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High schools: Concord, Coe-Brown XC teams shine at Cofrin Classic

  • Concord’s Forest MacKenzie crosses the finish line first during the Cofrin Classic 5K Division I cross country race at NHTI on Thursday. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Concord runner Forest MacKenzie eases up as he crosses the finish line as the top male finisher during Thursday’s Cofrin Classic 5K cross country race at NHTI. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Coe-Brown sophomore Addison Cox receives applause as she makes her way across the finish line Thursday during the Cofrin Classic 5K Division I cross country race at NHTI. Cox was the fastest female finisher at 19 minutes, 25 seconds. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Runners from five Division I teams begin Thursday’s Cofrin Classic 5K cross country race at NHTI. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Coe-Brown’s Mabel Mackey (229) and Charlotte Cleaver (210) lead a pack of runners off the starting line during Thursday’s Cofrin Classic 5K cross country race at NHTI. The Bears beat out Bedford to earn first place as a team in the girls’ race. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Friday, September 07, 2018

Forest MacKenzie breezed through the course as the only male to complete the race in under 16 minutes. The only other runner to threaten him: his own teammate, Eli Boesch-Dining.

It was that kind of day for the Concord boys’ cross country team, which placed 11 runners in the top 20 and walked away from its Division I season opener with a convincing victory in the Cofrin Classic 5K race Thursday at NHTI.

Not bad for a program trying to shake off the rust of a long offseason.

“Most of us haven’t ran cross country since the Northeast championships last year so it was a rust buster,” said MacKenzie, a top returner for the Tide who finished first overall in 15 minutes, 48 seconds. “Some of our guys didn’t have the best performance, but I think all in all, a win is a win and the real racing comes in October and November.”

Still, Thursday’s race serves as an early season barometer for coaches to gauge where their teams are at, and Concord coach Tristan Black-Ingersoll left impressed after MacKenzie and Boesch-Dining (16:01) helped Concord (21 points) edge Coe-Brown (36 points) for the top spot in the five-team meet.

“The team was way faster here than we were a year ago, which is a really good sign,” Black-Ingersoll said. “To come out and run like that was really good. I was really impressed with Coe-Brown, too. I think it made the race a lot more exciting for our guys to go out and have another strong team to mix it up with.”

Coe-Brown’s Dawson Dubois settled for third overall with a time of 16 minutes, 29 seconds, and the Bears placed runners all over the top 10, including Luke Tkaczyk (fifth, 16:35), Wyatt Mackey (seventh, 16:42) and Gavyn Lewis (10th, 17:00).

But everyone was chasing MacKenzie – a running theme of late in Division I.

And what makes the Concord senior so hard to catch?

“It’s hard to say. I’m not talented by any means compared to some of the other guys so I think my edge is I just want to win really bad,” MacKenzie said. “Whether it’s pickup basketball or chess, I’m going to try and beat you to the best of my abilities and I think it’s just hard work and the love of the sport.”

Other top finishers for Concord included sophomore Aidan O’Hern, who placed sixth after posting a time of 16:41, Brayden Kearns (eighth, 16:54), and both Eben Bragg and David Cook, who finished 10th and 11th, respectively.

In the girls’ race, it was sophomore Addison Cox leading the charge for Coe-Brown as the Bears (38 points) beat out Bedford (49) and Concord (57) for first place.

Cox, the winner of last year’s Cofrin Classic, was the clear-cut leader of the pack with a finishing time of 19 minutes, 25 seconds – nearly one minute faster than Bedford’s Carly Rinko, who was second overall at 20:14. Junior Abigail O’Connor was the next finisher for the Bears in fifth at 20:46.

Concord received strong showings from its large group of underclassmen. Sophomores Morgane Orcutt (third, 20:21) and Hannah Willette (eighth, 21:01) ran well, as did freshman Katherine Kennedy, who took seventh overall after finishing in 20:57.

“Overall I’m really happy with what they did today,” Concord girls’ coach Ally Davis said. “This is the first race and I have a really young team so a lot of them haven’t run 5K and they’re still trying to figure all that out. … They ran as well as I thought they would. They did really well and I think they can only improve their times more and more as the season goes on.”

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, jmcaree@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

Boys Soccer

Sanborn 2, Hillsboro-Deering 1

Key players: Hillsboro-Deering – Jack Ferguson (G)

Coach’s quote: “We had many good opportunities and near misses just didn’t go out way this time. Lost in OT.” – H-D’s Glenn Winters

Records: Sanborn 2-1; Hillsboro-Deering 2-2

Golf

Hopkinton 71, Sunapee 45,
Hillsboro-Deering 29, Newport 12

Key players: Hopkinton – Larsen Burack (19 points), Daniel Miner (19), Brandon Boris (19), Kody Dexter (14), Andrew Fairneny (14)

Highlights: Hopkinton remained undefeated by picking up three victories at Newport Country Club.

Coach’s quote: “They played consistent golf. I see us improving each time we play.” – Dave Chase

Records: Hopkinton 5-0; H-D 2-3

Golf

Bow 1st, Laconia 3rd

Key players: Bow – Jake Mielcarz (medalist, 26 points), Jason Howe (22 points)

Coach’s quote: “This was one of the best team performances I have seen from our group. From 1-7, each player played to their potential. Nice to see both Mielcarz and Howe showing confidence in their play, and big days from Lamy and Benoit.” – Bow’s Matthew Davis

Records: Bow 6-1

Field Hockey

Sanborn 2, Bow 2

Key players: Bow – Isabelle Dolcino (offense), Emma Hilton (midfield/defense), Jocelyn Webber (midfield/defense), Maddie Soucy (5 saves), Courtney Baer (7 saves)

Coach’s quote: “We are continuing to grow as a team. Today the girls played aggressively, talked well and had several scoring opportunities. They remain positive and have identified some specific points of improvement that they want to work on.” – Bow’s Rebeca Cleary

Records: Bow 1-3

Souhegan 1, Merrimack Valley 0

Key players: Merrimack Valley – Reilly Swislosky, Alexa Prewitt, Molly McLaughlin, Alani Ramas, Emily Blanchette

Highlights: MV trailed by one after Souhegan broke down the defense and got a clear shot on net at 17:10 into the first half. The Pride had chances throughout to score with shots off corners and aggressive circle play but it never got going.

Coach’s quote: “I think overall we played hard and made some big stops in the midfield and defensive end. Souhegan was able to take advantage of a scoring opportunity early and we were not able to counter. We are going to continue to work hard and improve our offensive pressure every game. ” – MV’s Jen Otis

Records: Souhegan 3-0; Merrimack Valley 1-2

Girls Volleyball

Plymouth 3, John Stark 2

Key players: John Stark – Riley Lord (14 kills, 6 digs), Lillian Stogner (10 kills, 7 aces, 11 digs), Olyvia Bergeron (6 kills, 2 aces), Brooke Patnode (26 assists, 3 aces, 5 digs).

Highlights: John Stark controlled the first set and led most of the second set but made some untimely errors and Plymouth came from behind to win. Plymouth won the third set in a back and forth battle and won the deciding fifth set by taking the early lead.

Coach’s quote: “We’re getting better every match. We had this match but still made too many mistakes when the game was close. This is a strong team with great players. ” – Stark’s Jeff McClellan

Records: Plymouth 2-0; John Stark 0-3