Southeastern League Middle School Championships
Julie O’Brien’s Photos – Thanks!!!
Old and New Champions Crowned at 2016 Southeast League Championships
The 2016 Southeast League Championships were recently held on the tremendously well-kept trails at Coe -Brown Northwood Academy. Coe-Brown put on such a professional event. They look forward to hosting the Division III NH Middle School Championships for the first time this weekend.
Two-time NH State Champion Addison Cox put on a racing clinic by winning her third straight individual Southeast League title. Her time of 11:52 was just 7 seconds off of the course record held by freshman standout Carolyn Fischer of Bishop Guertin. Cox won by nearly a minute over 6th grader Sophie Hopkins of Deerfield (2nd 12:49). Two more 6th graders were next to cross the finish line led by Northwood’s Mary Joy (3rd 13:08) and Deerfield’s Rosemary Layton (4th 13:23). Nottingham’s Sara Joly (5th 13:27) just nipped Deerfield’s Caley Nault (6th 13:28). Five seconds were all that separated the next four runners. Northwood’s Libby White finished 7th in 13:40, Deerfield’s Christina Malette was 8th 13:41, Northwood’s Alyviah Blad was 9th 13:43 and Sheldyn Fisher of Strafford rounded out the top ten in 13:44.
Northwood and Deerfield basically flipped flopped 4 runners each in the top ten places with Northwood gaining a slight edge. But in the end it came down to the all-important 5th scorer. Deerfield’s overall team depth was the key to Deerfield winning its sixth straight Southeast Team Title. Deerfield won with a low score of 33 points to Northwood’s 2nd 44 points. Strafford placed 3rd with 98 points, Nottingham 4th with 122 points, Barrington 5th with 127 points, Chichester 6th with 164 points, Three Rivers 7th with 170 points and Epsom placed 8th with 187 points.
Deerfield’s top seven were Hopkins, Layton, Nault, Malette, Bella Lemay 13th 13:53, Seven Doperalski 15th 14:00 and Ava Woodman 16th 14:02. Deerfield’s dynasty should continue with all 12 of its top runners returning next year.
This Saturday at CBNA, Northwood’s Addison Cox will be trying to be the first 3-time NH State Middle School Champion in the 43 year history. Deerfield will also be looking to win its second state title in three years when it tries to dethrone defending champion Hopkinton on this same course.
Undefeated in 2016, Northwood 6th grader Aidan Cox was pressed early on by Deerfield’s Brayden Kearns. Cox made a well calculated decisive move on the hill, dropping Kearns just passed the mile mark and went on to set another course record time of 10:29. Kearns (2nd 10:49) rallied back after dropping to third to just beat out the Northwood’s pair of 8th graders Porter Heigis (10:51) and Luke Tkaczyk (10:58).
After a nearly 50 second duration, younger brother Tyler Tkaczyk of Northwood placed 5th 11:45 edging out his longtime summer training buddy from Strafford Lars Hogne (6th 11:52). Deerfield’s Sam Hopkins was the last to break the 12 minute barrier by placing 7th in 11:57. Without their usual fifth scorer in the race, Northwood’s Logan Milhelich stepped up and ran perhaps the race of the day, valiantly placing 8th in 12:14 filling the void seamlessly as Northwood’s fifth man. Deerfield secured the next two places with John Murphy 9th 12:18 and Brandon Comire placing 10th in 12:23.
By placing five of its runners in the top eight, Northwood easily derailed the Deerfield locomotive that had won six straight Southeast League Titles. It was Northwood’s first Southeast League title since 2006. Northwood won with a low score of 21 points. Deerfield place second with 40 points, despite placing all seven runners in the top fourteen slots. Barrington placed a distant 3rd with 119 points, a much improved Chichester ran a strong 4th with 136 points, Strafford was 5th with 140 points edging out Nottingham 6th with 144 points, Epsom (7th 173 points) and Three Rivers of Pembroke finished 8th with 206 points.
Northwood’s 2016 Southeast League Champions scoring team were Cox, Heigis, 2xTkaczyk, Milhelich, Max Heigis 18th 13:22 and Max Compton 22nd 13:36.
Aidan Cox and his Northwood team will be both the race favorites, together seeking their first NH State Individual and Team Championship this weekend. Four-time state champion Deerfield and top runner Brayden Kearns are the underdogs this year, but relish this challenging role.