A day later and a whole lot drier, the Capital Area Championship featured a surprisingly mud-free course and some very fast competition. Boys’ and girls’ course records were both re-set in minor upsets, a top-seeded NH team demonstrated their strength on the girls’ side, and a team race for the ages was had on the boys’ side with the second-closest finish in the 38 year history of the meet.
In traditional reverse style, the boys started the meet off under blue skies with fall colors everywhere. The pack quickly broke up under the fast pace of leader Dom Repucci of Hopkinton, the defending champion. With Dom in the front was Inter-Lakes Cameron Daly, Prospect Mtn’s Cody Symonds, and Gilford’s Ryan LaFrance. Just a second back was a group led by Inter-Lakes Trevor Colby with Bishop Brady’s Warren Bartlett off his shoulder, along with Alex Saveliev and Pepper Smith of Concord, and the St. Paul’s threesome of Reid Noch, Jack Evanson, and Marc Roy. As the race progressed Dom and Cameron gapped the field slightly, with Repucci in front. Meanwhile Alex was running a smartly paced race and moving up in the field. Somewhere in the second woods loop, Cameron passed Dom and held on for the win, running a 16:24 to break BJ Smith’s record from 2012 of 16:40. Due to its twists and turns and the ravine, the MV course is not a fast course and traditionally runs 20+ seconds slower than Derryfield, so the times today were impressive. Repucci followed 10 seconds later, also under the old course record and 47 seconds faster than his winning time a year ago, setting up an epic DIII battle in one week. Alex of Concord pulled in to a third place finish is 16:47, followed closely by Cody Symonds (16:51). Trevor Colby rounded out the top five with a time of 17:02.
In the team battle, as expected Concord took the top two spots versus their main rival St. Paul’s; while St.Paul’s depth put 5 in front of Concord’s 4th. Not that Concord lacked in depth however, as they put their 5th and 6th right behind St. Paul’s 5th, giving them the tie-breaker in the event of a tie. Fortunately for the private school however, St. Paul’s eked out a one point win to garner their 13th Capital Area title.
In the girls race, Cassie Shea came in with the fastest times of the year and immediately took to the front with a fast burst off the line. A pack came together quickly however, with Kristie Schoffield of MV, Maddie Clark and 2013 Runner-up Sarah Nadeau of Hopkinton, and Erin Waters, Samantha Pearl, and Jennika Mannesto of Concord joining Cassie up front. The pack remained fairly intact through the mile (5:55), but after emerging from a brief woods section a quarter mile later, it began to string out. Kristie had moved into the lead and held a small advantage over Cassie, while Maddie and Sarah were just behind. Cassie rejoined Kristie quickly, and it became a neck-and-neck battle for the next mile. Climbing out of the ravine, Kristie again opened up a small gap on Cassie, which remained for the next mile. Coming out of the woods with a quarter mile to go, Cassie put in a fantastic surge to catch her fellow sophomore. Kristie had enough to respond though, and was able to unleash a 250 meter kick to the finish to win in a course-record 19:28. Cassie followed just behind in 19:34. Maddie held on to her position the entire race to make it a sophomore sweep of the top three places, finishing in 20:14. Her teammate Sarah finished just behind in 20:23, and Erin of Concord nabbed the 5th position (Concord also grabbed the next 3 spots to put 5 in the top 8).
Concord put on a demonstration of depth, never leaving any doubt as to what the team outcome would be or why they hold the ranking of NH #2 girls team, winning with 28 points. John Stark scored 85 points to pick up their first ever top-two plaque in second behind strong team running, led by Junior Madeline Ishak (10th, 21:24) and Senior Hailey Nase (16th, 22:22). A young Bow team finish just behind with 94 points, led by the days top freshman, Dominique Biron (13th, 21:54) and the sophomore duo of Olivia Krause (14th, 21:57) and Sohani Demian (15th, 21:58). Interestingly, that gives each division a place on the podium, in divisional order (Concord D1, John Stark DII, Bow DIII).