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The 16th Annual Battle of the Border Invitational between Massachusetts and New Hampshire will be held this Saturday, October 5, 2019. This year’s race, 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. This meet is a traditional invitational, but the superior state is determined by placement of the top 5 teams from their respective states. NH has won the last three years!! Let’s Go!!
Representing New Hampshire will be Alvirne, Bishop Guertin (Boys), Campbell, Coe-Brown, Conant, Londonderry (JV only), Memorial (girls), Merrimack, Nashua South (boys), Nashua North (JV only), Pelham, Pinkerton, Windham and Winnacunnet.
Massachusetts will be represented by Marshfield, Needham, Newton South (girls), North Andover, and Tyngsborough, .
On the girl’s side, the top returning runners are Addison Cox (Coe-Brown), Courtney Dalke (North Andover), Abigail O’Connor (Coe-Brown), Campbell’s Megan Whitnell, and Alvirne’s Ella Simpson. With Pinkerton girls team attending, look for their leader Meghan Cross to challenge for the win. Also joining the front pack should be Whitnell’s teammate Cassie Hemmings as well as Winnacunnet’s MacKenna Whelan, who is coming off a strong race at Black Bear.
Watch for Massachusetts though as they also sport Dalke’s teammates with Leyla Kvartnik and Abby Mastromonaco. Marshfield returns after a year away led by Sofia LoVuolo, Olivia Langlan and Ruth Penny, who will all be looking to join the front pack as well as Needham’s Elena Oberle.
Teamwise, the state south of NH’s border does boast a strong contingent led by MA #9 Needham, MA #12 Marshfield, and MA #19 North Andover. These ranked Mass teams will be facing the #7 Coe-Brown Bears, but don’t count out unranked Pinkerton as they are finally healthy and will be looking to begin to build momentum towards championship season. Other teams which could find themselves in the mix could be Newton South, Campbell, and Winnacunnet. Look for Marshfield to be exuding confidence as they are coming off a huge team win at the Frank Kelley Invitational last weekend. With Needham ranked above them, NH will need to break up these top two to have a shot to extend the state streak.
The boy’s side is loaded. Expect top returner, a hungry Colin Donnelly (Winnacunnet) to be up front along with Granite Staters Coe-Brown’s Luke Tkaczyk, Aidan Cox, Wyatt Macket and Dawson Dubois. With Pinkerton attending, look for Luke Brennan, Stephen Connelly and Zach Plaza to also be there along with BG’s Carson Bottomley as he just broke 17:00 at Derryfield for the first time this week. Donnelly’s teammates of Noah Taracena and Jack Taylor should also be in the mix and do not forget Windham’s Rohan Rai during his breakout season either!
On the Mass side of things the top returner is North Andover’s Jack Bicksler. Making this a Camp Foss reunion, Marshfield is attending once again this year, so their top runners, Nick Valianti and Drew Pesko will certainly be mixing it up with NH’s best! Needham’s Kyler McNatt and Micah Bernat should also be in the loaded front pack.
Teamwise, NH is sending their #1 Coe-Brown, #4 Pinkerton, #7 Winnacunnet, #9 Bishop Guertin and new #10 Windham. That is 6 of the top 10 teams from our small but strong state (#3 Londonderry is attending but just with their JV kids)! Massuchuetts might not have the depth, but quality, as they are sending their #5 Marshfield and #8 Needham powerhouses. Marshfield, like their girls squad, is riding the wave of momentum as they too won the extremely large Frank Kelley Invitational.
The favorite seems to be Coe-Brown as they are now ranked #5 in the Northeast. But, no one should count out the every improving Pinkerton or Marshfield. After all that is why the races are actually run!!!
Good luck to all! Especially those from the 603! Let’s Go!