The 13th Annual Battle of the Border race between Massachusetts and New Hampshire will be held on October 8, 2016. This year’s race, once again held at Alvirne High School in Hudson, New Hampshire, is looking like it will be hard fought, matching some strong teams and individual runners from both states.
Representing New Hampshire will be Bishop Guertin, Campbell, Hollis-Brookline, Londonderry, Manchester Central, Milford, Merrimack, Nashua South, Salem, and Pelham. Massachusetts will be represented by Andover, Groton-Dunstable, Lowell, Marshfield, North Andover, and Tyngsborough
On the girl’s side, the top eighteen runners from last year’s varsity race should be returning, which promises to make this race an exciting rematch of last year’s contest. Look for the freshman phenom BG’s Caroline Fischer as the favorite. After rolling to a course record 18:12 at the hilly CBNA course, the question arises of just how fast Fischer can roll on the flat Alvirne course. Lily Voke of North Andover, MA (18:57) will be hoping to remain the individual champion once again, but will face Fischer as well as a tough race from Massachusetts’ Emily Wilson from Groton-Dunstable, MA (19:03) and Tyngsborough, MA runner Jaylan Fraser Mines (19:25), as well as Alvirne’s Katie Bellomo (19:09) and Jessica Fontaine (19:28), both of whom were New Hampshire’s top female finishers last year. Possibly competing for a top spot will also be Manchester Central’s Keegan and Katelyn Pepin, Milford’s Rebecca Durham, Concord’s Jennika Mannesto, Merrimack’s Grace Corbett and Bailey Carrillo, and Winnacunnet’s Kelly Aresenault and Lauren Connolly.
Team wise, New Hampshire’s Bishop Guertin (NHXC #3) looks to be the favorite here; however, Alvirne (NHXC #4), last year’s team champion at the Battle, will be looking to defend their title. They both will be challenged by strong teams from Manchester Central (NHXC #8), Merrimack (NHXC #9), and Concord (NHXC #10). Massachusetts’ Tyngsboro, who is currently ranked 6th in the D2 Mass state poll, has a strong chance to take the team title as does Andover, who is ranked 18th in D1.
For the boys, last year’s individual champion, Alvirne’s Kendall Westhoff is now running at UMass-Amherst, but senior Noah Bellomo (16:02), who came in second in 2015, is looking like he could take the win coming off of a strong performance two weeks ago at the Manchester Invitational. Marshfield’s Andrew Lamb (16:24), Massachusetts top individual finisher at the race last year, could challenge Bellomo for the title as could Londonderry, NH’s Chris Zaino, who placed 3rd in the Large school race in Manchester. Concord’s Jamie Wilkes, who placed 4th in the same race, and Forest Mackenzie, who placed 5th also represent threats to the individual crown. Campbell’s Jeffrey Allen (16:29), who placed 8th at the Battle last year, is expected to also contend for the individual title.
Concord (NHXC #1) should be the favorite to win this year’s team title while Londonderry (NHXC #7), Nashua South (NHXC #10) will attempt to challenge. For Massachusetts, last year’s state champion and current 3rd ranked team, Lowell High School, despite bringing mostly their JV runners, could do well. The strongest Massachusetts contender to take the team title might be Marshfield, who is ranked 5th in the most recent Division 1 state poll.
2:30 Freshman Boys
3:00 JV Girls
3:40 JV Boys
4:15 Varsity Girls
4:45 Varsity Boys