PICS!! – Thanks Dave!
The 82nd version of the New England Championships did not disappoint. Held at Ponaganset High School in Rhode Island, the weather and course was seemingly perfect yielding phenomenal performances, with NH truly taking center stage especially in the girls’ race.
The boys led things off and there were basically 2 questions heading into the race. The first regarding Oyster River’s Patrick O’Brien and wondering if he would take a shot at Rhode Island’s David Principe. The second pondered which team would finish as first in NH, after 2 weekends of having a different team lay claim to best in the Granite State.
Right from the gun, O’Brien answered the former question with a resounding YES, latching right onto Principe through the first half of the course. Principe did open a gap in the woods loop between 2k and 3k, only to see that gap shrink slightly over the final 600 meters. In the end, O’Brien did finish second, but in an impressive 15:20, just 7 seconds behind one of the best harriers in the country!
Also running a great individual race placing 6th in 15:50 was Pelham’s Cameron Starr, who was followed by Keene’s Jonathan Allard, 8th in 15:52. Londonderry’s Chris Zaino ran strong again and placed 24th in 16:04 outleaning Goffstown’s Jackson Brannen (same time) who rounded out NH’s All-New England representatives.
So, how about the latter question? While NH was not represented on the podium (NH’s top team placed 7th), NH’s top 5 teams from last week were separated by only 20 points with 3rd-5th position separated by 1 point! Talk about parody, for the 3rd consecutive week, a new team was NH’s finest. Concord placed 7th with 283 points followed by Nashua North only 9 points behind with 294. Tied with 302 points, Pinkerton edged Coe-Brown with the tiebreaker. And only 1 point back, Keene placed 11th with 303 points! Kudos to all teams for fighting hard for 3 consecutive weeks. But how about the Crimson Tide and their perseverance? After being denied a Division 1 title 2 weeks ago and the Meet of Champions title last week, placing 2nd both weeks, they bounced back to be tops in NH on the largest stage, laying claim to most consistent over the championship season.
By going 1-2-3 and taking 6 of the top 10 individually while placing two teams on the podium and 5 in the top 9, New Hampshire girls pretty much dominated the day in North Scituate. Congratulations to Exeter’s Jackie Gaughan, New England Champion in a time of 17:34. The front pack certainly looked like a repeat of last week with Gaughan, BG’s Caroline Fischer, and Bedford’s Leya Salis leading the way joined only by South Kingstown Rhode Island state champion Eleanor Lawler. As with the last 2 weeks, Gaughan’s strength won the day as she opened up an eventual 20 second lead over the middle of the race in the woods. Fischer and Salis switched positions this week as Salis took runner-up honors in 17:54 to Fischer’s 18:00.
West’s Julia Robitaille placed an impressive 6th in 18:10. Souhegan’s Madeline Hunt and Oyster River’s Danielle Slavin placed 8th and 10th respectively in 18:22 and 18:23. Kristie Schoffield finished strong to place 17th in 18:35, while Windham’s Susie Poore rounded out NH’s representation on the All New England team taking the 20th position in 18:36.
Congratulations to Souhegan and Pinkerton placing 2nd and 3rd respectively to Vermont’s Champlain Valley. Both teams proved they are two of the best in 5 states. Once again Hunt, Arielle Zlotnick (28th, 18:51), and Jane Leighton (33rd, 18:58) led a complete team effort to garner runner-up honors with 163 points. Pinkerton’s Fab Four (Meghan Cross, Jordan Vaillancourt, Ciara April, Maison D’Amelio) finished between 18:53 and 19:20 to carry the Trail Blazers to 3rd with 227 points. Led by Fischer’s 3rd place, Bishop Guertin ran strongly placing 5th with 238 points, Coe-Brown finished 8th with 269 points, and Alvirne placed an impressive 9th with 275 points.
Congrats to all! Coaches are reminded that the All-State meeting is Monday!
RI – 1, 5, 11, 14, 18 = 49
CT – 3, 10, 15, 16, 17 = 51
NH – 2, 6, 8, 24, 25 = 65
VT – 4, 9, 13, 22, 28 = 76
ME – 7, 12, 19, 20, 35 = 93
ME – 9, 12, 13, 14, 21 = 69
RI – 4, 5, 22, 23, 27 = 81
CT – 7, 15, 16, 19, 25 = 82
VT – 11, 18, 37, 42, 50 = 158