Cox, Zahn, Coe-Brown boys finish 2nd at Black Bear XC Invite

  • Bow’s Maya Brochu (37) and Susanna Zahn (55) take off in the lead pack early in the Black Bear Invitational girls' race at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy on Saturday. Brochu finished fifth and Zahn finished second. Jay Smith / NewHampshireCrossCountry.com

  • Bow’s Susanna Zahn (right) and Portsmouth Christian’s Brianna Malone lead the way at the Black Bear Invitational at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy on Saturday. Malone went on to win in 18:43, while Zahn placed second in 19:17. Jay Smith / NewHampshireCrossCountry.com

  • Coe-Brown’s Sheldyn Fisher runs on her home course at the Black Bear Invitational on Saturday. Fisher finished third. Jay Smith / NewHampshireCrossCountry.com

  • Gilford’s Patrick Gandini (187) and Coe-Brown’s Nikhil Chavda (93), Jamie Lano (105), Maxwell Lemay (107) and Aidan Cox (105) take off from the starting line at the Black Bear Invitational at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy on Saturday. Jay Smith / NewHampshireCrossCountry.com

  • Coe-Brown’s Aidan Cox (95) pulls away from Phillips Exeter Academy’s Byron Grevious at the Black Bear Invitational on Saturday. Cox pulled away after the first mile, but Grevious came back to win in 15:29. Cox finished second in 15:51 on his home course. Jay Smith / NewHampshireCrossCountry.com

  • Coe-Brown’s Jamie Lano (105) and Tyler Tkaczyk (119) attempt to pass Bishop Guertin’s Matthew Giardina (15) at the Black Bear Invitational on Saturday. Tkaczyk finished sixth and Lano finished eighth on their home course Jay Smith / NewHampshireCrossCountry.com

  • Coe-Brown’s Aidan Cox finishes strong at the Black Bear Invitational on Saturday. Cox finished second on his home course, clocking a 15:51. Jay Smith / NewHampshireCrossCountry.com

Monitor staff
Published: 10/2/2022 10:40:16 AM

With cross country, it all comes down to what happens at the state championship at the end of October, so any lessons are best learned earlier in the season.

Aidan Cox learned a valuable lesson against some of the best runners and teams – both public and private school programs – in the state on his home course, making a big move on the field at the end of the first mile, but settling for second at the 15-team Coe-Brown Black Bear Invitational in Northwood.

Cox, a senior, clocked a 15 minute, 51 second 5K time, 22 seconds behind the boys’ champion, Byron Grevious of Phillips Exeter Academy.

A two-time defending Division II and Meet of Champions champion, Cox came into Saturday’s Black Bear Invite fresh off a huge victory at the 70-plus team Manchester Invitational the weekend prior.

“He had a great race last week, this week he got a little excited around the mile marker,” Cox’s father and co-head coach Tim Cox said. “When you are running against one of the best in the country (Grevious), it’s hard to make a move like that.”

For Cox, who is also the high school state record holder in cross country with a sub-15 minute 5K, having a runner around him to do battle with on the course is rare.

“Hats off to Byron for running a great race,” coach Cox said. “It’s a good lesson to have.”

Like Cox in the individual race, the Coe-Brown boys’ team usually doesn’t face too much competition in the team standings, but faced plenty in Phillips Exeter, with the Bears finishing second as a team with 49 points to PEA’s 37.

Bishop Guertin (93), Hanover (112) and Winnacunnet (133) rounded out the top five teams, while Bow (seventh, 220) and Kearsarge (10th, 282) were the other local teams in the field.

Tyler Tkaczyk (16:26), Jamie Lano (16:31), Nikhil Chavda (17:15), Maxwell Lemay (17:59) and Luc Kerouac (18:38) also ran for Coe-Brown, who was without typical No. 4 runner – Gavin Demas.

“We’ve never been at full strength (so far this season),” coach Cox said. “Some kids are banged up, some kids are sick, but the kids who ran today, ran well.”

On the girls’ side, Bow senior Susanna Zahn continued her impressive season, finishing second in 19:17 to Portsmouth Christian’s Brianna Malone (18:43). 

Coe-Brown’s Sheldyn Fisher (19:28) and Bow’s Maya Brochu (19:55) were third and fifth, respectively. 

Phillips Exeter (55) also topped the girls’ standings, while Hanover (77), Winnacunnet (85), Dover (97), Bow (136) and Coe-Brown (150) rounded out the top six teams, although, as Cox pointed out, the standings at these mid-season races can be deceiving.

“We have three or four weeks until the state meet. Each team has their own (training) arch,” Cox said. “As far as Coe-Brown is concerned, we’ve never had a phenomenal Manchester Invite or Black Bear. It’s always been a bit rough – on purpose. You have to put the work in at a certain point, and for us, it’s right now. It’s about trying to keep faith and trusting the training. … The top runners are the top runners, but as far as teams are concerned, you never know. There’s plenty of time left.”

Delia Brochu (43rd, 23:58), Julia Hou (46th, 24:19) and Rachel Pelletier (55th, 24:49) were the other scoring runners for Bow, while Meredith Kerrivan (27th, 22:26), Madison Taylor (39th, 23:27), Emma Larson (44th, 24:07) and Carly Hardy (49th, 24:41) scored for Coe-Brown.

Kearsarge did not have enough runners to score, but had a strong race from Molly Ellison (11th, 21:06).

Owen Miller (26th, 18:20), Alden Betterley (36th, 18:44), Aiden Ciminesi (47th, 19:29), Thomas Sargent (49th, 19:31) and Wyatt Worcester (62nd, 20:15) scored for the Bow boys.

Matt Berns (33rd, 18:40), Daniel Dalbec (39th, 19:02), Quinton Cloutier (63rd, 20:20), Eli McCarthy (67th, 20:35) and Gareth Richer (81st, 21:26) were the scoring runners for the Kearsarge boys.




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