Local runners stand out in huge field at Thetford

THETFORD — Middlebury Union High School junior Max Moulton and Vergennes senior Shep Carter posted the top local finishes on Saturday at the 22nd annual Woods Trail Run in Thetford cross-country race, a major regional event that drew hundreds of runners to Vermont from dozens of high schools from all six New England states.
Moulton finished 29th among roughly 600 competitors on the challenging, hilly 5-kilometer course in 18:01.30, and Carter was 78th in 18:44.99.
Mount Abraham sophomore Chris Carter led the Eagle boys by taking 208th in 20:34.66. Sophomore Emmitt Thurston paced three Otters in a time of 21:29.56. Thurston ran in the third group of seeded runners, technically as an independent because OV did not have enough runners to score; he was 76th among his group.
MUHS senior Nicole Morris was the top local female runner, taking 125th overall in 23:46.97. Mount Abraham junior Bakari Olivetti paced the Eagle girls by taking 178th overall in 25:11.39.
The Tiger boys had the best team finish, 32nd out of 52 teams. The VUHS boys were 41st, and the Eagles were 48th.
The Eagle girls took 33rd out of 41 scoring teams, two places ahead of the Tiger girls. VUHS has no female runners on its roster, and OV’s lone female high school runner, Emma Cijka, was not listed among the competitors on Saturday.
The Tiger boys’ scoring runners were Moulton; Sam Ferguson, 163rd in 19:48.90; Matt Becker, 188th in 20:19.63; Matt Ferguson, 244th in 21:02.09; and Nikihil Plouffe, 283rd in 22:02.88.
The VUHS boys’ scoring runners were Shep Carter; Jarret Lafleche, 127th in 21:10.76; Jesse Barnes, 149th in 21:33.91; Seb Crowell, 284th in 22:03.47; and Wesley Miedema, 285th in 22:06.29.
The Eagle boys’ scoring runners were Chris Carter; Robin Kuhns, 317th in 23:56.73; Cullen Jemison, 318th in 23:59.20; Nick Turner, 319th in 23:59.89; and Matt Giles, 327th in 24:48.51.
As well as Thurston, also running for OV were Jacob Scarborough, who was 31st in the Seed 4 grouping in 22:38.83, and David Coolidge, who was 108th in the Seed 5 group in 36:401.12.
The Eagle girls’ scoring runners were Olivetti; Katie Mayer, 184th in 25:27.10; Genevieve Chiola, 189th in 25:35.87; Sarah Sodano, 221st in 26:34.57; and Harmony Taggart, 224th in 26:43.16.
The Tiger girls’ scoring runners were Nicole Morris; Danielle Morris, 213th in 26:20.34; Taylor Becker, 218th in 26:28.99; Lexi Doria, 231st in 27:03.61; and Casey Vanacore, 236th in 27:22.79.
Area teams did post one outright victory on Saturday. Four members of the Otter Valley middle school cross-country team competed with eighth-grader Kendra Stearns of Brandon winning the whole thing. The Brandon resident covered the 2.7 km course in 10:55, just edging out Jess Vogel from Hampton (N.H.) Academy by less than a second.
Stearns’ teammate Jade Tanjung, a seventh-grader, was third overall in 11:01. Also running for OV were Maria Wiles, 36th in 12:24; and Katelyn Patten, 74th in 13:41.
There were 139 finishers in the junior high school girls’ race, which included teams from Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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