14th Battle of the Border Preview: NH v. Massachusetts! Let’s Go NH!

Battle of the Border 14 Meet Hub! – all meet info, videos, pics, results, interviews

By Jeff DiPrizito  IMG_4234

The 14th Annual Battle of the Border race between Massachusetts and New Hampshire will be held this Saturday, October 7, 2017. This year’s race, at Alvirne High School in Hudson, New Hampshire, is looking like it will be hard fought, matching some strong teams and individual runners from both states.  This meet is a traditional invitational, but the superior state is determined by placement of the top 5 teams from their respective states.

Representing New Hampshire will be Alvirne, Campbell, Central (girls), Coe-Brown, Concord, Con-Val, Londonderry, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua South (boys), Salem, Pelham, and Winnacunnet.

Massachusetts will be represented by Boston Public Schools, Groton-Dunstable (girls), Lowell (boys), Marshfield (boys), North Andover, Parker Charter Essential, and Tyngsborough.

IMG_4317On the girl’s side, the top returning runners from last year’s varsity race will include Emily Willson from Groton-Dunstable (19:10), Keegan Pepin (19:15) and Katelyn Pepin (19:24) from Manchester Central, as well as Jessica Fontaine from Alvirne (19:25). Also contending for the top spot will be newcomers to the race Coe-Brown’s Addison Cox (MI 20:04) and Eleanor McDonough (MI 20:14) as well as Con-Val’s Rachel Hurley (MI 19:51). There will also be competition for the top spot on the girl’s side from Merrimack, NH’s Bailey Carrillo (MI 20:22), who is running well.  However, the favorite has to be Milford’s Rebecca Durham, who has certainly ascended to another level these past couple weeks.  Given the topography of the course for the BoB, Durham could run well into the 17s!

Team wise, last year’s team champion at the BoB13, New Hampshire’s Alvirne (NH-9) will be have to step it up if they expect to hold on to the team title as Coe-Brown (NH-4), Con-Val (NH-5), Merrimack (NH-6), and Manchester Central, as well as Massachusetts’ Tyngsboro and North Andover, will all be in contention.

For the boys, top returning runners include Pelham’s Cameron Starr (15:55), Campbell’s Jeffrey Allen (16:08), and Concord’s ForestIMG_4873 MacKenzie (16:10) and Oliver Spencer (16:21). Coe-Brown’s Evan Tanguay (MI, 16:23) could also compete for a top spot.  Starr has not raced this season, but once again is registered.  Let’s hope he is healthy enough to compete.  While Tanguay had the fastest time in the state at MI43, MacKenzie scorched Belfast last week dropping a 15:45.

Concord (NH-1) is the favorite to repeat and win this year’s team title while Londonderry (NH-4), Coe-Brown (NH-5), and Winnacunnet (NH-8) will all be fighting for a team award as well. For Massachusetts, last year’s runner-up in the state championship and current 3rd ranked team, Lowell High School, will be bringing mostly their JV runners, but they still should do well. The strongest Massachusetts contender to take the team title might be Marshfield, who took 2nd place last year at the Battle and is ranked 6th in the most recent Division 1 state poll. Attention should also go to newcomer Parker Charter, whose boys team is ranked 3rd in the 2017 Massachusetts’ poll for small schools.



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