Race Videos & Interviews Below!
All-Time Lists Courtesy of Fergus Cullen
Okay, most of us saw yesterday’s girl’s MOC race in person and yes it was FAST. Not only the top girls, but all the way through. Exeter’s Jackie Gaughan, Bishop Guertin’s Caroline Fischer, and Bedford’s Leya Salis repeated their triple threat match from last week ensuring their fast times, but also pulling the field through. The fact that that one had to break 19:00 to qualify for New England’s is an absolutely ridiculous treat especially on top of a new course record.
All eyes were certainly on Gaughan as she gradually pulled away from the gutsy freshman Fischer over the final mile. Gaughan seemingly floated over the final fields loop to break Georgia Griffin’s (Hanover) record by 14 seconds to run 17:14. Fischer ended running the 5th fastest all time, but is obviously the fastest freshman all time with an astounding 17:43 while Salis improved to 3rd place overall with a 17:52. For good measure, both West’s Julia Robitaille and Windham’s Susie Poore ran 17:54, closing in fast on 3rd. That is five under 18! Last year NH had 3. All five claimed new slots in the top 12 on the all-time list.
But it doesn’t stop there. Battles upon battles were being waged all up and down the top 40 for the precious top 25 qualifying places. Milford’s Rebecca Durham placed 6th in 18:03 winning her battle with D2 Champ, Souhegan’s Madeline Hunt (18:08). Durham placed 65th last year in a time of 20:19. Can anyone say ‘Most Improved’? Oyster River’s Danielle Slavin pulled away from Coe-Brown’s Alli Pratt (9th 18:28) to place 8th in 18:20. Central’s Kaitlyn Tanguay placed 10th in 18:32 outlasting a pack of runners including Souhegan’s Arielle Zlotnick (11th 18:36), and Pinkerton’s Meghan Cross (12th, 18:41). Hanover’s Lucy Gluek earned this year’s honor of placing 25th to be NH’s final qualifier for New England’s in 18:59.8. All in all, like we stated, 2016 had 25 girls break 19:00 as compared to last year’s 18 runners. Well done ladies.
In the team race, Souhegan increased their stranglehold on the claim of best team in NH. Placing their top 5 in the top 40 yielded a score of 89 points winning their first MOC girls’ title in school history. Pinkerton, off the strength of their top 4 (Cross, Maison D’Amelio, Jordan Vaillancourt, Ciara April) placing 12th, 15th, 19th and 21st all within 14 seconds of the other placed 2nd just 8 points in front of a gutsy Coe-Brown’s 127 points. Bishop Guertin placed a strong 4th with 137 points. Six points back was pack-running Alvirne with 144 points, but probably the team highlight of the day on the girls was another pack-type team of Merrimack qualifying for New England’s for the first time in school history with 172 points!
Good luck to all competing in Rhode Island next week! Do NH proud!
Oyster River’s Patrick O’Brien will have fond memories when he looks back on his final cross country race on NH soil. His legacy, a record breaking performance at the 40th New Hampshire Meet of Champions, will leave a long lasting impression of one of the most dominating wins in NHCC history. In his famous final scene, O’Brien went unchallenged, like an Indy driver all alone with his foot nailed to the gas pedal only to find the brake a few yards after the finish stopping the clock at 15:03. O’Brien’s time broke the old record of 15:07 held by Bishop Guertin’s Jeff LaCoste in 2010.
O’Brien is a great runner and is truly the king of the hill in New Hampshire. 2016 has plethora of team parody and is plagued with a stable full of very good runners. Succeeding O’Brien looks to be Pelham junior Cameron Starr. For the second straight week, Starr placed second to O’Brien cementing himself as next year’s top returner. Starr also ran most of the race with a nice cushion. His time of 15:51 was good enough to hold off a late charging Londonderry’s Chris Zaino (3rd 15:55).
Nashua North’s Connor Muise turned some heads with his very strong 4th place in 15:57. Goffstown’s Jackson Brannen knew when to turn on the after burners to be the last to break the 16-minute barrier placing 5th in 15:59. Last week’s Division 1 Champion Jonathon Allard of Keene finished tough catching a few spots to place 6th in 16:00. David Vorbach of Nashua North was the second best underclassmen of the day plaing 7th in 16:03 just fast enough to hold off Pinkerton’s Calvin Graves (8th 16:04).
Alvirne’s Noah Bellomo (9th 16:06) used his deadly kick to slip by a pair of Concord teammates sophomore Forest MacKenzie (10th 16:06) and senior Jamie Wilkes (11th 16:07). Much improved Simon Doneski of Hopkinton was the top D3 finisher on the day finishing 12th in 16:10 just in front of Merrimack’s David Vaccarro (13th 16:11), Keene’s Andrew Derry (14th 16:12), Coe-Brown’s River Groves (15th 16:13) and the always tough Jeffrey Allen of Campbell (16th 16:14).
After placing 4th last week at the Division 1 Championships, Nashua North got the job done, led by the spectacular performance of senior Connor Muise. Muise went out and ran his best race of the season putting his team on his back, carrying it to a well-fought victory. David Vorbach did his part to, shrugging off last week’s disappointment, this time playing second fiddle, but for the winning cause. Nashua North won the team competition with 84 points. Along with Max Ireland, Simon McIntosh (30th 16:35) and Sheamus Adams (40th 16:41) did not disappoint.
Concord ran a great race spearheaded by the big improvements of their 4th and 5th runners Eli Boesch-Dining (26th 16:27) and freshman Ryan Devine (39th 16:41). Concord’s second place team total was 91 points. Freshman Jake Velazquez (27th 16:30) helped Keene finish 3rd with 115 points just in front of last week’s D1 Champion Pinkerton’s 124 points. Coe-Brown placed 5th with 139 points and Oyster River placed 6th with 155 points. These 6 teams and the top 25 individuals overall will represent New Hampshire next week in Rhode Island.