Tiger runner Sam Hodges is D-II XC runner up; MUHS girls’ team is 2nd in tiebreaker

THETFORD — Second-place finishes in Division II for the Middlebury Union High School girls’ team and for Tiger senior Sam Hodges as an individual in the boys’ race highlighted local runners’ efforts at the state championship cross-country meet in Thetford on Saturday.
The Tiger girls’ loss was a heartbreaker: They finished tied with U-32 for the D-II victory with 64 points, and officials awarded first place to the Raiders based on the performance of the team’s sixth-place finishers, who normally do not score. U-32’s sixth-place finisher took 27th, and the Tigers’ was 28th.
MUHS Coach Chris Anderson said his team, paced by senior Caroline Kimble in fourth place and sophomores Malia Hodges and Isabel Olson in 10th and 11th, respectively, excelled and should have no regrets.
“I can’t ask the girls to have run any harder than they did. They put all their effort into running,” Anderson said. “It’s still a tremendous performance.”
The Tigers were also competing without their top runner for most of the fall, freshman Camille Malhotra, who is nursing a badly sprained ankle.
“For not having her to do as well as we did, I think that’s really great, too,” Anderson said. “We had a lot of girls who really stepped up and ran really good races.”
Anderson was particularly excited to see Kimble’s strong effort after she missed 2016 with an injury.
“It was good to see Caroline her senior year do well. Last year she wasn’t able to run,” he said.
Sam Hodges — a veteran Nordic skier but a first-year cross-country runner — couldn’t catch winner Stephen Looke of U-32, but caught the third-place finisher in the final stretch.
“He outkicked the guy to come in second. It was pretty amazing,” Anderson said.
Hodges also finished sixth overall among runners from all divisions and qualified to compete in the upcoming New England meet.
“That’s quite impressive for essentially a first-year runner,” Anderson said.
The MUHS boys took fourth in the D-II team competition with 145 points, trailing U-32 (24), Harwood (71) and Lyndon (111).
The Vergennes boys, led by junior Spencer Hurlburt’s 15th-place effort, finished in eighth (201), and Mount Abraham, led by senior Aidan May in 70th, finished in 14th (412).
The VUHS girls did not have enough numbers to compete. Sophomore Emma Beauchemin finished 33rd for the Commodores. Senior Ally Hoff took 40th to lead the Eagle girls, who were 13th in D-II with 282 points.
In D-III both the Otter Valley girls (136 points) and OV boys (149) finished eighth. Senior Wesley Smith led the OV boys by finishing 24th, and freshman McKenna White led the girls in 27th.
The girls’ D-II winner and local finishers’ overall places and times were: 1. Erin Magill, Harwood, 20:35.5; 4. Caroline Kimble, MUHS, 21:47.1; 10. Malia Hodges, MUHS, 22:29.3; 11. Isabel Olson, MUHS, 22:29.5; 18. Sofia Stefani, MUHS, 23:08.6; 21. Mary Ann Eastman, MUHS, 23:25.3; 28. Katherine Koehler, MUHS, 24:19.3; 32. Kate Wallace, MUHS, 24:27.7; 33. Emma Beauchemin, VUHS, 24:31.5; 40. Ally Hoff, Mt. Abe, 25:02.4; 44. Ashley Cray, VUHS, 25:51.8; 53. Gillianne Ross, Mt. Abe, 27:05.7; 56. Jasmin Gile, Mt. Abe, 27:14.4; 71. Bailey Allard, Mt. Abe, 29:43.9; and 79. Izzy Emmons, Mt. Abe, 32:23.2.
The boys’ D-II winner and local finishers’ overall places and times were:
1. Stephen Looke, U-32, 16:51.9; 2. Samuel Hodges, MUHS, 17:19.6; 15. Spencer Hurlburt, VUHS, 18:33.5; 22. Thomas Nevins, MUHS, 19:14.7; 25. Wade Mullin, VUHS, 19:28.4; 27. Julian Schmitt, MUHS, 19:29.6; 36. Gabe Praamsma, VUHS, 19:47.9; 38. Thomas Hussey, MUHS, 19:54.0; 40. William Carpenter, MUHS, 19:56.6; 48. Erich Reitz, VUHS, 20:16.5; 55. Nico Brayton, MUHS, 20:45.1; 70. Cade Christner, MUHS, 21:15.0; 72. Aidan May, Mt. Abe, 21:30.3; 83. Ryan Adams, Mt. Abe, 22:36.7; 85. Ben Praamsma, VUHS, 22:43.6; 86. Liam Davison, Mt. Abe, 23:08.5; 94. Caleb Hunter, Mt. Abe, 25:58.3; and 95. Brian Cousineau, Mt. Abe, 26:16.0.
For OV in D-III, the girls’ overall finishes and times were: 27. McKenna White, 25:00.3; 36. Phoebe Elliott, 25:49.2; 57. Madilyn Morgan, 28:37.7; 65. Anoushka Pschorr, 29:57.9; 87. Brittany Corey, 37:46.2; 90. Shannon Oudman-Blackwood, 44:13.8.
The OV boys’ overall finishes and times were: 24. Wesley Smith, 19:33.3; 27. Todd Parker, 19:43; 53. Joseph Cijka, 20:38.5; 67. Hayden Gallo, 21:42.6; 96. Colby Smith, 24:24; 107. Mickeen Hogan, 28:07.

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