Back in 1987, a group of New Hampshire cross country coaches were lamenting the fact that cross country athletes never got enough recognition, so Larry Martin and a small group at Londonderry High School picked “All State Teams.” For eight years, they did this and the kids got their names listed in the newspapers.
In 1995, Larry started his newsletter, NHCC, and through that, along with help from Crown Trophy, he bought plaques for the top ten All-State kids. He would pass these out at the Footlocker Northeast Meet, at the first Indoor Track Meet, give to their coach if Larry saw him or her, or, as a last resort, mail them. We have a unique selection process. There are no written rules. We meet until everyone present agrees that we did the right thing.
Unlike other sports which select 2-3 teams of all-stars and then honorable mention, in cross country we only pick All-Division; the top ten in each Division 1, 2, and 3. This is a rather select group, and of this group, we then select an overall top 10 to comprise the NH All-State. So if your name is simply listed, you have accomplished something incredible! Congratulations!
For the past 20 years, Larry has put on a first class banquet befitting of these accomplishments! It is an event which gets circled on calendars annually. Unfortunately, another casualty of the pandemic is no banquet meaning no hilarious speeches and getting to know not only all the stats of these incredible kids, but their personalities as well. However, we will be getting to know these athletes in future posts. We plan on saying a little about each recipient as well as announcing the Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Runners of the Year in future posts.
That will be the easy part. The challenge becomes, without the banquet and a major sponsor, the awards still need to be purchased. In the past Larry has asked for people to ‘Sponsor an Athlete’ to make ends meet. Tickets last year were priced at $35. That along with the generosity of Millennium Running, the banquet and all awards were funded. We are hoping NH will once again step up to directly support the kids with sponsoring athletes/awards by clicking on the sponsor button below. All proceeds will go directly to the purchase of the awards. We will be recognizing the sponsors on a future post as well as Larry has done with the programs at the banquet.