By Scott Maxwell
With weather in the low 80’s and humidity through the roof, the cross country season officially kicked off with one of the first invitationals of the year! Jamie Martin’s Sanborn Invitational was back on the Kingston Plains!
On the girls side, Amy Pattelena of Hollis-Brookline wasted no time, coming out hard off the line and never looking back. She smoothly cruised up the commons, pulling away from the crowd, and established a 10 second lead by the 800m mark before entering the trails. A chase pack of Campbell’s Kendall Reynolds, Kearsarge’s Molly Ellison, Conant’s Kylie Aho, and Windham’s Katherine Klinger were hot in pursuit, as they worked their way through the trails and across the beach. Con-Val’s Allison Bull and Kearsarge’s Amelia Lefebure followed closely behind, trying not to let that group get out of sight.
Through the mile, it was all Pattelena, as she’d doubled her lead and was solidly in control of the race. Meanwhile, as the chase pack hit the technical section of the course by the lake,
things strung out quickly. Over the next mile, Reynolds made her way into 2nd, followed by Aho, Klinger, and Ellison. As the runners hit the Plains, Pattelena cruised in for an easy ‘W’ in 20:35, while Reynolds would take down the runner-up spot. Over the final stretch, Ellison showed off her wheels and closed hard to move up and finish in 3rd, with Aho 4th, and Klinger 5th. Bull would use a strong kick to move up into the 6th spot, while Lefebure crossed in 7th. Trinity’s Olivia Scharr took down 8th, St. Thomas’s Karoline Salvatore held on for 9th, and Campbell’s Sophia Berube finished strong over the final stretch to secure the last of the top 10 t-shirts!
In the team race, there was a pretty tight battle between the top 3. Kearsarge took the win with 61 points, securing the top spot with a balanced attack, and their top two taking 3rd and 7th overall. Conant followed closely behind with 71 points. With Aho up front finishing 4th, they had a swarm of girls behind all separated by just over a minute. Once that pack closes the gap to their low stick, they’re going to see some serious team success! Taking the bronze in this race was Campbell with 75 points.
The boys race was quite a different story than the girls. Featuring 3 of our preseason top 10 teams (Bishop Guertin, Windham, and Sanborn), there was sure to be some action! Despite some pre-meet talk of just using this race as pace work, once the gun went off it was all business. The BG boys took off from the gun and really put the hammer down on the rest of the pack. With no fear of taking the race out quickly, BG’s Nate Fondakowski shot to the front with a slew of green and yellow jerseys in tow. As the crew navigated the soft beach sand and entered the tricky, narrow trails, the BG boys showed they’d done their summer training!
As Fondakowski led the charge through the mile in 5:10, it looked like it was going to be a clean sweep for BG as teammates Sean O’Keefe, Matthew Giardina, Josh Rivers, and Sebastian Zeman held on tightly behind. A mix of Hollis-Brookline’s Ryan Burgher, Windham’s Logan Carter and Michael Killian, and Sanborn’s Jared Khalil trailed behind and seemed a bit surprised to be 15 seconds off the lead so early in the race. As the action moved to the road, the race really took shape. The BG boys strung out a bit, allowing for some jockeying of positions and for Killian, Carter, and Khalil to make their way toward the front.
Returning to the trails for mile 3, Fondakowski was still leading but had a fresh looking Killian to contend with. Carter and Khalil moved into 3rd and 4th respectively, and had opened a gap back to a closely formed line of O’Keefe, Rivers, Giardina, Burgher, and Sanborn’s Tyson Khalil. It was the final 600m of the Kingston Commons that determined all of their finishing positions. Moving to the plains, Killian showed off his kick to storm past Fondakowski and hammer down the win in 15:39 (5th fastest all time on the course!). Fondakowski cruised in for the runner-up spot in a superb 15:47, while Jared Khalil outkicked Carter over the last 150m to take 3rd 16:03 to 16:05. And then came BG! O’Keefe sured up the 5th spot (and the last of the coveted homemade jellies), followed by H-B’s Burgher in 6th, Giardina in 7th, Rivers in 8th, Sanborn’s Tyson Khalil in 9th, and Zeman in 10th!
For the team competition, it was clearly Bishop Guertin’s day. Placing their top 5 in the top 10 positions, the harriers took the victory with 32 points. They also showed off their depth in the race, with 9 boys finishing under 18:01. The runner-up position went to Windham with 65 points, while Sanborn took 3rd with 95. This Division II battle should be interesting as both teams work their way into racing shape and their top 5’s are truly established!
It was a great day of competition and an incredible way to start the season. Thank you to everyone that made it possible!