Tigers, Eagles run well at Mount Abe cross country meet

BRISTOL — On a virtually ideal Tuesday afternoon for running at Mount Abraham Union High School — 60 degrees, windless and mostly cloudy — the Middlebury boys’ cross country team took second and the Eagle girls were third to highlight the Eagles’ only home meet of the fall.
Tiger junior Christopher Garner finished fifth in the seven-team boys’ race for the top finish among local runners, while Eagle senior Chris Carter (eighth) and MUHS junior Nikhil Plouffe also cracked the top 10.
Five other Tiger boys ran between 11th and 19th in a strong effort that came even though Coach Aaron de Toledo chose to give several top runners the afternoon off.
The Tiger boys were also third at Saturday’s U-32 Invitational, and de Toledo said he is not yet even focusing his team on times and results.
“We’ve really been working on strength so far, so we haven’t really started to work on running fast yet. We’ve done a lot of hills, so races have been pretty much secondary for the first half of the season,” de Toledo said. “So based on that we had some fantastic results at U-32 … We saw some big personal bests. We had a couple guys in the top 15. We had some guys who have been looking really strong.”
The Thetford Invitational on Oct. 4 will be a test of the Tigers’ speed, he said.
“The first race we’ll really start focusing on that is at Thetford,” he said. “Until that, after today, we have a lot of good training.”
Eagle boys’ coach Brent Crum has also been happy with his results, noting, for example, that Carter almost broke 19 minutes in the 5K race at U-32 as well as on Tuesday, while sophomore Connor Norland, 20th on Tuesday, broke 20 minutes for the first time at U-32.
“I feel like we’re off to a fantastic season,” Crum said. “We’ve got a strong group of boys who keep improving their times every week and are looking forward to keep getting better as the season goes on.”
MOUNT ABRAHAM UNION High School sophomore Connor Norland runs with the pack near the start of Tuesday’s cross country meet held in Bristol. Independent photo/Trent Campbell
Some of his runners are fighting nagging injuries, including sophomore Andrew Raymond, but Crum said his 10th-graders’ efforts continue to move the entire team forward.
“We have that really solid group of sophomores who are pushing hard every day in practice and they are making a difference in the overall quality of our team,” he said. “They want to be varsity runners, so it’s fun.”
Young runners also paced Coach Vicki Bronson’s Eagle girls on Tuesday. Sophomore Delaynah Leavitt took ninth for the top local finish, and freshman Ally Hoff was next in 14th. The next three Eagle finishers were grouped nicely between 20th and 27th.
“I felt like Delaynah finished really well, and Ally finished right behind,” Bronson said. “I had five right in there in the mix.”
Another runner, junior Genevieve Chiola, returned from injury and should begin to contribute, Bronson said. In the meantime, Leavitt has been what Bronson called a pleasant surprise.
“Delaynah came out as a sophomore and decided she wanted to be first on the team,” Bronson said. “She’s been consistently my first girl.”
The Tiger girls, led by sophomore Indigo Woods in 15th, took fourth in an eight-team field. De Toledo said the big story for the MUHS girls has been injuries to four top runners: Dani Morris, CareyAnne Howlett, Kaitlin Huber and Katherine Huber have all been hurt.
“With the girls it’s all about getting everybody healthy,” he said. “We have had some great performances, but we’re running really shorthanded. I’d like to say once we get people back we’ll look even stronger.”
On Tuesday, the boys’ team scores were: 1. Rice, 38; 2. MUHS, 50; 3. Milton, 75; 4. Fairfax, 94; 5. Mt. Abe, 110; 6. MVU, 175; Richford, incomplete.
The top 10 boys’ finishers overall and the top seven Eagle and Tiger runners were:
1.  W. LaCroix, Rice, 18:16.
2.  Alex Lauzon, Milt, 18:23.
3.  Michael Groening, Fairfax, 18:32.
4.  Ryan Joseph, Milt, 18:44.
5.  Christopher Garner, MUHS, 18:45.
6.  Griffin Cunningham, Rice, 18:57.
7.  Henry Atkins, Rice, 19:01.
8.  Chris Carter, Mt. Abe, 19:08.
9.  Nikhil Plouffe, MUHS, 19:15.
10.  Richard McClintock, Rice, 19:16.
11.  James Whitley, MUHS, 19:23.
12.  Haven Tate, MUHS, 19:28.
13.  Matt Becker, MUHS, 19:38.
15.  Matt Ferguson, MUHS, 19:46.
19.  Tobias Broucke, MUHS, 20:03.
20.  Connor Norland, Mt. Abe, 20:12.
25.  Jude Bunch, Mt. Abe, 20:36.
30.  Andrew Raymond, Mt. Abe, 21:12.
34.  Lyn Ackert-Smith, Mt. Abe, 21:35.
37.  Nick Turner, Mt. Abe, 21:48.
39.  Aidan May, Mt. Abe, 21:50.
The girls’ team scores were: 1. Fairfax, 36; 2. Colchester, 82; 3. Mt. Abe, 96; 4. MUHS, 125; 5. Rice, 141; 6. Richford, 165; MVU and Milton, incomplete.
TIGER FRESHMAN SOPHIE Marks finished in 29th place in Tuesday’s meet hosted by Mount Abraham. Independent photo/Trent Campbell
The top 10 girls’ finishers overall and the top seven Eagle and Tiger runners were:
1.  Chase Carpenter, Fairfax, 20:52.
2.  Miranda Messeck, MVU 21:14.
3.  Stephanie Griffin, Rich 21:54.
4.  Katie Rayner, Milt 21:57.
5.  CeLynn Seimons, Fairfax, 22:13.
6.  Katie Brown, Fairfax, 22:13.3.
7.  Scout Donahue, Fairfax, 22:49.
8.  Peri Navarro, C, 23:00.
9.  Delaynah Leavitt, Mt. Abe, 23:10.
10.  Kayla Corrigan, Rice, 23:12.
14.  Ally Hoff, Mt. Abe, 24:12.
15.  Indigo Woods, MUHS, 24:24.
20.  Emma Radler, Mt. Abe, 25:12.
23.  Maria Wiles, MUHS, 25:27.
26.  Laura Sundstrom, Mt. Abe, 25:40.
27.  Sarah Sodaro, Mt. Abe, 25:41.
28.  Ally Cherrier, MUHS, 26:00.
29.  Sophie Marks, MUHS, 26:11.
30.  Kate Oster, MUHS, 26:13.
33.  Gretta Groves, MUHS, 27:13.
35.  Harmony Taggart, Mt. Abe, 27:58.
36.  Pia Versick, Mt. Abe, 28:23.
45.  B. Palmer, MUHS, 29:47.
The Vergennes, Mount Abe and MUHS teams also competed at Saturday’s U-32 Invitational. On the girls’ side, VUHS senior Paige Stolen was the top local finisher, taking 27th out of 81 competitors, although VUHS lacked enough runners to score as a team. The Eagle and Tiger girls ran 10th and 11th, respectively, and Harwood won.
The winner and the local finishers in the 5K race were:
1.      Avery Ellis, North Country, 19:49.
27.  Stolen, VUHS, 22:54.45.
33.  Hoff, Mt. Abe, 23:29.94.
30.  Emily Fleming, MUHS, 23:56.90.
40.  Leavitt, Mt. Abe, 24:02.71.
47.  Sundstrom, Mt. Abe, 24:33.95.
48.  Yana Tudek, Mt. Abe, 24:34.49.
57.  Woods, MUHS, 25:08.45.
58.  Wiles, MUHS, 25:09.42.
59.  Radler, Mt. Abe 25:12.14.
62.  Marks, MUHS, 8:10.4.
64.  Oster, MUHS, 8:13.8 .
65.  Sadie Kass, VUHS, 25:38.27.
68.  Sophia Parker, VUHS, 25:53.62.
71.  Groves, MUHS, 26:12.46
75.  Sodaro, Mt. Abe, 26:39.11.
81.  Cherrier, MUHS, 27:30.15.
On the boys’ side, Harwood also prevailed, with the Tigers third and the Eagles 11th. Middlebury’s David Dregallo was the top local finisher, taking ninth.
The boys’ winner and the local finishers were:
1.  Sam Nishi, Harwood, 16:52.64.
9.  Dregallo, MUHS, 17:43.03.
13.  Willem Landis, MUHS, 18:14.66.
16.  Ryan Biette, MUHS, 18:23.09.
22.  Garner, MUHS, 18:41.99.
25.  Henry Ganey, MUHS, 18:43.39.
29.  Carter, Mt. Abe, 19:02.99.
31.  Tate, MUHS, 19:08.93.
33.  Plouffe, MUHS, 19:20.05.
44.  Norland, Mt. Abe, 19:52.89.
50.  Wesley Miedema, VUHS, 20:00.72.
61.  May, Mt. Abe, 20:41.18.
69.  Bunch, Mt. Abe, 21:29.83.
70.  Jesse Barnes, VUHS, 21:32.24.
73.  Turner, Mt. Abe, 21:42.57.
76.  Ackert-Smith, Mt. Abe, 21:53.26.
77.  Silas Mullin, VUHS, 22:08.00.
86.  Xavier Provencher, VUHS, 22:53.67.

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