Full Results – Courtesy of Granite State Race Services
Perfect conditions greeted the competitors of the 45th running of the Capital Area XC Championships at Merrimack Valley. Individually, the 2022 champs won by comfortable margins while the local favorite swept the titles.
As she did earlier in the season, Bow’s Susannah Zahn won by over a minute running 6:04 pace for a total of 18:46. The real competition was for second as Hopkinton’s Hannah Bennett and Shaylee Murdough, Kearsarge’s Molly Ellison, Concord’s Molly Nyhan, and Bow’s Maya Brochu. Over the second mile, through the ravine, the field spread out some and it was Bennett placing second in 19:51 to Ellison’s 19:59. Murdough wound up 4th in 20:05, Nyhan 5th in 20:11 and Brochu 6th in 20:19.
Even down one of their top 5, Concord eeked out the 2 point win scoring 50 points to Hopkinton’s 52 points. Supporting Nyhan’s 5th place and scoring for the Tide was Morgan Doherty (20:52), Gracie Hugh (21:28), freshman Bella Komorek (21:35) and Ava Philbrook (21:43). In addition to Bennett and Murdough, scoring for D3 power Hopkinton were Elizabeth Trafton, Reese Bove, and Elizabeth Clarner. Once again led by Zahn and Brochu, Bow placed 3rd with 81 points while Kearsarge, led by Ellison, was 4th with 121 points eleven better than 5th place Merrimack Valley which was led by Samantha Kimball.
Gilford’s Patrick Gandini left little doubt as to who would be the champion as he sped away early in pursuit of Forest McKenzie’s course record. Going through the mile in 4:50, Gandini ran smoothly and uncontested to break the record with a 15:46. Freshman Josiah Conley was runner-up in 17:17 winning a kick over John Stark’s Eli Lemire, Concord’s Liam Gleason, and St. Paul’s Alonzo Walton. All were clocked in 17:18. Concord’s 3rd scorer Wesley Thompson placed 6th in 17:31 with Hopkinton’s Ben Daniels 6th in 17:34.
Led by freshman Conley’s (17:17) and Senior Gleason’s (17:18) 2nd and 4th place respectively, Concord successfully defended their Cap Area title. Helping to score the scant 37 points were Wesley Thompson (6th, 17:31), Tyler Watt (12th, 17:49), Shaun Fifield (13th, 17:57). Led by Alonzo Walton’s 5th place finish, St. Paul’s made a strong return to the Capital Area Championships placing second with 61 points. Gandini’s Gilford placed 3rd totaling 134 points, 9 points better than D2’s Bow. Host school, MV placed 5th with 185 points.
Congrats to all!