier 42nd to round out their scoring.
The Pinkerton Girls made it 2 NH teams in the top 4 with their spirited pack performance. Led by freshmen Jordan Vaillancourt’s and sophomore Maison D’Amelio’s 27th and 29th place finishes, the Trail Blazers had a 39 second pack time to post their highest finish at a since 1998. Also scoring for the Trail Blazers were Morgan Sansing 37th, Ciara April 43rd, and Arial Vaillancourt 53rd.
Individually, as expected, Staples, Connecticut Hannah Debalsi (18:20), looking effortless, took home her 3rd consecutive individual title. Danis was NH’s top finisher in 5th, as Bedford’s Leya Salis placed an impressive 7th. Exeter’s dynamic duo of Jacqueline Gaughan and Violet Sullivan placed an incredible 13th and 15th respectively. Reigning New Hampshire 400 meter champ, Merrimack Valley’s Kristie Schoffield, completed a phenomenal season placing 21st and the aforementioned CBNA’s Pratt rounded out NH’s contributions to the All-New England team. NH State Champion, Oyster River’s Maegan Doody battling an illness this week started the race but dropped between the 2k and 3k.
On the boys side, the Long Red Line, led by NH’s top finisher Nick Sevilla’s gutsy but patient 4th place finish placed a close second to also heavily favored LaSalle of Rhode Island. With Noah Davis’s 14th and Jeff Reddy’s 21st place finishes, the Astros sported 3 on the All-New England team. Also scoring were Tom Hanlon 42nd and Calvin Graves 72nd. This was a great improvement from last year’s 8th place finish and first podium finish since the 2009 squad’s 3rd place.
Londonderry (NH-2) placed a strong 7th and were led by All-New England Cam Dickson’s 23rd and Noah Shrank’s 29th place finishes. Also scoring for the Lancers were Jared Kane 50th, Chris Zaino 133rd, and Declan Hotter 154th.
Individually, LaSalle’s David Principe became only the 2nd boy to ever break the 16:00 barrier at Thetford to win in 15:48. Sevilla was NH’s top finisher with NH State Champion Cam Daly placing 13th overall. Joining Davis, Reddy and Dickson on the All-New England team were Divison 1 Champ Liam Kimball, who placed 19th, and Alvirne’s Noah Bellomo who placed 25th.
Congratulations to EVERYONE on another great season of New Hampshire Cross Country! We are looking forward to the All-State Banquet. so coaches do not forget the meeting at Londonderry tomorrow!
RI – 1, 5, 6, 8, 10 = 30
CT – 2, 3, 7, 9, 15 = 36
NH – 4, 13, 14, 19, 21 = 71
VT – 11, 26, 46, 71, 84 = 238
ME – 20, 47, 55, 61, 82 = 265
CT – 1, 3, 6, 9, 10 = 29
RI – 2, 4, 14, 16, 18 = 54
NH – 5, 7, 13, 15, 21 = 61
ME – 12, 17, 20, 38, 54 = 141
VT – 8, 34, 46, 62, 65 = 215