On an absolutely beautiful day in Northwood, NH, the Division 3 and 4 State Middle School Championships returned after a 2 years with over 600 athletes participating. The new COVID friendly format certainly had many positives including the brand new Division 4 category placing a spotlight on even more young harriers.
Division 3 began the morning session and a huge congratulations to Newfound Middle School as they withstood a Monadnock 1-2 finish to take the D3 state title. Newfound scored 84 points running in pairs as Gabrielle Valliere and Addison Alpers placed 7th and 8th respectively. Their teammates Reece Cutting and Ceili Irving placed 16th and 18th only 2 seconds apart. Add in 5th scorer Olivia Larsen placing 36th and you have a state championship XC team.
As mentioned prior, Monadnock placed 2nd on the strength of their 1-2 punch.. Summer Bentley absolutely “ran” away with the individual title in 12:15 with teammate Sadie Gibson placing a comfortable second in 12:39. Boynton’s Kaitlin O’Shea was 3rd in 12:57 with Barrington’s Haley Bezanson 4th in 13:01. Auburn’s Gabrielle Bedard was 5th in 13:03 and then O’Shea’s twin sister Erin placed 6th. Jaffrey-Rindge’s Amelia Hill and Chester Academy’s Estelle Carr rounded out the top 10.
The D3 boys was one of the more exciting races of the day and had a similar result as Monadnock claimed both the team and individual titles with Peyton Joslyn kicking away from Belmont’s Wyatt Divers to win the individual title 11:08 to 11:11. Ethan Fischer (Academy of Science & Design) placed a strong 3rd with Joseph Gustavson (Chester Academy) only 3 seconds behind in 4th. Inter-Lakes Tate Hayman edged Newport’s Aidan Couitt by 1 second for 5th. Joslyn’s teammate Jacob Brunjes placed 7th, while Boynton’s Dylan Callahan split Monadnock as Jed Bentley finished in 9th position. Litchfield’s Dominic Bellino rounded out the top 10 in 12:51.
With 3, Joslyn, Brunjes, and Bentley, in the top 10 along with Monadnock locked in the team title. With great packing, Auburn Village School, led by Ian Magnan, Cooper Bednard and Marcus
Sowan placed 2nd with 157 points while Newport edged Indian River School by 1 point for third.
D4 was unique as each championship team also boasted the individual champ. Congratulations to Heronfield Academy as they placed 3 in the top 10 with state champ Luvy Danielson (12:49), 4th place Brady Preneta (13:11), and 10 place Emerson Seymour (13:38) to win with a total of 58 points. Led by Lola Dumont’s 3rd place finish, Presentation of Mary Academy placed a strong 2nd with 73 points while Nottingham School on the shoulders of 5th grader Hilary Wennberg’s 7th place finish, took 3rd with 116 points.
Placing 2nd individually was Elli Englund from Sant Bani. In 5th place was Fall Mountain’s Jenna Fillion while 6th place was earned by Meredith Kerivan. Anna Fazelat (The Derryfield School) and Mallory Baker (St. Patrick School) placed 8th and 9th to complete the top 10.
Rye Junior High School put on a clinic on the boys side as not only did Edward Paul claim the individual state title in 11:34, but his teammates, Tommy Flynn, Derek Swartz, and Robert Marttila claimed placed 8th, 10th, and 11th. Add in a solid 5th scorer with Will Hart placing 25th in 12:50 and it was Rye’s day.
Matthew Northcutt of Fall Mountain gave a good chase and placed 2nd in 11:47 with Nicholas Lenti of Presentation of Mary Academy placed just a few seconds behind for 3rd. Heronfield’s Agee Griffith placed 4th in 12:01 while Oliver Schartner (St. Mary Academy) outleaned Lenti’s teammate Tyler McLeaod for 5th. South Hampton’s Namo Lomax placed 7th while Chichester’s Caleb Saturley was 9th.
With Lenti and McLeod both placing in the top 10, Presentation of Mary Academy secured 2nd with 84 points. Heronfield Academy capped off a fine day scoring 114 points for 3rd.
Congrats to all and hats off to Coe-Brown Northwood Academy community for being great hosts.