Tiger boys and girls claim cross-country victories at Mt. Abe; OV hosts x-c meet, too

BRISTOL — Middlebury Union High School runners swept both varsity races on Tuesday at a six-team meet hosted by Mount Abraham, while also on Tuesday the Otter Valley boys’ and girls’ teams each finished second on their own course in their annual home meet.
In Bristol, the Division II Tiger boys, led by the 1-2-3 finish of Jack Christner, Tom Nevins and Nico Brayton, held off a challenge from D-I Spaulding to win, 25-41, in a field of six scoring teams.
The Eagle boys, led by Noah Engvall’s 11th-place effort, scored 131 to finish fifth. Missisquoi (79) was third, Rice (93) was fourth, and Richford (251) was sixth. Runners from Enosburg also competed.
The five scoring Tiger girls, led by Mary Ann Eastman and Maddie Stowe in sixth and seventh, respectively, all finished between sixth and 14th places to score 46 points and edge Missisquoi (49), Rice (51) and Spaulding (72). Mount Abe and Enosburg did not score. Ruby Markowski led three Eagle girls by taking 22nd.
In Brandon, the Rutland girls defeated OV, 25-44, with Otters McKenna White and Morgan Daly taking fourth and fifth, respectively, in the race. Long Trail (91) was third.
The Raider boys scored 19 points to defeat OV (70) and Long Trail (91). Joseph Cijka and Parker Todd finished fifth and sixth, respectively, to lead OV.
First-year Mount Abe Coach Karyn Norwood was happy the Bristol meet ran smoothly and that what she called a young, building team showed better results and improving fitness. She was also pleased that young runners like Engvall and Markowski, both freshmen, are emerging.
“They both ran really strong races, and I expect our team is just going to get stronger as the season goes on,” Norwood aid. “That’s all I want is improvement, and it’s just going to keep going from here.”
Tiger Coach Chris Anderson noted the Tigers, like the Eagles, were coming off Saturday’s challenging Burlington Invitational, where several Tigers, especially on the girls’ side, recorded personal bests. Also, given the short lead time and warm, humid conditions on Tuesday, Anderson was happy with the effort and results.
In particular, he noted that Eastman has dramatically improved her 2017 times, and that freshman Nat McVeigh broke into the top five for the boys for the first time in just his second varsity effort.
“I keep getting surprised by kids who keep showing more in each race,” he said.
Overall, like Norwood, Anderson sees plenty of team-wide improvement.
“Basically we’re in our third week of training, and I’ve noticed some really big jumps,” Anderson said.
In the boys’ race, the Tiger finishers were: 1. Christner, 19:11.0; 2. Nevins, 19:11.2; 3. Brayton, 19:26; 7. Will Carpenter, 19:56; 12. McVeigh, 21:26.4; 17. Elvis McIntosh, 21:43; 18. Samuel Klingensmith, 21:48; 19. Gabriel Cason, 21:50; 31. Michael Huber, 24:05; 33. Kieran Sheridan, 24:15; 35. Hunter Heffernan, 24:40; 36. Ben Munkres, 24:54; 38. Nicholas Suchomel, 25:10; 39. Trysten Jones, 25:19; 47. Xavier Wyncoop, 27:25; 53. Griffin Schneider, 29:28; 58. Henry Wagner, 30.0.
The Mount Abe finishers were: 11. Engvall, 21:04; 25. Brewer Atocha, 23:29; 30. Liam Davison, 23:56; 45: Bill Breault (pictured, left), 26:57; 52. Gavin Kouwenhoven, 29:09; 62. Forrest Tillotson, 31:36.
Rice’s Emily Bloom won the girls’ race with a time of 20:55, outdistancing second-place finisher Selina Lawyer of Enosburg by 46 seconds.
The Tiger finishers in the girls’ race were: 6. Eastman, 23:12; 7. Stowe, 23:24; 11. Fairley Olson, 24:24; 13. Sofia Stefani, 25:49; 14. Kate Wallace, 25:54; 15. Mira Maglienti, 26:15; 21. Ella Landis, 27:10; 23. Mary Nagy-Benson, 28:20; 24. Journey LaRose, 28:27; 25. Audrey Huston, 28:36; 27. Gabi Marin Aspichueta, 28:56; 28. Sarah Reiderer, 29:35; 29. Eve Huntington, 29:39; Ellen Berg, 30:58; 31. Anna Scalia, 30:59; 34. Catherine Dyer, 31:40; 35. Megan Balparda, 31:41.
The Eagle finishers in the girls’ race were; 22. Markowski, 27:21; 40. Jordyn Shepard, 35:45; 43. Emmaline Heilman, 45:15.
In Brandon, Rutland’s Rosanna Hyde won the girls’ race in 24:50, scoring a win by 1:36 over second-place finisher Annika Heintz of Mill River.
Scoring for the OV girls were: 4. White, 28:32; 5. Daly, 28:38; 14. Gracie Coolidge, 31:15; 15. Madilyn Morgan, 31:47; 23. Brittany Corey, 36:59.
Winning the boys’ race was Brogan Giffin of Mill River in 20:25, with Rutland’s Nate Fogg taking second in 21:08.
Scoring for OV were 5. Cijka, 22:35; 6. Todd, 22:56; 20. Hayden Gallo, 26:09; 29. Tamar Foster, 32:38; 30. Mickeen Hogan, 32:50.
Coach Brooke Kimball also noted that Liam Murphy ran for the OV boys, but was not eligible to compete due to a lack of formal practices because he only recently joined the team. His time of 28:17 would have put him into the No. 4 scoring slot for the Otters.

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