Wacky schedules. No invitationals. Regional leagues. Sure, this season is certainly unique. Many have remarked it is a throwback to before invitationals existed and have loved the temporary change. We at NHCC do love one thing in particular! Team strategies, well-timed surges, especially between teams and individuals meeting head to head multiple times, demonstrates XC racing and competition is back and in full swing.
This was very much on display this past weekend when Concord returned to Coe-Brown for the second round of the state’s top 2 ranked teams. The first round was certainly a feeling out process in both the girls and boys races with CBNA eventually rolling to comfortable wins. Entering the second round, the interest centered around what the top team in Division 1 would do differently. Concord is a passionate XC program and they lived up to expectation as they employed alternative strategies in both races.
Starting with the girls, CBNA’s Addison Cox ripped the first mile in 5:40. Rather than chasing after her, Concord’s Katherine Kennedy hung back and battled with her teammates and the rest of the CBNA runners. Smart team racing. And while the results were similar to round 1, one can tell when they get fully healthy, Concord is still very much a contender in Division 1. Cox would go on to win in an eye-brow raising 18:53. Her teammate Mallory Taylor placed second in 20:23 with Kennedy a close 3rd in 20:30. CBNA’s Sheldyn Fisher and Bella Lemay placed 4th and 5th respectively with Concord’s Katie Watt placing 6th outkicking CBNA’s Samantha Lemay and Tessa Millette. Also scoring for Concord were Alina Pincoske, Sophie Hopkins and Alexis Christie, who raced well as a pack placing 9th, 10th and 11th respectively.
In the boys race, it was clear Concord’s strategy had changed slightly as Brayden Kearns attempted to push the pace up against CBNA’s Luke Tkaczyk and Aidan Cox, while Concord’s Eben Bragg hung back. This strategy still yielded a fast opening mile of 4:47. And while, Cox (15:59) and Tkaczyk (16:10) went 1-2 with Bragg 3rd (16:22), Kearns, although tested by CBNA’s Carter Sylvester (5th in 16:31) in the final moments, improved to 4th in 16:30. And while CBNA’s Lars Hogne took 6th in 16:46, Concord’s Sam Hilts placed 7th in 16:52 demonstrating the Crimson Tide’s improvement. CBNA’s Wyatt Mackey rounded out CBNA;s scoring placing 8th. Bottom line, all battles went to the line, with kids simply not quitting!!! Race videos at bottom of post!
- #7 BG beat North at Mines Falls with Mary Kate Finn winning in 19:42 and their fifth, Elizabeth White crossing in 21:12. A 90 second pack time, but notable as they have simply not raced a lot, yet.
- Hanover is making a case to be ranked. They hung with #5 Keene this past weekend and actually beat them on 9/30.
- In D2, watch out for newcomer Kearsarge. If they fire on all cylinders with will be battling for a top 3 finish at D2s.
- Speaking of D2, this coming Saturday, Coe-Brown travels to Souhegan pitting presumably the top 2 teams in D2, and possibly the top 2 individuals with state champ Chloe Trudel, and a resurgent Addison Cox able to race together.
- Pinkerton girls are good and reloaded! Freshman Ginia Rufo continues to win!
- Watch out for D3’s Patrick Gandini (Gilford). He is quietly racing VERY fast.
- Hanover boys are also making a case and should be considering a strong contender for an MOC berth.
- Windham v. Pinkerton yielded some interesting results. #4 Windham beating #6 Pinkerton confirmed the rankings. PA’s Stephen Connelly took home the win on his home course, beating Rohan Rai and teammate Luke Brennan in the process. Connelly has a devastating kick. If he is around at the end of D1s…watch out. Intriguing thought would be Connelly v. Concord’s Kearns in a finishing kick! Who ya got?
- Londonderry’s Ryan Young is consistent!!!
- This Thursday, Coe-Brown once again hosts Concord, but Sanborn is joining the party. Adding the Khalil brothers to the front pack will be pretty exciting.
Late last week, the NHIAA Cross Country Committee finalized plans for the 2020 NHIAA Division State Championships and the 2020 Meet of Champions. With both cities of Manchester and Nashua approving the plans. Look for the finalized version to be posted to NHIAA’s website this week. Keep in mind when reviewing the plan (we will also publish thoughts), it was developed to be safe for the athletes and all involved. And, at least the kids can race!
Also finalized is a plan for newhampshirecrosscountry.com to livestream the event!!!