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Concord boys win, Hopkinton girls 2nd at 17-team Bobcat XC Invite

  • Hopkinton’s Hannah Bennett runs at the Bobcat Invitational at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee on Saturday. Bennett finished third and the Hawks finished second as a team at the 17-team event. Courtesy of NewHampshireCrossCountry.com

  • Concord’s Sam Hilts checks his time as he crosses the finish line at the Bobcat Invitational at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee on Saturday. Hilts finished second and the Tide won the team title, topping a field of 17 teams. Courtesy of NewHampshireCrossCountry.com

  • Concord’s Zachary Hooper runs to the finish line at the Bobcat Invitational at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee, N.H. Hooper finished fifth individually, while the Concord boys won the team title. Courtesy of NewHampshireCrossCountry.com

Monitor staff
Published: 9/12/2021 2:26:47 PM

Saturday’s 17-team Bobcat Invitational at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee has been the biggest cross country event in New Hampshire so far this fall, and area teams and individuals made the most of that opportunity.

The four-time defending Division I champion Concord boys team won, showing that the Crimson Tide is still the team to beat in D-I, while the Hopkinton girls – the reigning D-III champions – finished second, besting several D-I and D-II teams in the process.

Seniors Sam Hilts (second, 16:32) and Zachary Hooper (fifth, 16:44) were in the main chase group behind winner Patrick Gandini of Gilford (16:26), while John Murphy (seventh, 17:27), Liam Gleason (17th, 18:13) and Tyler Watt (18th, 18:16) were the scoring runners for Tide, which won with a score of 49 points.

Hosts Oyster River (64), Exeter (113), Sanborn (144) and Dover (155) were the top five teams, while Hopkinton (234) and Pembroke (283) finished ninth and 10th, respectively.

Hopkinton junior Hannah Bennett out-leaned Exeter’s Caitlyn Murphy at the line to take third place in 20:35, while Anna O’Reilly (17th, 21:38), Cailey Stockwell (18th, 21:42), Clara Locke (20th, 21:52) and Shaylee Murdough (22nd, 22:08) all finished in a close group, scoring 76 points as a team.

D-I Dover (52) was the only team to beat the Hawks, which topped D-I champs Concord (88).

The Tide girls needed a tiebreaker to claim third place over Exeter (88).

“The varsity girls have been working out some early season kinks in their top five, but they showed a great grouping today to close some gaps,” Hopkinton coach Rob Rothe said. “It is still early in the season, but it’s clear that this is a special group that can make things happen.”

Oyster River (95) and Bedford (116) rounded out the top six and Pembroke (294) finished 11th.

Four teams that competed in Saturday’s Bobcat Invite – Dover, Concord, Exeter and Bedford – finished in the top seven of last year’s Meet of Champions.

Dover’s Brooke Marshall (20:12) was individual winner.

“The varsity girls have been working out some early season kinks in their top five, but they showed a great grouping today to close some gaps,” Hopkinton coach Rob Rothe said. “It is still early in the season, but it’s clear that this is a special group that can make things happen.”

The top five for the Concord girls were Molly Nyhan (seventh, 20:54), Alina Pincoske (20:59), Shelly Smith (16th, 21:30), Abby Goulas (25th, 22:30) and Quincy Bolduc (35th, 23:32), while sixth runner Gracie McHugh (37th, 23:51) was faster than Exeter’s sixth runner (46th) to give the Tide the edge in the tiebreak.

Ben Daniels (21st, 18:31), Matt Clarner (24th, 18:37), Conrad Mollano (58th, 20:39), Liam O’Rourke (65th, 20:50 and Anthony Cauley (93rd, 23:28) were the scoring runners for the Hopkinton boys, while Colby Despres (27th, 18:59), Isaiah Berkeley (62nd, 20:44), Samuel Nereson (67th, 20:53), Ben Dugas (80th, 21:38) and Sam Thomas (85th, 22:11) scored for the Pembroke boys.

The Spartan girls were led by Abigail Duchesne (57th, 24:45), Charlotte Corbitt (68th, 26:37), Adison Mayeu (69th, 26:39), Elizabeth Duchesne (73rd, 27:06) and Camdyn Despres (78th, 28:07).




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