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Results Courtesy of LancerTiming
Looks like we certainly paid our dues last year with the awful/challenging weather experienced during championship season. The weather the last 2 weekends have allowed the incredible harriers of NH to show their stuff. What a contrast which yielded phenomenal results! 21 boys broke the 16:00 barrier and 18 girls broke the 19:00 barrier. Congrats to all.
Bishop Guertin’s Caroline Fischer wasted no time showing the field she was the one to beat, grabbing a quick 30 meters with only a quarter of a mile of racing completed. The chase pack consisted of teammate Caroline Towle, South’s Cali Coffin, Sophia Runenciuc and Sophia Reynolds of Merrimack Valley, Portsmouth Christian’s Liza Corso, Kearsarge’s Mya Dube, and Souhegan’s super trio of Chloe Trudel, Georgia Jones and MacKenzie Hayden.
Fischer continued to put the pedal to the metal expanding her lead to almost 50 meters by the mile, run in a swift 5:35. The chase pack was still intact at this point, and the field thick behind that. But with the pace upfront this quick and more than twice the amount of racing left, the afternoon looked to be full of carnage. The Souhegan girls 4th and 5th were moving up through the pack as were the girls from Concord. Coe-Brown looked poised to be in a position to move up the rankings at this point with the field too thick to be able to discern where all the other teams were lurking.
Coming off the canal Fischer still held the lead, with Towle and Trudel back about 50 meters, but they had separated from the rest of the chase pack and were moving on Fischer. Did they have enough to catch her? Jones and Hayden had assumed the front of the second pack, with Corso and Dube in tow, then back to the Sophias, and Cali Coffin, and the rest of the field.
Now in the fields with less than a 1000 meters left to run, Towle set off after the lead with Trudel in tow. With 500 meters left they had gained back 20 meters on Fischer and looked like they might be able to catch her before entering the track. Jones and Hayden had broken the rest of the pack, with Corso leading Dube and Rubencuic breaking from Reynolds, who was overtaken by Coffin.
Fischer would enter the track alone, with about a ten second gap to Towle and Trudel. Towle and Trudel would kick for all their worth, looking for a moment like they might both catch Fischer. Trudel would close the gap to five seconds but Fischer would hold on to win in 17:56 to Trudel’s 18:00. Towle would be back three seconds from there with Jones and Hayden taking the 4th and 5th spots. Corso would win the D3 battle over Dube, with Rubenciuc holding off a strong late charge by Reynolds. Coffin would finish in tenth.
With Trudel, Jones and Hayden making it three in the top five, Souhegan would lead all scorers with 80 points. Bishop Guertin would counter with 109 points, fronted by Fischer and Towle’s low sticks. So the front running teams beat the pack runnings teams! Concord would benefit with the best pack running, with their scoring five in the top 34, with 111 points and a 43 second pack time led by Morgane Orcutt. Exeter would beat out Coe-Brown, 159 points to 166 points, with Keene taking the last NE qualifier with 188 points.
Expected to be a fast race from the gun, the boys race didn’t disappoint. At the crest of the first hill, all the contenders were already there with each of the Divisional champions up front in Keen’s Jake Velazquez, Coe Brown’s Luke Tkaczyk and Mascenic’s Landen Vaillancourt. Adding to the Who’s Who was Winnacunnet’s Colin Donnelly, Coe Brown’s Dawson Dubois, North’s Rory Curran, Gilford’s Patrick Gandini, Sanborn’s Jared Khalil and Monadnock’s Tyler Hebert. Concord’s Eben Bragg, Coe-Brown’s Aidan Cox and Carter Sylvester got swallowed up at the start, but were part of the huge chase pack including just about everyone in NH at the 400 meter mark. This kind of traffic would not be surprising in a slow race, but this was far from that. Death and destruction was in the future for a lot of these boys as the leaders passed 800 at about 2:14 (4:30 pace).
By the mile, neither the front pack, the chase pack nor the pace had fallen off. Curran had a slight advantage over Vaillancourt as the main pack rolled through the mile in 4:44, or 14:40 pace with all the contenders in tow. Things were about to get ugly. Bragg and Cox had joined the front over the field loop looking to maintain contact.
Coe-Brown held advantage at the mile, with their #5 man Carter Sylvester making a strong move to get towards the front after being buried in the opening 400. Concord, Pinkerton and Keene were lurking, still ensconced within the giant pack behind the leaders. Things were sure to shake out over the bridge in Mine Falls.
As they came back along the canal Velazquez had taken the front with Cox and Donnelly flanking him and Curran and Vaillancourt slightly back. Pinkerton’s Luke Brennan, Bragg, Keene’s Torin Kindopp and Dover’s Tyler Sheedy were stealthily working their way through the pack, with Oyster River’s Andy O’Brien and Sylvester slicing their way towards the front.
Upon entering the fields, Cox and Donnelly were still right on Velazquez. Cox was still driving hard and briefly took the lead, but this only awakened the D1 Champ as Velazquez freed himself and opened a 10-15 meter gap, with Curran in tow and Vaillancourt , who was working to bridge the gap to get into contention before entering the track. Brennan, Bragg and Kindopp stretched back, but had saved some for the field and were closing. With 500 to go, Cox was inching closer to Velasquez, with Vaillancourt closing hard. Donnelly was gassed, working hard to keep moving forward while the rest of the field closed in.
Entering the track alone, Velazquez would go on to win in 15:12 with Cox closing hard to finish second, 4-5 seconds back in 15:17. Vaillancourt would take the 3 spot, ten seconds in arrears. The next five spots would be separated by a scant four seconds, with Curran, Brennan, Bragg, Kindopp and Sheedy taking fourth through eighth. A hard charging Sylvester would snag ninth in 15:41 and D3 runner up Gandini would hang tough for 10th.
With a little shake up to their finishing order due to the speed during the early part of the race, Coe-Brown was still was the top team, scoring 57 points easily outdistancing the rest of NH by 48 points winning their 1st ever MOC title. Their average time of 15:44 is the fastest ever recorded at a MOC meet. Pinkerton would turn the tables on Concord finishing second and as the top D1 team with 105 points to Concord’s 107 points. Keene would finish 10 points back accumulating 158 points with Londonderry taking the last NE berth with 164 points.
Of note and a glimpse into a very fast future for New Hampshire CC, yesterday’s race had 3 freshmen take center stage throwing down national class times. Currently, Cox has the fasest XC5k in the country, but also joining him in the top 10 are Gilford’s Patrick Gandini (7th) and Jared Khalil (9th)!
What a great historically fast day! Congrats to all!!! Onto New Englands down in Connecticut next weekend! LET’S GO NH!!!!