BoB15 Meet Hub – interviews and photos will be up soon!
As hoped for, the 16th Battle of the Border was filled with phenomenal competition throughout all of the races! Not only was the competition fierce in the traditional sense, but the added interstate friendly rivalry between NH and Massachusetts added that something extra special to the day. Both states sending ranked teams and top individuals created great racing.
With the weather perfect for fall XC racing, and the course firmed up, thanks to the dedication of Alvirne’s coaching and maintenance staff, times were as fast as the competition fierce. In the end, NH teams flexed their muscle with one school in particular having a great day.
The Coe-Brown girls JV squad employed a pack mentality as Mary Joy, Samantha Lemay. and Amelia Edmonds helped form the front pack as they worked with Marshfield’s (MA) Grace Ciocca, Needham’s (MA) Kate Griffor and Marshfield’s Colleen McDonnell. Joy, Lemay, Edmonds and Ciocca would gradually pull away over the first 2 miles to set up a blazing last mile which saw Ciocca, in her first XC race, pull away strong to win in 20:35. Can you say future varsity member??? The CBNA trio would take the next three slots with Joy in 20:54, Lemay 20:56, and Edmonds 20:57. Griffor would roll to 5th in 21:51 outkicking McDonnell, who posted a 21:52. Memorial’s Leia Connors was 7th in 21:55 outleaning CBNA’s Cadence Howard. North Andover’s Alessandra Antonelli would be the final harrier under 22:00 as she placed 9th in 21:57. With four in the top 8 and 5 in the top 11, Coe-Brown repeated as the JV winners scoring a scant 26 points over a gutsy Marshfield team’s 53 point total. Needham placed 3rd with 105 points, Newton South 4th with 110 and Londonderry placed 5th with 141 points. All in all, the Bay State was stronger in this one.
The Boys JV Race continued the hot, fast racing as the front pack formed sporting multiple colors as runners from Needham (blue/gold), Marshfield (green/white), Coe-Brown (red/white), Londonderry (navyblue/red) and Winnacunnet (royal blue/red) towed the field through the first mile. Needham’s Thomas Flanagan and Cyrus Kurd, CBNA’s Lars Hogne and Isaac Wells, Londonderry’s Dylan Hotter, and Marshfield’s Sam Will would all be around the lead. It was Flanagan and Hogne who would gap the field to make it a 2-man race over the course of the second mile. Flanagan was putting the pedal down with Hogne hanging on but never losing touch. Flanagan rolled to the win in 16:51 to Hogne’s 17:00. Hogne’s teammate Wells would strongly hang on for 3rd in 17:25 while Hotter would edge Kurd for 4th 17:30 to 17:31. Will would be 6th in 17:35. Winnacunnet’s Ben Merrick would be 7th in 17:45 outleaning CBNA’s Tyler Rose while Marshfield’s Andrew Kirdahy and Coe-Brown’s Tyler Tkazcyk would battle for the 9th position and round out the top 10.
With 4 in the top 10, 5 in the top 11, Coe-Brown completed the sweep of the JV races with 34 points. Needham would edge Winnacunnet 84-85 while Londonderry would take 4th over Marshfield 102-109. Seems as if the Granite State took this one!
The Girls Varsity Race would see the same contenders as the JV races with Coe-Brown, Marshfield, and Needham duking it out along side North Andover and Pinkerton. From the outset, North Andover, Coe-Brown and Marshfield seemed to take control of the team race behind early race leader Meghan Cross of Pinkerton. North Andover would have a trio working together the entire race in Abby Mastromonaco, Leyla Kvarternik, and Courtney Dalke while Coe-Brown had Abigail O’Connor and Addison Cox leading the chase pack. Winnacunnet’s Mackenna Whelan, Newton South’s Lily Bulczynski, and Marshfield’s Ruth Penny were also part of this pack. Cross would continue to lead exiting the woods while O’Connor made a strong gradual move to overtake her over the middle field loop. O’Connor would extend the lead to about 10 seconds through the final woods loop to win in 18:51 to Cross’s 19:02. Mastromonaco and Whelan would make it close and place 3rd (19:04) and 4th (19:06) respectively. Mastrocmonaco’s teammates Kvarternik and Bulczynski would place 5th and 6th with Penny 8th. Coe-Brown would counter with their pair of freshmen as Mallory Taylor and Sheldyn Fisher rounded out the top 10 running 19:47 and 19:51.
With their trio in the top 6, North Andover took the varsity plaque 51 -67 over Coe-Brown. Marshfield would be 3rd (76 points), Needham 4th (107 points) and Pinkerton 5th (107 points). With three teams in the top 5, Massachusetts seemed win this battle.
The Boys Varsity race was simply fast and saw 7 harriers break 16:00. This compared to last year which saw 4 under the barrier. To add to this perspective, last year’s individual champ’s time (Jeffrey Allen) would have placed him 6th in this year’s race. This thanks to a front pack which simply got after from the gun! Once the race settled in and after a week off, Winnacunnet’s Colin Donnelly led the pack comprised of Coe-Brown’s Luke Tkaczyk and Dawson Dubois, Marshfield’s Nick Valianti, North Andover’s Jack Bicksler, CBNA’s Aidan Cox, Windham’s Rohan Rai, Pinkerton’s Luke Brennan and Valianti’s teammate Drew Pesko. Pinkerton’s Luke Brennan and Needham’s top 2, Micah Bernat and Kyler McNatt would be in the chase pack.
Around midway, as the field was exiting the woods, entering ,the field, it was Donnelly dropping the hammer to extend a lead to 10 seconds over the chase pack of Tkaczyk, Dubois, Valianti, Bicksler and Cox. Around 2 and 1/4 miles, Donnelly was still in the lead, but a pelaton formed with Tkaczyk, Dubois and Valianti making up some ground with Cox and Bicksler rubbing elbows right behind them and Rai lurking.
Towards the end of the woods loop with approximately 400 meters remaining, Tkaczyk, Dubois and Valianti had caught Donnelly setting up an incredible finish. Dubois and Tkaczyk would gain a slight separation over Donnelly and Valianti to place 1-2 in 15:35 and 15:36. Donnelly ran 15:38 over Valianti’s 15:44. Bicksler closed well in 15:46 over Rai’s 15:48 and Cox’s 15:50. There’s your seven under 16. Pesko would wind up 8th at 16 flat with Brennan racing a great second hald to place 9th in 16:03 over Needham’s Bernat and McNatt who both ran 16:05.
Now, let’s take a moment to appreciate Coe-Brown’s team performance. With Carter Sylvester (13th 16:10) and Wyatt Mackey (14th, 16:15), Coe-Brown sported a 40 second compression and achieved an average time of 15:53. Wow! They scored 37 points over a strong, gutsy MA #5 ranked Marshfield’s 101. Winnacunnet would edge Needham 107 to 109, while Pinkerton would place 5th with 142 points. NH 3 teams in the top 5.
Congrats to all who competed and a hearty thanks to the Alvirne community for hosting another successful BoB!