Congratulations to both the Coe-Brown Girls Cross Country team and Oyster River’s Maegan Doody for qualifying for this coming weekend’s Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon by virtue of their performances at yesterday’s Nike Cross Northeast Regional at Bowdoin Park in Wappinger’s Falls, NY. The Granite Staters had to not only take on the best from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New England, but they had to overcome challenging course conditions featuring hills, snow, ice, and mud. They all represented what cross country is all about in New Hampshire, speed and toughness.
Coe-Brown placed 2nd to nab an automatic qualifying slot after finishing 3rd last year and 4th in 2012. Because of course conditions and level of competition, the Coe-Brown girls employed a ‘get-out-fast’ strategy in effort to find the best footing. This effort had them leading the team competition at the mile mark, but at the midpoint of the hilly Bowdoin Park course, they were in 2nd, 28 points behind eventual champion Unionville of PA, and a scant 22 points up on 3rd place Pennsbury, PA and 24 points on New England Champion LaSalle.
Throughout the entire race, CBNA’s Elisabeth Danis, Hannah Parker, and OR’s Doody seemed to be running as ‘Team New Hampshire’ in the front pack. They seemingly shifted anywhere from as high as 2nd to no worse than 10th place. CBNA’s Alli Pratt was no too far behind battling for the 10th-20th positions The Bowdoin course is basically uphill for 2.5k and then a return trip downhill with the last 1k on the flats. Over the course of the last half of the race, Unionville, who placed 7th in the nation last year, pulled away for a comfortable repeat title. However, Coe-Brown was visibly hanging on, with both Brooke Laskowsky and Julia Cormier battling LaSalle runners and attempting to keep the pack time reasonable. Pennsbury faded and fell out of contention, but the New England Champs LaSalle, were coming on strong.
In the end, Danis and Parker once again led the way for the Lady Bears placing 5th and 7th respectively to also make 1st Team All-Northeast. Doody placed 8th overall to make 2nd Team All-Northeast, followed by Pratt who placed 15th to make 3rd Team All-Northeast and give Coe-Brown 3 valuable low numbers. Laskowsky and Cormier finished 70th and 72nd right behind LaSalle’s fifth.
Would it be enough? Would Doody make it as an individual? With the top 5 individuals advancing, Doody’s and Coe-Brown’s fate were the same. If Coe-Brown placed 2nd, Doody would also advance.
Obviously it was enough, but by only 16 points!!! Congrats to all! Good luck in Oregon! All of New Hampshire cross country community will be rooting for you all!!! Thanks to Nike for another great event!