by Mike Smith
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In Swanzey, under a full moon, Monadnock’s Moonlight Madness cross country invite lived up to its name. On a lightning fast course, under the lights of the Cheshire Fairgrounds, things certainly were a little “mad”, as one of the races saw a sub 16 run and the other ended with a tie. With glow in the dark shirts and glow bracelets, along with fantastic weather, the night was certain to be a hit. Let’s dive into it.
Girls Results – Courtesy of North Star Timing
With orders to be willing to take a risk, the O’Shea twins of Mascenic led the opening 300 meter starting straight and headed off into the twisting but wide open course with Hopkinton’s Hannah Bennett and Shaylee Murdoughin pursuit. Behind them, Monadnock’s Summer Bentley was tracking the leaders, with Brattleboro’s Ava Whitney and Fall Mountain’s Jenna Fillion leading a chase made up almost exclusively of runners from Mascenic, Monadnock and Hopkinton.
Half a mile into the race Bentley was running stride for stride with Erin O’Shea, with sister Kaitlin slipping back to Bennett and Murdough. Whitney and Fillion had separated from the chase pack and were being followed by Monadnock’s Sadie Gibson and Alyssa Hall now fronting the chase pack. The pace stayed strong and the racers were now getting strung out almost single file.
By halfway Bentley had given her pursuers the slip and the only question now would be how fast she would run. Behind her everyone was fighting for the more minor points, with Monadnock, Hopkinton and Mascenic essentially even, and without calculating the points other teams were garnering it seemed to be dead even. Another 910 minutes would decide the teams fates.
Bentley would continue pushing from the front and would finish there, stopping the clock at 19:02. Bennett would arrive 13 seconds later followed by Murdough, putting two in before anyone else. Erin O’Shea would finish fourth, followed by Whitney and Fillion. Rounding out the top ten would be Gibson and Hall, and Mascenic’s Emma Schaumloffel and Kaitlin O’Shea.
Looking at the top ten in scoring both Mascenic and Monadnock had three in the top ten, however Hopkinton would have six in the top twenty. Mascenic would also have six in the top twenty and these two teams would both score 53 points. However Hopkinton’s sixth (18th) would finish two places in front of Mascenic’s sixth (20th) to break the tie. Monadnock, with four in the top 13, would finish a close third with 56 points.
Boys Results – Courtesy of North Star Timing
In the boys race, Keene’s Sully Sturtz played his high card from the gun, streaking across the opening 300 meters, stretching the field immediately. Monadnock’s Peyton Joslyn was in full pursuit behind with a chase pack of Fall Mountain’s Ben Tetu and David Northcott, Keene’s Ian Cardinale, Monadnock’s Jace Joslyn, Mascenic’s Drew Traffie and Ryan O’Shea, ConVal’s William Simard, and Hopkinton’s Ben Daniels and Matt Clarner forming the chase group.
Half a mile in Sturtz was still in command, hot on the gas, with Peyton Joslyn working to make inroads to Sturtz’s lead. The chase pack was trying to settle in off the hot pace up front and find their rhythm on the flat but undulating course. Rumor has it the mile was crossed in sub five by the leaders.
By the halfway point, Sturtz had opened up a substantial lead, having burned off Joslyn. He wasn’t finished however, and he wanted the first course record to be one very difficult to break. Joslyn was holding second over Tetu, with a group of Daniels and Clarner, Traffie and O’Shea, Northcott, Joslyn and Simard swapping spots along the way.
Once the dust finally settled, Sturtz would win by almost 40 seconds, stopping the clock at 15:56. Peyton Joslyn would stay out in second, holding off a hard closing Tetu. Simard might have had the best second half of the race, finishing fourth. Also closing hard was Daniels, taking down Traffie in the final 200 meters. Cardinale would be in next, followed by Clarner, Jace Joslyn and Northcott.
In the boys team race it was a no contest, with D1 Keene outclassing the field with 40 points. Mascenic would hold onto second with 69 points, but only three points over a really strong Fall Mountain.