Nashua North Invitational
By Mike Smith
On a day that looked like it might get washed out, the Mascenic Viking homecoming race got off without a hitch after a deluge that dropped an inch of rain in half an hour just prior to race time. While rain dampened the course, making some of the footing a bit treacherous, the on course action rolled right along.
As the grass dried in the warm sun, the ladies stepped to the line and got things going by stomping on the accelerator from the get go. Conant’s Isabella Mormando took the early pacing duties, taking the race out and stringing out the chase pack. Following along in the lead of the second pack were team mates Madison Labrie and Samantha Bilodeau, then followed by Mascenic team mates Shelby Babin, Samantha Hughson, and Quinn Aldrich, along with Derryfield’s Emma Pyles.
Eventually the fast early pace and the warm temps and high humidity began to weigh on the front runners, with Bilodeau taking the lead by the halfway point. Leading from that point out alone, Bilodeau kept the pedal to the metal, finishing in 20 minutes, 48 seconds for her second homecoming win in a row. Mormando was the next to hit the finisher’s chute, with Labrie next. Mascenic would win the battle of places, putting their first 6 in the top 9, winning with 23 points. Derryfield would be the next best, with 48 points and Conant third with 62.
In the men’s race, things got going early when Mascenic’s Mike Fappiano Puttre stepped to the front and pushed the pace from the gun. It is said that right before the gun he turned to his team mates and said, “I’m taking this one out” and whether that’s hearsay or the truth, the race opened fast, with the lead going through the mile in 4:57. At this point Mascenic sophomore Dakota Somero had assumed the lead, shadowed by freshman phenom Josh Movsessian. Fappiano and team mates DJ Turner, Logan Thibault and Landen Vaillancourt followed closely, with Derrryfield’s Caleb Richmond about 20 seconds back.
Rolling through the half at course record pace, the front slowed slightly while the racing behind the lead intensified. Positions 3 through 6 were in limbo and as the guys emerged with 400 meters to go it was going to be a dog fight between Mascenic team mates. Somero claimed victory with 17 minutes, 11 seconds, followed by Movsessian eight seconds back. The next four runners were all form Mascenic with Turner, Fappiano, Vaillancourt and Thibault all breaking the 18 minute barrier and scoring 15 points to win the meet. Caleb Richmond and Matt Michaud of Derryfield were next in, followed by Matt Bernier and Ben Pyhala of Conant and Mascenic’s seventh runner Robert McLain finishing in eleventh. Conant squeaked out a second place victory, 61 points to Derryfield’s 64 points.
Mascenic and Conant are next up at Conant’s homecoming race at the Shattuck GC next Friday, while Derryfield will be at the Manchester Invitational on Saturday.