Tigers, Huston run well in championship races
THETFORD — The Middlebury boys’ and girls’ teams each finished third in Division II in Saturday’s high school cross-country championships hosted by Thetford Academy, while Vergennes junior Ben Huston’s sixth-place finish in the boys’ D-II race topped all local runners’ efforts.
U-32 dominated the boys’ race to win with 20 points, followed by five teams that were tightly grouped: Woodstock (95), MUHS (106), Spaulding (122), Harwood (124), and VUHS in sixth with 128. The Mount Abraham boys, led by Liam Davison in 47th, were 11th (284) among 15 scoring teams.
MUHS junior Jack Christner finished 10th to lead the Tigers. U-32’s Waylon Kurts won the boys’ 5K race in 16:50.
The Tiger girls, paced by seniors Isabel Olson and Mary Ann Eastman in 13th and 14th, respectively, scored 111 points to finish behind winner Harwood (40) and U-32 (53). The Eagles, whose top runner was sophomore Ruby Markowski in 50th, were 12th (307). Harwood’s Ava Thurston won the girls’ D-II race in 19:19.9 over 5,000 meters.
In D-III the Otter Valley boys took eighth with 164 points; junior Parker Todd finished 14th to lead OV. Peoples Academy edged Thetford, 43-44 for the D-III title, and Mill River’s Brogan Giffin won the race in 16:48.8.
The OV girls were 10th in D-III with 153 points; freshman Kelsey Adams was 27th and the top OV runner. Bellows Falls topped Rice, 31-37, for the crown, and BF’s Abby Broadley won the race in 19:39.
Tiger Coach Chris Anderson said he was happy with his teams’ performances.
“I was pleased we competed really hard on Saturday, and the boys were only 11 points out of second place, so that was very positive,” Anderson said.
He noted the Tiger boys’ ran better than they had the week before at the NVAC championship meet and defeated teams they finished behind there.
“On the boys’ side they kind of redeemed themselves a bit,” Anderson said.
As well as Christner, Anderson also singled out the team’s only senior, Will Carpenter, normally the No. 4 runner, who moved up to No. 2 on Saturday.
“Will Carpenter had a spectacular race,” he said. “Will was just flying.”
On the girls’ side, Anderson said Eastman and Olson “both had good solid races,” while noting the team’s third senior, Malia Hodges, contributed after being held back by nagging injuries this fall.
The girls’ team will miss that trio next season, Anderson said, but he pointed to a number of other young runners who were close to contributing this season.
“On the girls’ side we have a few gaps to fill, but I’m encouraged by the girls that were running varsity, and we have a couple of girls that were knocking on the door,” he said.
Overall, Anderson said there was a lot to like.
“They were happy with their performance,” he said. “And they were a great group of kids to coach again this year.”
Vergennes Coach Brad Castillo said all the members of his boys’ squad posted personal bests for the Thetford Trails course — except for one, senior Julio Quiles.
Sadly, Quiles, normally the Commodores’ No. 4 runner, sprained his ankle early last week and was ruled out for the race.
“It was a hefty blow to our efforts,” Castillo said.
It’s a fair point. No. 4 runner Chris Therrien fared well, taking 37th, while on Saturday No. 5 VUHS competitor Luke Bergmans was a respectable 54th. But if Quiles ran his normal race and finished in the 30s the Commodores would have easily taken fourth and been neck-and-neck with MUHS for third, as they have all season with the Tigers.
Castillo said he won’t let his disappointment for his team and for Quiles detract from what the Commodores did accomplish on Saturday and this fall.
“Regardless, it was a great season and I’m incredibly proud of team. I challenged them, and pushed them, and they answered every time,” he said.
The top five runners scored in D-II, and the top four in D-III.
The MUHS boys’ runners and their finishes and times were: 10. Christner, 18:26.5; 20. Carpenter, 18:58.2; 21. Nathaniel McVeigh, 18:58.4; 23. Thomas Nevins, 18:59.4; 32. Lucas Palcsik, 19:40.7; 41. Elvis McIntosh, 20:15.1; 76. Kieran Sheridan, 22:21.9.
The VUHS boys’ runners and their finishes and times were: 6. Huston, 17:52.8; 11. Gabe Praamsma, 18:29.3; 18. Erich Reitz, 18:51.8; 37. Therrien, 19:58.9; 54. Luke Bergmans, 21:07.9
The Eagle boys’ runners and their finishes and times were: 47. Davison, 20:38.6; 57. Hugh Ball, 21:16.5; 58. Sean Davison, 21:20.2; 60. William Iliff, 21:22.8; 62. George Collette, 21:31.4; 71. Gus Hill, 22:02.9.
The MUHS girls’ runners and their finishes and times were: 13. Olson, 21:45.2; 14. Eastman, 21:55.6; 26. Ella Landis, 23:10.1; 28. Hodges, 23:19.9; 30. Fairley Olson, 23:27.5; 31. Seina Dowgiewicz, 23:30.4; 33. Sofia Stefani, 23:57.7.
The Eagle girls’ runners and their finishes and times were: 50. Ruby Markowski, 26:41.8; 53. Abigail Johnson, 26:52.6; 65. Maisy Hill, 28:47.8; 66. Angelita Pena, 28:50.2; 73. Emmaline Heilman, 35:05.5.
The OV boys’ runners and their finishes and times were: 14. Parker Todd, 19:02.4; 23. Joseph Cijka, 19:48.8; 38. Liam Murphy, 20:54.6; 89. Mickeen Hogan, 27:49.9.
The OV girls’ runners and their finishes and times were: 27. Kelsey Adams, 25:13.9; 41. Zoe Elliott, 26:45.1; 42. Sarah Calvin, 26:57.7; 45. Kendra Mallette, 27:14.4.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].
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