2019 NHIAA Divisional Championships Recap, Results, Interviews, Race Videos!!!

NHIAA Divisional State Championships Meet Hub – continue to check for pics and videos as they are completed.  Interviews are up!!!

Full Results @ LancerTiming

Division 2 Girls

Souhegan Returns to the Top of the Podium!

Chloe Trudel, Georigia Jones, Mackenzie Hayden go 1-2-3!

A rainbow greeted early arrivers at Derryfield Park, ushering in a beautiful day for the division meets.  The D2 girls were first off the line, represented by 4 state-ranked teams in Souhegan (1), Merrimack Valley (6), Coe-Brown (8), and Kennett (10).  Hanover’s Christine Aman led the pack around the first lap accompanied by several yellow and blue jerseys, but more significantly, a sea of red. It was clear from early on that Coe-Brown was under-ranked and running for an upset. By the top of the first hill, a front group had separated, with Souhegan’s Chloe Trudel flanked by Sophia Rebenciuc and Sophia Reynolds of Merrimack Valley. Just behind were two more Souhegan runners, seniors Mackenzie Hayden and Georgia Jones  in close pursuit followed by the Coe-Brown pack of Addison Cox, Abigail O’Connor, Mallory Taylor, and Sheldyn Fisher, with their 5th (Tessa Millette), 6th (Samantha Lemay) and 7th (Amelia Edmonds) not too far in arrears. Oyster River’s Lily Doody began to make her presence known in the top ten by this point as well, and it was evident from all the pink shorts that Oyster River was putting things together for the Division meet. 

By the second mile Trudel began to pull away from Rebenciuc, putting in a large gap on the downhill. Hayden and Jones of Souhegan had moved ahead of Reynolds by this point, and had their sights set on a perfect 1-2-3 finish for Souhegan. At the finish, the vision was realized, with Trudel running to a 19-second victory, and Hayden and Jones running down Rebenciuc over the final stretch. Reynolds finished strong to place 5th, while 4 of the next 5 were all Bears from Coe-Brown, with O’Connor leading the charge. Addison Cox, returning to health and running perhaps her best race of the year when it mattered most, led teammate Sheldyn Fisher across the line in 7th and 8th, respectively. OR’s Doody broke up the Souhegan/CB/MV sweep of the top 10 in 9th, while CB’s Taylor became the first 4th team scorer across the line in 10th. 

The team battle had turned into a contest between an upstart Souhegan, unranked in the preseason polls, and a resurgent Coe-Brown, coming into the race ranked 8th. Souhegan’s 4th runner, Masho Primmer, crossed the line in 14th, followed closely by Coe-Brown’s 5th, Millette, and 6th, Lemay. With Souhegan’s Emma Herrero became the team hero, crossing in 21st place and sealing a tight win for Souhegan, 41 points to Coe-Brown’s 47. Merrimack Valley finished in third place and punched their ticket to the Meet of Champions for the first time since 2016, while Oyster River ran their best team race of the year to place fourth. Kennett and Hanover rounded out the MOC team qualifiers, Kennett returning to the meet for the first time since 2015. On the other hand, you’d have to go all the way back to 2011 to find a season where Souhegan, Coe-Brown, Oyster River, and Hanover didn’t all make the trip for the extra week. Congratulations to all runners, and best of luck to those racing next week!

-Dave Irving

Division 2 Boys

Coe-Brown Wins 5th Title in 6 Years with a D2 Low of 21 Points!

CBNA’s Luke Tkaczyk Leads the 1-2-3 Bears’ Finish

Saturday’s race conditions were near perfect and the D2 Boys race was a master class of racing tactics and guts.  A large pack of 25ish guys stayed together through the first mile, passing through at a surprisingly slow 5:21. (As a comparison, the D1 boy’s leader hit 4:55 at the mile, and the D3 boy’s leader passed through at 5:05.)  The next challenge was attacking (or surviving) the hill and jockeying for position on the trails. With that many closely packed top runners, position might very well win out over talent in that section of the course.

As the runners emerged from the woods and headed down the paved hill towards the fields, a simple scan of the jersey colors flying down the hill told the story; a large concentration of Coe-Brown red and black was in the very front of the race, with a lot of Oyster River blue and white chasing. Other teams were sprinkled in as well, but the Bobcats and the Bears both had tightly grouped clusters of 2 and 3 guys working together.

As the runners rocketed towards the finish line on the last straightaway, it was clear we were seeing something special develop with Coe-Brown taking the top 3 spots with Luke Tkaczyk (16:06), Aidan Cox (16:09), and Dawson Dubois (16:12) finishing in that order and with only a 6 second gap between them. In addition, Carter Sylvester (16:25) made a move on that stretch and finished 6th overall, while Logan Mihelich (16:35) grabbed 9th to ensure a victory and an incredibly low team score of 21 and a team average of 16:17, Division 2 records.  Keep in mind, 15 points is the lowest possible score in an XC race.  To our knowledge (comment below if you know of others!!) the 1963 Concord and the 1932 Central teams are the only schools to accomplish that shutout in NH History.  All seven of Coe-Brown’s runners finished under 16:47; we haven’t seen something like that for a long time.

Keeping the race honest and putting a lot of pressure on the top group was Sanborn freshman phenom Jared Khalil running a stunning 16:15 for 4th place as well as Windham’s Rohan Rai finishing in 5th with a 16:21.

Runner-up team Oyster River had very strong grouping with their top five finishing within a 27 second span and impressively all under 17:00. Andrew O’Brien (16:31) and Owen Fleischer (16:33) grabbed 7th and 8th place respectively, and the trio of Myles Carrico (16:55) , Dillon Labonte (16:55), and Henry Duisberg (16:58) took 15th, 16th, and 17th resulting a very good team score of 63 points.

This race featured an unusual total number of pairs and/or trios from the same team finishing consecutively. Maybe coincidence, maybe a greater emphasis on team/pack running?  Hard to say, but there were 5 such groupings in the top twenty-five finishers alone, and 18 of them overall!

Wrapping up the team scoring: Hanover finished 3rd with 130 points.  A comment on the NHCC season preview article simply stated “Don’t sleep on Hanover”.  Correct assessment!

Windham continued their excellent season to take 4th overall with 150 points, and 5th and 6th places were decided by only one point with Bow surprising everyone except themselves to edge out a very good Con-Val team with the last 2 MOC berths.

Congrats to all 6 teams for moving on to the Meet of Champions (MOC) in Nashua next Saturday. Tentatively, the weather looks good again and with a flatter course look for some teams and individuals to really shine.

Good luck and good health!

-Mike Lyford

Division 1 Girls

Concord edges BG to win first title since 2003!

BG’s Caroline’s Fischer and Towle go 1-2 for second consecutuve year!

It was a sunny cool day, perfect for the Divisional cross country meet.  Some parts of the course were a little wet from the rain the night before, but not enough to worry the athletes.  It was going to be a fast race.  Division 2 started the day and as Coe-Brown boys and Souhegan girls were receiving their team awards the Division One girls were on the line ready to begin.  Caroline Fischer was holding nothing back, took off at the start and never looked back.  By the 800, she already had a sizable lead.  After her there was huge pack of all those girls hoping for a top ten spot.  BG, South, Exeter, Keene, Concord and Londonderry were all there early.

At the top of the first hill, Fischer was still in charge and her teammate Caroline Towle had taken over the 2nd position with Cali Coffin (South) was set in third.  This separation continued for the rest of the race as they finished in that same order with Fischer posting an incredibly fast 18:16 in a solo effort.  Towle also broke 19 in 18:52 and Coffin placing 3rd in 19:10.

Pinkerton senior Meghan Cross used her experience to claim 4th in 19:35 edging Exeter’s Ali McFarland’s 19:38 and Winnacunnet’s Mackenna Whelan’s 19:39.  Bedford’s Carly Rinko placed a strong and intelligent 7th (19:43) and Salem’s Silvia Caddell claimed 8th in 19:47.

And then it began!  The counting.  Team-wise it appeared that Bishop Guertin and Concord were battling for the win in a typical front runner-led team (BG) v. a pack running team (Concord).  The Concord pack which ran even throughout, started finishing.  With BG only totaling 3 points through 2 scorers, the Crimson Tide needed to pile in quickly.  Which they did over the next 5 seconds as their top three placed 9th, 10th, and 11th from 19:51 to 19:56.  Freshman Sophie Hopkins led the way this time, with junior leader Morgane Orcutt and Katherine Kennedy right behind her total 30 points through three scorers. Concord’s 4th was only 16 seconds behind placing 18th with Alexis Christie and their 5th, Molly Nyhan crossed a mere 13 seconds later, placing 22nd in 20:25.  A pack time of 34 seconds to total 70 points and claim their first title since 2003.

Bishop Guertin sported some nice packing of their own in support of Fischer’s and Towle’s low sticks as MaryKate Finn and Fiona Doherty placed within 3 seconds of each other!  The Cardinals secured the runner-up plaque with 82 points as Rose Goyette placed 35th.

Led byMacFarland, Exeter claimed third with 114 points.  Despite being down one of their top five, Keene placed 4th with 131 points while Rinko-led Bedford placed 5th in 158 points.  Coffin’s third placed spurred Nashua South to a 6th place finish as Londonderry, led by Caitlin Boufford‘s 13th place finish, advanced to the MOCs for the first time since 2015!!

Congrats to all!

-Amy Sanborn

Division 1 Boys

Concord Wins Third Consecutive Title!

Jake Velazquez (Keene) Wins the Duel with Rory Curran (North)!

Both Go Way Under 16:00!!!

The D1s race looked like it was going to be exciting both from a team standpoint and individually and it did not disappoint!

As the race went out, a large group of the expected top placers bunched together for the loop around the fields, but by the top of the first hill, two leaders had emerged in Keene’s Jake Velazquez and North’s Rory Curran. It looked pretty clear even by this early point that the final race winner would be one of these two unless someone put in a huge surge around the reservoir. Figuring out the team score at this point felt like a blur as the rest of the runners from the top teams all came through in bunches.

At the top of the ski hill, Velazquez had started to pull away and looked strong as he entered the straightaway to the 2 mile mark. Curran had a big lead over the rest of the pack, which had started to spread out. The top teams were all represented where most noticeably Pinkerton’s top two of Luke Brennan and Stephen Connolly, who had been back from the lead pack, had run up the main group. You could see the top runners from each of the contenders led by Winnacunnet’s Colin Donnelly and Londonderry’s Matt Griffin, who were in third and fourth respectively.

By the final run across the field, things had shaken up quite a bit in the team scoring, but Velazquez had only further increased his grip on the race win. He finished looking confidant in an absolutely blazing 15:32 for what was easily the fastest time of the day. Curran was not far behind in an also impressive 15:46 and then runners came in bunches. Concord’s Eben Bragg ran a monster final mile to move into third place with Brennan hot on his heels. Keene’s second runner Torin Kindopp rounded out the top five by also running a strong last mile.

On the team side Concord’s runners strategically owned the course looking strong in the second half where they took the already mentioned third but also got great runs from Brayden Kearns in 8th and Ryan Devine in 11th. With that kind of depth behind them, they took their third consecutive team championship with an excellent 67 points. Keene’s front was outstanding with 6 total points through two runners, but simply couldn’t match the depth of a team that had their 5th runner in before any other team had in the fourth.

Pinkerton was only behind Keene by a small eight point margin and also had an excellent up front showing from their top three including a surprise 14th place for Nolan Preble, who had been dealing with some illness issues this season. Winnacunnet had a surprise number one in Noah Taracena, who had an excellent race to finish just ahead of teammate Donnelly. Winnacunnet took home fourth place by holding off a close Londonderry squad who got a top 10 finish at out of their top runner Ryan Young. Nashua North was right behind Londonderry who had the number two finisher but also a solid race from second man Yassine Jakib, who was in the top twenty five. Rounding out the group heading to the Meet of Champions was Merrimack, who got great runs out of their top two, who placed in the top twenty of the race overall.

A couple of impressive individual efforts should be noted from Salem’s Jackson Mazejka, who finished in tenth place and Dover’s Tyler Sheedy ,who took an impressive thirteenth. Keep an eye on these two next year to be top ten returners!

Congratulations to all the racers yesterday and good luck to everyone competing next Saturday at the meet of champions!

-Ian French

Division 3 Girls

Kearsarge Surprise Winnah!

Kearsarge’s Mya Dube Completes the Individual D3 ThreePeat!

In a herculean effort, the girls of Kearsarge took on the goliath of Division 3 in Hopkinton, and with some inspired running from both their top three and their #4 and #5, were able to pull off the upsets of upsets.  There was no question that the Cougars of the hill country had the best 1-2-3 in Division 3, but would they have the strength on the back end to break up the juggernaut that Hopkinton has become?

The Race

As expected, Kearsarge’s Mya Dube was the focus of the front pack in the opening stages of the race.  With Portsmouth’s Liza Corso and Brianna Malone in tow, along with the rest of D3’s best, Dube navigated the early stages of the race at the front, everyone preferring to defer to her anticipated dominance.  With a swelling pack behind her, Dube ascended the hill after the mile with plenty of company, only to rachet up the pace! Hopkinton looked to be in good shape at this point, poised to manage the race from the middle.

As things started to stretch out, Dube at the front, with PCA’s Corso and Malone in tow, teammates Lili Baers and Jenna Bears of Kearsarge, along with Hindsale’s Margaret St. John, made their break and their only hope of beating the Hawks, to put three low sticks in front of the Hopkinton flood.  Kearsarge’s Madelin Prak would doggedly bite down on the Hawks main pack, holding on to ride the wave all the way to the finish line. Campbell’s Cassie Hemming looked to hang with the main pack as well, sticking her nose in the action along with Delaney Swanson of Monadnock, Faith Gosselin of Winnisquam and Isabel Pentony of Newmarket and Veronica Dowd of Prospect Mountain.

But fate would shine fondly on Kearsarge, with Dube easily moving away from the field over the second half, finishing in 19:08 over Corso in 19:25.  Malone would be the next in, followed by St. John and then Kearsarge’s Baers and Bears. Hemming would finish before the Hopkinton onslaught in 7th. Hannah Bennett would be the first of the Hawks across the finish line in 8th, followed by Swanson and Gosselin, then teammates Anna O’Reilly, and Emma Rothe in 11th and 12th, Cailey Stockwell and sister Sydney in 14th and 18th.  For good measure, Hopkinton’s fourth and fifth would finish inside the top twenty-five, and with Cate Westbrook and Lily Sabol finishing 22nd and 24th, usually enough to win in any division.

But Kearsarge would strategically place Prak in before Hopkinton’s fifth runner,  in 17th, and Marla Richer in 31st to pull out the 4 point win over Hopkinton, 53 points to 57 points.  These two teams would easily outdistance third place Campbell who finished with 129 points. Portsmouth Christian Academy, with the strong front running of Corso and Malone would finish fourth totaling 131 points with Newmarket rounding out the top five moving onto Meet of Champions with 173 points.

-Mike Smith

Division 3 Boys

Mascenic Rebounds

Landon Vaillancourt Rolls to the Win

With another strong favorite in Mascenic’s Landen Vaillancourt, the rest of the D3 field would be keying off him to control the race out front.  Heading the pack from the start, Vaillancourt would lead Gilford’s Patrick Gandini, Monadnock’s Tyler Hebert, Trinity’s James Barrett, and the rest of the D3 field on a tour of Derryfield Park.  Firmly in control and opening a lead before the mile, Vaillancourt would negotiate the second half of the course with nary a footstep audible behind him.

However there was a cacophony building behind him, where his teammates waged war with Route 123 rival Conant, for both regional and state wide bragging rights.  The Orioles had three, Matt Bernier, Ethan Vitello and Chris Taylor in front of Mascenic’s #2 Connor Traffie, and five in front of Mascenic’s #3 man Zack Allen. Considered to be a battle for the D3 title in the preview, the prediction was holding true through the first half of the race.  Mascenic, notoriously strong over the second half of the race had their work cut out for themselves. Also working to crash the party were the trio from Campbell, Matt Dion and Trevor and Tyler Scopelites, making inroads on the top teams over the final half of the race.

Vaillancourt would cruise to victory in this one, in 16:07, twenty seconds up on Gandini, the potential heir apparent to Vaillancourt, finishing in second much like Vaillancourt did his freshman year.  Hebert would be the next across the line, followed by the stealthy Shepyrd Murdough of Hopkinton and Barrett to round out the top five. Conant would put in #6 in Vitello, with Campbell’s Dion 7th.  Kearsarge’s Gavin Garcia (8th) and Vitello’s teammate Taylor (9th) would break up the Campbell pack as Trevor and Tyler Scopelites took 10th and 11th.

What would take place behind these guys would determine the team champion in D3 as the teams represented across the line so far would make up the top seven teams. Kearsarge would put the next finisher across the line, but Mascenic would put four in the top twenty (1-16-18-19) and their top five in the top 33, to win over the preview sleeper in Hopkinton, 87 points to 112 points.  Conant would finish third with 120 points, making their first Meet of Champions in twenty-five years. Campbell would win the battle between the Cougars, finishing fourth with 133 points to Kearsarge’s 155 points, to round out the Meet of Champions qualifiers.

-Mike Smith

We will be adding the remainder of races to the playlist below as they are finished in the order they competed in on Saturday.  All races, with all 9 camera spots, will be done by tonight.  Thanks for your patience.

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