OUR ENVIRONMENT NEEDS MORE LOCAL REPORTING

The Concord Monitor is launching its Environmental Reporting Lab, a long-term effort to better inform the community about the New Hampshire environment. To launch phase 1 of this effort, we need your help. The money raised will go toward hiring a full-time environmental reporter.

Please consider donating to this effort.

 

Concord sweeps Capital Area XC Championship team titles; Bishop Brady’s Katie Palmateer, Gilford’s Patrick Gandini win individual honors

  • The Concord boys’ cross country team takes off from the starting line at the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook on Thursday. The Crimson Tide won the team title for the fifth consecutive year. Rich Miyara  / NH Sports Photography

  • Gilford’s Patrick Gandini sprints to the finish line at the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook on Thursday. Gandini clocked a 16:07 to win the boys’ individual title. Rich Miyara/ NH Sports Photography

  • Gilford’s Patrick Gandini prepares to break the tape at the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook on Thursday. Gandini clocked a 16:07 to win the boys’ crown. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Concord’s Sam Hilts digs deep as he approaches the finish line at the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook on Thursday. Hilts finished second to lead the Crimson Tide to its fifth consecutive crown. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Bishop Brady’s Katie Palmateer leads the pack at the mile 1 marker at the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook. Palmateer stayed in front to win the girls’ individual title. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Bishop Brady’s Katie Palmateer runs towards the finish line at the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook on Thursday. Palmateer won the girls’ individual title in 19:30. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Merrimack Valley’s Sophia Reynolds (338) digs deep as she runs towards the finish line ahead of Hopkinton’s Hannah Bennett at the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook on Thursday. Reynolds finished second to Bishop Brady’s Katie Palmateer. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Concord’s Shelly Smith (left) and Bow’s Maya Brochu (right) run to the finish line to place sixth and seventh, respectively, at the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook on Thursday. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Bishop Brady’s Katie Palmateer runs towards the finish line to win the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook on Thursday. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

Monitor staff
Published: 10/22/2021 8:01:49 AM

PENACOOK – Two familiar team champions and two new individual champions earned bragging rights as the region’s best at the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championships at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook on Thursday. 

The Concord boys won their fifth consecutive Capital Area title and the Tide girls won their ninth straight, with Gilford junior Patrick Gandini and Bishop Brady senior Katie Palmateer winning the individual boys’ and girls’ titles. 

The girls’ race was especially exciting, with Division I Concord (42 points) narrowly beating D-III Hopkinton (50) in a tight battle that lived up to expectations, while seven individuals stayed together in a lead pack that jockeyed for position right through the finish line.

Palmateer broke the tape in 19:30, while Merrimack Valley senior Sophia Reynolds edged Concord sophomore Alina Pincoske in a photo finish (both clocked 19:38) for runner-up honors.

Hopkinton’s Hannah Bennett (19:39), Concord’s Molly Nyhan (19:46) and Shelly Smith (19:49) and Bow’s Maya Brochu (19:50) claimed third through seventh place.

Gilford (131), Conant (144), Merrimack Valley (148), Bow (148), John Stark (165) and Kearsarge (170) were the rest of the top eight teams, with Pembroke (202), Bishop Brady (215) and Prospect Mountain (306) rounding out the 11 scoring teams out of 15 that toed the line.

Concord (defending D-I champions for both boys and girls, the only D-I team in the area) and Gandini (undefeated this season) weren’t shocking victories, but Palmateer’s victory was the biggest surprise, going against a stacked field with several contenders to win individual titles at NHIAA’s division championships.

“It was a tough field out there,” Palmateer said. “I knew I wanted to push myself so I started out fast and I was hoping I’d be able to hold that pace. I was able to and it was a great day.”

The victory was Bishop Brady’s first Capital Area title since Laura Straub won back-to-back crowns for the Giants in 2002 and 2003.

“It’s very exciting. I love representing my school,” Palmateer said. “It’s great that we have such a fun, tight-knit group this year. I think we’ve really pushed each other this season and improved a lot, so it’s very exciting to be able to represent Brady.” 

On the team side of things, Abby Goulas (11th, 20:50), Chloe Gudas (17th, 22:18), Ava Philbrook (18th, 22:18) and Phoebe Dater-Roberts (19th, 22:19) rounded out Concord’s runners. 

Nyhan and Smith did a good job staying ahead of Hopkinton’s other runners – Shaylee Murdough (eighth, 20:04), Anna O’Reilly (ninth, 20:13), Cailey Stockwell (14th, 21:10), Clara Locke (15th, 21:22), Amelia Walsh (25th, 22:54) and Ava Rothe (42nd, 24:19) – to put some points between the Tide and the Hawks, who are undefeated against D-III competition this year.

“We were all working together to get this win today,” said Nyhan, a junior. “Hopkinton is super competitive. They killed us at the beginning of the year (at the Bobcat Invitational). We were really trying to focus on getting as many girls into the top 10 as possible and having a strong fifth runner so we could get more in before Hopkinton’s (fifth runner).”

“We knew that Hopkinton was a really strong team, they’re very high in the (NewHampshireCrossCountry.com) rankings,” Concord girls’ coach Ally Davis said. “But (Concord) pulled it off and they ran incredibly today. I’m really proud.”

On the boys’ side, Gandini (16:07) and a trio of Concord senior runners – Sam Hilts (second, 16:14), Zach Hooper (third, 16:26) and John Murphy (fourth, 16:50) – were out in front the whole time, although they spread a bit by the race’s end.

Liam Gleason (ninth, 17:55), Tyler Watt (10th, 17:56), Jonathan McDonald (12th, 18:03) and Colby Bettens (33rd, 19:32) gave the Tide good depth for a winning score of 28 points.

Bow – led by Adem Aricanli (fifth, 17:20), Lincoln Routhier (eighth, 17:47), Michael Pelletier (17th, 18:27), Connor Bernard (18th, 18:32), Owen Miller (21st, 18:41) and Aiden Ciminesi (51st, 21:25) – scored 69 points to finish second.

Newfound (98), Conant (139), Gilford (170), Hopkinton (181), John Stark (189), Prospect Mountain (217), Inter-Lakes (218) and Merrimack Valley (228) rounding out the top 10 teams. Bishop Brady (251), Pembroke (252) and Belmont (275) came in 11th through 13th. 

“We like this meet a lot,” Concord boys’ coach Zach Procek said. “It’s a great time to see teams we wouldn’t normally see … Thanks to Merrimack Valley, they know how to put together a good meet. The kids have been training hard for it. They really like to dig deep for this one … The kids did really well. What more can I ask for?”

Gandini – the overwhelming favorite to win the D-III championship and a contender for the Meet of Champions title as well – lost this race by four seconds to Concord’s Eben Bragg in 2019 when he was a freshman.

“It’s nice to get some redemption,” Gandini said. “It’s good to have some of these fast (Concord) guys to race with. It was close the whole time.”

The timing for Concord’s performance couldn’t have been better. The Tide have been without their usual varsity lineup for a few weeks, but Hilts, who had been out with a minor leg injury, was able to rejoin the top seven for one final race before next weekend’s D-I championship.

Hopkinton’s Ben Daniels (sixth, 17:37), Matt Clarner (14th, 18:12) and Conrad Mollano (32nd, 19:26); John Stark’s Eli Lemire (11th, 18:02) and Seth Marquardt (29th, 19:15); Pembroke’s Colby Despres (23rd, 18:44); Kearsarge’s Soeren Baughman (26th, 18:58); Merrimack Valley’s Mark Mercier (31st, 19:24); Bishop Brady’s John Horangic (38th, 20:01); Belmont’s Baidyn Lewis (39th, 20:11) and Hillsboro-Deering’s Michael Denslow (40th, 20:14) were the other top local runners for the boys.

Kearsarge’s Molly Ellison (13th, 20:55) and Amelia Lefebvre (20th, 22:21); John Stark’s Izabel Korbet (21st, 22:21) and Brianna Langdon (22nd, 22:31); Bow’s Leigh Rudduck (23rd, 22:38), Lena Thompson (26th, 23:00) and Delia Brochu (34th, 23:42); Belmont’s Alyssa Edgren (27th, 23:01); Pembroke’s Abigail Duchesne (30th, 23:11) and Adison Mayeu (32nd, 23:27); Merrimack Valley’s Samantha Kimball (31st, 23:23) and Madison Geddes (33rd, 23:38); and Bishop Brady’s Olivia Blanchard (48th, 24:38) were the other top local runners for the girls.

This concludes the regular season for NHIAA cross country. All three divisions will hold their championship meets on Oct. 30 at Manchester’s Derryfield Park.




Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2021 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy