Manchester Invite Recap, Results, Replay, Pics, Interviews!

Full Results – Courtesy of Millennium RunningDSC04684.jpg


PICS – more coming soon!

The story of the day was absolutely the return of NH’s Invitational!  MI46!!!  The festival which celebrated its return had everything!  Individual battles, team battles, surprises and confirmations.  But the bottom line is, Manchester Invitational is still the granddaddy of them all!  Thanks to Millennium Running for putting on a first class event which truly celebrates and showcases athletes from all over New England.

Great job NH on being gracious hosts and even better competitors!  Congrats to all!

Girls Small School

Much like I stated in the preview, there were some likely contenders lurking in the weeds, with many teams coming from out of state (twelve – and my apologies to Pentucket for not recognizing they were from Massachustetts, not Rhode Island!)  Not having that “clear view” on out-of-state teams, I certainly missed how good Harwood, from Waterbury, VT was.  Perpetually strong in the small school division in Vermont, Harwood came to play, putting their top five in the top 27.  Leading the race was their more than impressive #1, Ava Thurston, with a slight gap going into the mile over Souhegan’s Chloe Trudel and Oyster River’s Mackenzie Cook.  However things would shake themselves out when Thurston kept her foot on the gas through the hilly second mile, and then blitzed the final 1.1 mile to finish in first, in 19 minutes, 3 seconds.  Trudel would stay latched on through the two mile mark, but couldn’t quite maintain the connection to the finish, copping second,  19 seconds back.  Cook would hang onto third, holding off Pentucket’s hard charging Phoebe Rubio.  Souhegan’s Stephanie Svendsen would round out the top five.

As mentioned earlier, Harwood would win this one, scoring 77 points in the team battle.  Massachusett’s Pentucket would finish in second, just ten points in


arrears, putting their top five in the top 32.  Division 3 Hopkinton would be the best in NH in this one only 5 points behind Pentucket.  Led by Hannah Bennett once again, they had 3 dip under 21 in Bennett (20:23), Anna O’Reilly (20:54) and Shaylee Murdough (20:58).  Their scoring 5 were all in the top 33.  Souhegan was only 4 points behind led by Trudel and Stephanie Svendsen who placed 2nd in 19:52.  Led by their freshmen dynamic duo of Mackenzie Cook (3rd-19:45) and Haley Kavanaugh (8th-20:18), upstart Oyster River continued their strong season placing 5th with 120 points. 

Boys Small School

The boy’s race pitted the the Killer Khalil brothers vs. the Great Gandini vs. the best from NH’s smaller schools and the other New England participants.  The brothers (Jared and Tyson) of Sanborn shadowed Patrick of Gilford through the mile, run in spritely but not searing 5:23.  Oyster River’s Dillion Labonte and Chris Jernigan were in the following pack, looking to bear down over the second mile.

Gandini would stay on the gas, passing the two mile timing mat in 10:57, with the elder Khalil still on his shoulder and the younger Khalil ten seconds adrift.  Both Khalil and Gandini would enter the Derryfield Park grass section after the tennis courts shoulder to shoulder, with Gandini opening what would seem to be a winning gap on his way to the door.  But as Khalil passed the 350 meter mark, throwing down his arm sleeves as well as a big surge, closing the gap as they reached the final turn.  But then Gandini made his final move for home, stopping the clock in 16 minutes, 16 seconds.  Jared Khalil would cross the line seven seconds later, with younger brother Tyson finishing in third, another 30 seconds back.  Thetford’s Tobin Durham would hold off a hard charging Labonte to round out the top five.

In the team race, New Hampshire would reign supreme, with first six teams sporting the 603 area code.  Oyster River, initially not in the preseason rankings climbing on top, with a low 64 points virtue of their top five finishing in the top 24.  Second was Hanover, 37 points in arrears. Windham (123), Bow (168) and Souhegan (193) would round out the top five for teams.

Mike Smith

Girls Large SchoolDSC05314.jpg

The Girls Large School race certainly had changes on the podium with a different team from Vermont taking the win in Burlington HS.  Led by their 1-2 punch of Rebecca Cunningham (4th-19:24) and Gillian Fairfax (6th-19:36), Burlington also sported a pack time of 45 seconds to edge NH’s Keene 93-101.  The Owls placed their top 4 forty seconds apart and in the top 22 with Hannah Shepard (11th-20:11), Reagan Hoy (13th-20:21), Corinne Kinson (19th-20:46), and Sofia Guardiano (22nd-20:51). Also scoring for Keene was Ella Hoy who crossed the line in 21:30.

Dover, this week’s #4 team in our rankings, backed up their ranking and then some, placing 3rd overall.  Brooke Marshall again dropped a great performance placing 7th in 19:49.  She was supported by Isabel McIntyre (20:31), Alyson Bortz (21:00), Ashlyn Smith (21:14), and Evangeline Alexander (22:08).   Phillips Academy of MA placed 4th with 166 points and were led by race winner Charlotte Whitehurst who won in 19:00.

DSC05241.jpgGranite State teams took places 5th-8th with Pinkerton, Bishop Guertin, Concord, and Bedford respectively.  Pinkerton, led by Isabelle Groulx (20:30) scored 194 points, while Marykate Finn’s 3rd place powered BG to 6th place.  Concord’s Alina Pincoske led the Crimson Tide to 7th and Fiona Lee ran 19:53 to pace Bedford to 8th overall.

Individually, Whitehurst won the battle over Loghan Hughes (BFA-St. Albans) 19:00 to 19:03.  BG’s Finn ran a strong race to roll through in 19:10 then it was Cunningham 4th,  and top freshman Alice Kredell (Champlain Valley) rounded out the top 5 in 19:36 outleaning Burlington’s Fairfax.  Then Dover’s Marshall, Concord’s Pincoske, Bedford’s Lee, and South Burlington’s Sierra Fisher rounded out the top 10.

Boys Large School

Even though the anticipated battle of Aidan Puffer and Aidan Cox never materialized, the boys Large School race was not short of drama as St. JohnsburyDSC05627.jpg Academy’s (VT) Evan Thornton-Sherm absolutely torched the 1st mile in 4:58 with the contenders almost 10 seconds back as Framingham’s (MA) Samuel Burgess, Champlain Valley’s (VT) Matthew Servin, William Hall’s (CT) Walker Beverly, and Bishop Hendricken’s Troy Silvestri all gave chase.  By the 2 mile, Burgess held a slight lead over Thornton-Sherm and this is how it would stay to the finish as Burgess took the win 15:39 to 15:47.   Servin would place 3rd in 15:56 to be the last under the 16:00 barrier.  Beverly ended up 4th with Silvestri just a few seconds back.  Top NH finisher was Concord’s Sam Hilts as he continued his breakout season crossing the line in 16:17.  He was followed closely by Pinkerton’s Luke Brennan who placed 7th in 16:20.  Hilts and Brennan were the only NH runners in the top 10.

Rhode Island’s Bishop Hendricken backed up their regional ranking winning in a tight one over Vermont’s U-32 96 to 104.  William Hall of CT was third with 158 and BFA-St. Albans VT was 4th with 186.  Top NH team was Bishop Guertin as they placed 5th with 225 points.  They were led by Nate Fondakowski’s 16:28.   Led by Hilts, Zachary Hooper (16:37) and John Murphy (16:58), the Crimson Tide was 6th.  Pinkerton was NH’s third best checking in at 9th with 260 and led by Brennan and Ethan Charles (17:07).

Please understand, livestreaming cross country is difficult, especially when we are demoing new equipment in an effort to improve for the future.  Our emphasis of live is for people who cannot attend to see the races.


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