Manchester Invitational Meet Hub (Little Manchester Tab – videos, pics, results, and interviews will be posted here)
By Jim MacKenzie
The 2017 Manchester Middle School Invitational held on the 2.1 mile High school freshman course at Derryfield Park offered up some exciting competition among the 26 teams that comprised over 850 runners. With two time race winner Addison Cox of Northwood graduating a new champion would be crowned today.
After finishing fifth place last year Sophia Reynolds of Andover looked like she was up to task leading the race from start to finish winning comfortably in 13:27, the same exact time as Cox ran last year. Recently crowned Nashua Invitational champion Chloe Trudel of Amherst finished 2nd (13:32) along with teammate Masho Primmer (3rd 13:38). Amy Pattelena of Hollis Brookline (4th 13:45) edged out Milford’s Abbey Halloran (5th 13:45). Hillside’s Fiona Doherty (6th 13:47) was the first Manchester runner of the day. A pair Hopkinton runners Anna O’Reilly (7th 13:55) and Cailey Stockwell (8th 14:12) outdistanced Division III rivals Sophie Hopkins of Deerfield (9th 14:20) and Mary Joy of Northwood (10th 14:23). The race tightened significantly with the next five runners Milford’s Jona Velazques was 11th (14:25), Northwood’s Libby White (12th 14:25), Hillside’s Ella Tartsa (13th 14:26). Emily Hood of Hood was 14th and Londonderry’s Caroline Leone rounded out the top 15 in 14:29.
Last year’s team competition was settled by one point with McLaughlin beating DIII Champion Hopkinton. This year Defending DI Champion Hillside took top honors scoring 122 points. 2017 Nashua Invite runner-up Deerfield placed 2nd (145 points) just in front of Londonderry (3rd 148 points), McLaughlin (4th 155 points), 2017 Nashua Invite Champions Amherst (5th 186 points), Rundlett (6th 188 points) and Hopkinton was 7th with 202 points
On the boy’s side there was no question regarding who was going to win the race. The question was how much time was the 2016 Division III State Champion, 7th grader Aidan Cox of Northwood, going to take off of his course record time of 11:31 and could he actually break the freshman High School record time of 11:12 held by Chris Zaino of Londonderry.
Holding a blistering pace and running unscathed throughout, Cox finished 1st in a new meet record time of 11:21. Luke Brennan of WRB ran valiantly to place second in 12:13. Londonderry’s Tyler Kraft took home third place honors in 12:21 running ahead of two Southeast League rivals Lars Hogne of Strafford (4th 12:28) and Tyler Tkaczyk of Northwood (12:37). Quinn Booth of Hillside placed 6th in 12:45 to place first for Manchester runners. John Kotelly of Hollis Brookline (12:48) and Londonderry’s Will Plante (8th 12:55) were the last under the 13 minute barrier. Hillside’s Gavin Lins (9th 13:02), WRB’s Cade Reimer (10th 13:04), 2017 Nashua Invite Champion Deerfield’s John Murphy placed (11th13:06), Rundlett’s Matthew Lavoie (12th 13:08), McLaughlin’s Roman Carnevale (13th 13:11), Hampton’s Hunter Holland (14th 13:11) and Londonderry’s Jack Marshall (13:11) all secured a top 15 finish.
Last year, two of the arguably best teams ever in Middle School history waged war against each other here with 2016 DIII Champion Northwood winning by one point over 2016 Division I Champion Londonderry. This year was a different story line as Londonderry dominated the competition winning easily with a score of 65 points more than doubling down the opposition. Hillside placed 2nd with 131 points to cap off a fine day to go along with the girl’s victory. Rundlett placed 3rd with 147 points, 2017 Nashua Invite Champion Deerfield was 4th with 167 points, Ross Lurgio of Bedford was 5th with 185 points just in front of Amherst (6th 187 points) and Hollis/Brookline which took 7th with 237 points.