80th New England Championships Preview: What to Watch For NH!

The 80th Annual New England Cross Country Championships are Saturday, November 8th at Wickham Park in Manchester, Ct.  The Boys’ Race is at 11:30 and the Girls’ Race is at 12:30. If you are unaware, the races feature the top 6 teams and top 25 individuals from the 5 participating New England states (Massachusetts does not participate).

This year’s edition in particular features 2 of the fastest harriers in the country as each race’s favorites.  US #2, Hannah Debalsi of Staples, Ct. will be defending her 2013 title (at Derryfield) and US #2 Alex Ostberg of Darien, Ct., the runner-up from last year, will be looking to claim his first title.  Both currently hold the course records at Wickham and the real question is by how much will they lower them and by how much will they win? Debalsi’s current record is 17:41 and Ostberg’s is 14:58, yes 14:58!

So, NH Cross Country fans, what should you watch for this Saturday?

  • How high will Souhegan’s Eli Moskowitz finish?  Has he not looked spectacularly comfortable the last 2 weeks?  A 9:10 3200 meter runner, how fast can he go, when really pushed?  What better time and situation to test himself than Saturday?  And, don’t sleep on Inter-Lakes Cam Daly or the rest of NH’s best!
  • How high will NH’s best boys’ team, Pinkerton Academy finish?  Yes they are going up against favorite US #11 LaSalle of Rhode Island, as well as Ct. State Champion Danbury, but they did take down perennial powerhouse Bishop Hendricken at Manchester Invite, and are on an obvious win streak.
  • How will the Final NH Rankings shake out??  There has been a lot of movement the last couple weeks as teams raced on the same courses, the same day and head to head at Meet of Champions. With the top 6 teams once again facing off, there can still be movement in the season’s final week.
  • On the girls’ side, how far up will Oyster River’s Maegan Doody, Coe-Brown’s Hannah Parker, Liz Danis and Exeter’s Shannon Murdock finish?  NH girls seem to be quite competitive on paper, and with the New England and National experience of these girls, who knows? Could Wickham feel like Derryfield come Saturday?
  • Will defending champ Coe-Brown girls repeat?  Currently ranked #9 in the country, and after this past weekend’s performance, they look even stronger than last year’s Nike Team Nationals qualifying squad.  However, #8 Rhode Island State Champion LaSalle is much improved while Ct. State Champs Tolland is also nationally ranked.  Can Coe-Brown’s top four stand up to LaSalle’s top three???  Also, do not count out Vermont State Champs Champlain Valley.  They always seem to know how to win and compete on the big stage.

Good Luck NH!!!

Regardless, NHCC will be there taking photos and attempting to provide Live Twitter Updates.

Results will be posted on www.cnesspa.com or www.nestiming.com