Coe-Brown girls’ cross-country team cements its elite status at Manchester Invitational
The goal of the Coe-Brown girls’ cross country runners and coaches is to repeat as Division II and state champions and win the New England title. So yesterday’s victory in the elite race at the Manchester Invitational, featuring top teams from all over New England, was extra sweet.
“We’re thrilled to run this well this early in the year,” said Bears co-Coach Brent Tkaczyk said. “We look to run our best in October (at states and New Englands).”
Local cross country teams performed well across all 12 races, with Smita Boesch-Dining of Concord (sixth-place in girls’ large school race), Dom Repucci of Hopkinton (sixth-place in boys’ small school), Andrew Weckstein of Bow (10th boys’ small school) and Jeremy Brassard of Coe-Brown (11th boys’ small school) as the top individuals, and the Concord girls (third in large school), Hopkinton girls (seventh in small school) and Coe-Brown boys (fourth in small school) as the notable local teams. But the Coe-Brown girls stole the show with their first-ever elite race title.
Although Coe-Brown has set its sights on long-term goals, expectations were still high after finishing sixth in the elite race last year and second in season-ending New Englands. Elisabeth Danis (third, 18:56) ran a personal-best for the Derryfield Park course and was joined by Hannah Parker (sixth, 19:29) and Jessie Carney (15th, 19:58) in the top 15 to lead Coe-Brown (77 points) to a narrow win over Champlain Valley, Vt., (82) and Glastonbury, Conn., (100) in the 10-team race.
“Champlain Valley has been the star of New England for the past five to 10 years and Glastonbury is a great pack team,” Cox said. “If they raced us five times, we could beat them five times, they could beat us five times. That’s how close the race was.”
Carney “came through huge,” Cox said. “She is our leader on and off the cross country course. If it hadn’t been for her, we wouldn’t have beat Champlain Valley.”
Battling an illness for the past few weeks, Carney was expected to be the fifth-fastest runner at best, but surpassed all expectations, narrowly beating Champlain Valley’s fourth runner. Meg Scannell (21st, 20:11), Brooke Laskowsky (32nd, 20:40), Mary Fowler (35th, 20:50) and Katie Scannell (37th, 21:02) all finished ahead of Champlain Valley’s fifth runner for some valuable points.
∎ In the girls’ large school division, Boesch-Dining (19:49) finished ahead of a tight pack of Tide runners including Fiona MacWhinnie (28th, 20:46), Kaelin Willette (30th, 20:49), Michaella Conery (31st, 20:51) and Kate Andy (34th, 21:00) as Concord narrowly lost out to St. Johnsbury Academy, Vt., 124-129 for second place. Winnacunnet (114) won the team title and Hollis-Brookline (164) and Massabesic, Maine, (228) rounded out the top five.
Raquel Gelinas (63rd, 21:41) and Cassie Owens (75th, 22:00) ran well for Merrimack Valley, which did not have enough runners for a team score.
∎ In the boys’ large school race, MV finished 10th out of 29 teams behind the performances Keegan Hanks (43rd, 17:42), Walker John (46th, 17:45), Brendan Polichronopoulos (61st, 17:59), Brandon Richardson (83rd, 18:13) and Carter Saltmarsh (88th, 18:16). Concord was 24th and was led by Pepper Smith (27th, 17:29). Alex Saveliev (91st, 18:16), Calgary Mackenzie (146th, 19:18), Jamie Nelson (150th, 19:24) and Michael Alexander (152nd, 19:27) completed the scoring.
Nashua South (146), Bedford (177) and Portsmouth (186) were the top three teams.
∎ The team from Tyngsborough, Mass., (56) ran away with the team win in the girls’ small school race, with Hopkinton (seventh), John Stark (13th), Bow (14th), Pembroke (21st) and Winnisquam (26th) rounding out the local teams in the 26-team field.
Maddie Clark (13th, 20:25) and Sarah Nadeau (16th, 20:31) led Hopkinton. Emily Calder (27th, 21:13), Katie Irwin (49th, 22:03) and Melissa Irwin (131st, 25:01) completed the scoring for the Hawks.
Hazel Johnstone (39th, 21:43), Madeline Ishak (46th, 21:57), Hailey Nase (57th, 22:18), Erin Scott (140th, 25:27) and Abigail Kuzma (146th, 25:51) scored for John Stark. Despite having two top runners in the freshmen race instead of varsity, Bow still did well behind Ashlie Tucker (58th, 22:20), Hannah Weckstein (59th, 22:22), Naina Vig (76th, 22:56), Haleigh Garrett (111th, 24:27) and Kaitlynn Leary (132nd, 25:08).
Pembroke was led by Jayla Decker (80th, 23:13), Mariah Mitchell (83rd, 23:24) and Larissa Amour (121st, 24:50), and Winnisquam was led by Tea Michaloski (139th, 25:25) and Haley DeSousa (147th, 25:53).
∎ Coe-Brown (fourth) was the top local team in the boys’ small school race, which was won by East Greenwich, R.I., (54). Harwood, Vt., (66) and Ellsworth, Maine, (111) rounded out the top three. Bow (13th), Hopkinton (15th), Pembroke (22nd), John Stark (27th) and Winnisquam (no team score) also competed in the 30-team field.
Brassard (16:44), Lucas Fisher (23rd, 17:13), Jared Nelson (38th, 17:46), Jake Scarponi (63rd, 18:23) and Zach Flanagan (66th, 18:25) paced Coe-Brown. Weckstein (16:37), Peter LaRiviere (54th, 18:08), Andrew Attorri (65th, 18:24), Travis Beauchain (127th, 19:36) and Dylan Wheeler (131st, 19:39) led Bow. Repucci (16:24), Declan Campbell (85th, 18:46), Cody Roberge (86th, 18:48), Chris Barnard (109th, 19:17) and Peter Sawitsky (120th, 19:29) scored for Hopkinton.
Pembroke was led by John Sanborn (49th, 18:01), Kam Anderson (67th, 18:25) and Steven Abbott (123rd, 19:32), while John Stark was led by Kad Hirschenhofer (114th, 19:19) and Robert Kram (168th, 20:38). Michael Roy (87th, 18:50) and Zachary Baker (108th, 19:16) ran well for Winnisiquam.
BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Bishop Brady Second
Tim Fafard (16:57) won the race at NHTI to lead Mascenic to a victory over Bishop Brady, 23-41. Hillsboro-Deering was third. Warren Bartlett (third), Jake Boesch (fourth), Stephen Weinman (eighth), James Newman (12th) and Jacob Perry (14th) scored for the Green Giants.
GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY
BISHOP BRADY FIRST
Maggie Girard won in a time of 23:48 to lead Hillsboro-Deering, but the Hillcats still lost to the Green Giants, 22-42. Devyn Saucier (second), Amelia Toole (third), Julia Jones (fourth), Lauren Lamberger (seventh) and Chelsea Marshall (ninth) scored for Bishop Brady.
St. Thomas 44, Pembroke 15
The Spartans played well in the first half, trailing 9-8 at the break, but fell apart in the second half in a loss to Division II powerhouse St. Thomas.
Quarterback Chris Cushing scored on a rush and threw a pass to Adam Gelinas for a two-point conversion to give Pembroke an 8-3 lead. The Spartans opened up the second half with a halfback option pass and Keenan Abbott hit Gelinas with a pass for an 80-yard touchdown. The successful PAT made it 15-9, but the Saints took over from there. Abbott rushed well and Dean Dustin played well on both sides of the ball.
“We just ran out of gas,” Pembroke Coach Brian Gridley said. “We need to play for four quarters.”
The Spartans (1-3) hope to break a three-game losing streak Friday at home when they host Merrimack Valley (3-1) under the lights in their annual rivalry game.
Bow 42, Gilford 7
The Falcons (3-1) scored four first-half touchdowns to take a 27-0 halftime lead in a game that Bow Coach Paul Cohen referred to as “a must-win game.”
“This was a great victory for us,” Cohen said. “Clearly it was our day. ... I’m very proud of the team.”
Alex Reitze scored a 4-yard rushing touchdown (Travis Reynolds kicked the PAT) and a 5-yard receiving TD (from Derek Polish), while Matt Ehrenberg (35-yard run) and Chris Robbins (8-yard run) also scored first-half touchdowns. Gavin Lacourciere scored a two-point conversion.
Ehrenberg (52-yard run, Reynolds kicked PAT) and Polish (2-yard run) scored second-half touchdowns and Cody Dane caught a pass for a two-point conversion to round out the scoring. Teddy Nappen and Tony Roberts played well defensively.
Hopkinton 8, Laconia
The Hawks (5-1-1) scored 30 seconds into the game when Lily Scammon put a rebound of a Sabrey Montore shot into the upper left corner, then rolled to a commanding 6-0 lead at halftime.
Scammon and Brianna Curley led the Hawks with two goals apiece, while Montore (goal, assist), Courtney Benson (goal, two assists), Grace Givens (goal) and Lilias Whitehead (goal) also contributed.
Belmont 2, Gilford 0
The Red Raiders held a 23-3 shot advantage and improved to 9-0 with the win at Gilford (2-5-1).
“It was a gutsy, grind-it-out kind of game,” Belmont Coach Amy Dutton said.
Chayleigh Cadarette scored an unassisted goal in the third minute to give the Raiders a quick lead, which the defense, led by Zoe Zeller, Courtney Clairmont, Jasmine Syed and Karlyn Brown, making her first varsity start at stopper, never relinquished.
The Raiders added to the lead in the 69th minute when Hannah Shirley fed a pretty pass to Cassie Contigiani for the score. Midfielder Makayla Donovan also played well for the Belmont.
Mascenic 3, John Stark 0
Madalyn Lover had 20 assists, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Generals (3-5) losing to Mascenic (5-3) in three games, 25-17, 25-12, 25-14. Megan Wing (four digs) and Shelby Brouillet (eight kills, four aces) also played well.