On a perfect early fall day for racing, 20+ teams competed in the 2014 Black Bear Invitational, which features a true, rolling cross country course for middle school, junior varsity and varsity races.
The middle schools kicked things off with Deerfield Community School sweeping both team titles. On the girls’ side, Caroline Fischer from Merrimack blazed over the course in a time that would have been 3rd in the boys’ race. Addison Cox of Northwood placed 2nd.
On the boys’ side, Deerfield took the top 2 places with Forest (Gump) Mackenzie continuing his winning ways followed by teammate Ryan Devine.
The girls’ JV race was won by Coe-Brown, who took 5 of the top 8 spots, with Hanover 2nd. Coe-Brown’s Megan Spainhower and Hanover’s Finley Doyle battled over most of the course, with Spainhower taking the win. The boys’ JV race was won by a very patient Oyster River team who held back the first half of the race to overtake Coe-Brown in the final 1+ miles of racing. A fading River Groves from Coe-Brown, who led from gun to tape, proved strong enough to hold off Oyster River’s Reed Gibson for the victory.
In their first invitational action of the fall, the Coe-Brown girls won with 24 points to Bishop Guertin’s 67. The Bears took 5 of the first 7 places. Oyster River’s Maegan Doody continued her great start to the season by gradually pulling away from a front pack of Brooke Laskowsky (CBNA), Hannah Parker (CBNA), Kristie Schoffield (MV), Liz Danis (CBNA) and Meg Scannell (CBNA). Doody, seemingly floating over the rolling hills and trails, set a course record of 18:35. Laskowsky placed 2nd in 19:18 with Schoffield 3rd in 19:26.
The boys varsity competition was the race of the day for both team and individual titles. Coe-Brown employed a pack mentality to take the win 60-73 over Oyster River. With a pack time of 42 seconds, CBNA placed 5 in the top 20 and 7 in the top 30. Sophomores Davio Deluca (6th) and Zach Richards (8th) led the Bears. Oyster River’s Will Stone, Cameron Barth and Neville Caufield had a terrific push over the latter half of the course to battle with CBNA’s Jared Nelson, Jake Scarponi and freshman Evan Tanguay to make it close.
The battle for the top individual honors provided the most excitement of the day with a pack of 10 blazing the 1st mile in 5:07. That pack was whittled down to Cameron Daly (Inter-Lakes), Brian Reaney (Portsmouth) and Patrick O’Brien (Oyster River) by midway. These 3 would absolutely battle over the final mile, which features a screaming downhill, major uphill and the popular single track, culminating with O’Brien overtaking Reaney in the final 75 meters of racing to win in a course record time of 16:31.
Full results for the Black Bear Invitational hosted by Coe-Brown Northwood Academy can be found here