Cross country: Coe-Brown’s Jamie Lano wins boys’ title, leads Bears to 2nd; both Bow teams advance to MOC

Coe-Brown Northwood Academy’s Jamie Lano reacts after crossing the finish line to become the NHIAA Division II boys’ state champion at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Saturday. Lano finished the course in 16 minutes, 24 seconds to lead the Bears to second place as a team.

Coe-Brown Northwood Academy’s Jamie Lano reacts after crossing the finish line to become the NHIAA Division II boys’ state champion at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Saturday. Lano finished the course in 16 minutes, 24 seconds to lead the Bears to second place as a team. JAY SMITH / NHXCTF

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 10-29-2023 9:48 AM

MANCHESTER – Anyone who has run cross country in New Hampshire knows the McIntyre hill on the iconic 5K course at Derryfield Park that is the main feature of the second mile of the race. In the past, cresting that hill has broken Jamie Lano. On Saturday, he used it to break his opponents.

Lano, a senior at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy, laid the hammer down in the second mile of the race to break away from the rest of the leaders and hung on in a grueling finish to claim the NHIAA Division II individual boys’ championship in 16 minutes, 24.29 seconds.

Fellow senior Sunny Nomula (sixth, 16:52) and junior Luc Kerouac (ninth, 16:57) made it three Coe-Brown Bear finishers in the top nine.

But Hanover placed four runners in the top eight to claim the team title with 40 points, besting CBNA’s score of 62.

Coe-Brown’s runner-up finish ends CBNA’s streak at five consecutive D-II team titles. It wasn’t unexpected, as Coe-Brown graduated an exceptionally talented class last year, a class that included three Division I collegiate runners and state record holder Aidan Cox.

“The (other teams) didn’t think we’d be here,” Coe-Brown boys’ head coach Lucas Fisher said. “We knew those guys could get here, and they did. …That was a talking point of this season, of just saying ‘Don’t count us out yet.’ All seven of them gave it their all. From start to finish, to battle all the way through was a really cool moment. I’m super proud of those guys.”

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Senior Liam McLean (17th, 17:32), freshman Ben Jobin (29th, 18:13), junior Quinn Froburg (46th, 19:22) and sophomore Keegan Sousa (54th, 19:42) rounded out Coe-Brown’s squad.

Lano started out near the front of the pack just behind the leaders, a group that included the eventual runner-up, Souhegan’s Taloosh Anderson (16:28) and Hanover’s Lucian Gleiser (fifth, 16:46).

“I wanted a smooth, (conservative) mile and be near the front so when I got to the hill I could make a really hard move, and that’s what I did,” said Lano. “In the back of my head, I knew (Gleiser) had worked a little harder in the first mile because he led most of it. I knew one big hard push was going to open up the race. Right around the bottom of McIntyre, I couldn’t feel him on my back anymore. I knew I could put down the hammer. I felt good and I knew the gap was getting bigger.”

Lano’s hard push up the hill came at a price. It meant less in the tank for the final half mile, a winding route up the gently sloping grassy, open field at Derryfield Park with no reprieve from the unseasonably warm temperatures and sun. Lano started seeing stars and Anderson was bearing down on him, but Lano hung on to win.

“There’s always that little bit left in the tank even when your brain is telling you there’s nothing left,” Lano said. “It was a race I was going to have to lead gun to tape. … I wanted to do the best I could for my team. To get the job done is a great feeling after all the work I’ve put in.”

Lano led his teammates this season both on and off the course. Two years ago he gave up playing baseball and basketball to run track and cross country year round, and he bought into the team culture. That was especially important this season as the team transitioned to a new coaching staff led by Fisher and fellow CBNA alum Brooke Laskowsky. They replaced former coaches Tim Cox and Brent Tkaczyk, who had helmed the program for more than two decades. 

“He went from a team where we had (four) seniors and he just had to sit back and watch them,” Fisher said. “This year, he was put into the leadership role. He did great, he took all the boys who ran today under his wing.”

“I learned so much from the seniors,” Lano said. “This year, I wanted to be that person for my teammates. Our team’s pretty young … I dont’ think they’re going anywhere. With our coaching and a winning mindset, we’re going to keep being a successful program.”

Coe-Brown’s runner-up finish assures that the Bears’ season will continue for at least one more week. The top six teams and 25 individuals in D-II advance to next Saturday’s Meet of Champions at Alvirne High School in Hudson.

Souhegan (97), Oyster River (114), Bow (192) and Milford (209) are the other boys’ teams joining them. 

Bow missed out on MOC qualifying last year by one place. Seniors Alden Betterley (21st, 17:52), Aiden Ciminesi (26th, 18:11) and Owen Miller (43rd, 19:20), sophomore Wyatt Worcester (31st, 18:20), and juniors Jack Kohl (71st, 20:33), Thomas Sargent (80th, 20:53) and Jack Noce (95th, 21:30) ran for the fifth-place Falcons.

Merrimack Valley (245) just missed the cut by finishing seventh and was led by Mychal Reynolds (33rd, 18:38), Nathan Bain (44th, 19:20), Tony Wang (47th, 19:24), Ben Geoffroy (56th, 19:50) and Ben Newton (65th, 20:06).

John Stark was 12th and was led by senior Eli Lemire, who qualified individually for MOC with a 13th place finish in 17:12. Austin Patenaude (42nd, 19:13), Shane Brunini (75th, 20:42), Gaven Arel (77th, 20:47) and Evan Furness (89th, 21:14) were Stark’s other scoring runners.

Pembroke (19th) was represented by Caleb Saturley (64th, 20:06), Hayden Petersons (96th, 21:39), Samuel Nereson (103rd, 22:03), Zachary Heichlinger (118th, 24:16) and Dacota Hewitt (124th, 40:34).

On the girls’ side, Hanover’s Lea Perreard was crowned the individual champion in 18:48.8, while Oyster River won its second team title in the last three years, edging Hanover, 29-33. 

Plymouth (138), Souhegan (139) and Lebanon (178) were far behind in third through fifth places, while Bow (212) grabbed the sixth and final MOC qualifying spot 

Bow was led by sophomore Julia Hou (19th, 21:37), juniors Hannah Pawlowski (27th, 21:59), Lena Thompson (34th, 22:52) and Madelynn Winch (84th, 28:04), and senior Adee Cooper (51st, 24:46).

John Stark (seventh, 219) was just seven points behind the Falcons and was led by sophomore qualifier Kayla Barriere (18th, 21:35), Anna Chasse (30th, 22:28), Rylee Barnard (40th, 23:34), Katie Patterson (64th, 25:53) and Izabel Korbet (67th, 26:17).

Sanborn (220), Coe-Brown (229) and MV (232) rounded out a tightly contested top 10.

Coe-Brown was led by MOC qualifier junior Paige Murdough (25th, 21:51), Madison Taylor (36th, 23:03), Meredith Kerivan (53rd, 25:04), Kassidy Taylor (56th, 25:13), Honorah McGlone (59th, 25:19) and Mary Bergeron (60th, 25:22).

MV was led by Lily Moser (29th, 22:21), Madison Geddes (35th, 22:54), Sydney Spack (39th, 23:29), Emily Baca (61st, 25:32) and Keira Cote (68th, 26:18).

Pembroke did not have enough runners for a team score and was led by Jasmine Blake (79th, 27:20) and Alayna Maguire (80th, 27:22).