Valhalla Rising Relay 2023 Recap

The skies over southern New Hampshire darkened in the early afternoon hours this past Friday, as the teams from Kearsarge, Hinsdale, Wilton and host school Mascenic assembled for the Second Annual Valhalla Rising Relay.  The god Thor swung the mighty Mjolnir, eliciting bolts of lightning and claps of thunder just over an hour from race time.  But even the mighty Thor couldn’t interrupt the afternoon’s festivities, as the storm slid by and 45 minutes later human warriors took to the battlefield otherwise known as the starting line on the baseball field.  Sixteen pairings looked to wage war over the 1343 meter loop that each pairing would have to negotiate six times, three times a piece.

Just before 4pm the battle horn sounded (OK, so it was an air horn) and the racers were off, with Kearsarge’s Daniel Dalbec to the front chased by Mascenic’s Derek Somero and Kelson Whitehouse.  Not far behind the top men were Erin and Kailtin O’Shea, leading off for their respective pairings on leg one.  Behind them, Kearsarge’s Amelia Lefebvre was being hunted by Mascenic’s Gracie German.

Dalbec had built up a substantial lead into the handoff zone, tapping teammate Quinton Cloutier for leg two.  Mascenic’s Dylan’s (Buttrick and Calahan) would take the next handoffs and make inroads on the Kearsarge lead.  The O’Shea’s would hand off to teammates Skye Lambert and Emma Schaumloffel with Lefebvre a ways back, handing off to Kearsarge’s top girl Molly Ellison. German would hand off to Amelia Smith in close order but that would be the last time that duo was in sight of Ellison’s pairing.

At the next exchange, the Dylan’s would close up the gap to Cloutier, but that would open back up with Dalbec on leg three.  Ellison would make some inroads on Lambert and Schaumloffel, but with as big a gap she would never quite catch the two pairings in front.

Things would stay pretty much the same throughout the race, with Cloutier holding off a hard closing Callahan and Buttrick, stopping the clock at 27:55 with Callahan crossing the line six seconds back.  Buttrick would finish one second in back of that.

Both Mascenic squads would stay out in front of Ellison’s Kearsarge pairing, however the lead would shrink on Ellison’s last lap.  On leg three Kaitlin would take the lead over sister Erin and never relinquish it, stopping the clock at 30:40, for fourth place overall.  Lambert’s pairing would finish fifth overall, second girls team, twenty-nine seconds later.  Hinsdale’s top boys team would be in next in sixth with Ellison finishing seventh overall, third girls team, in 31:45.

With no teams with more than five male athletes, there would be no boys team winner, with the top finish pairing being Dalbec and Cloutier.  On the girls side, only Mascenic had the six necessary members for team racing, winning the girls team race.  Kaitlin O’Shea and Emma Schaumloffel would take the top girls pairing award.

As the teams were leaving the field of battle, the Norse gods signaled their concord with more thunder and lightning, calling the fallen warriors home to the halls of Valhalla.

Note: all procedures were properly followed regarding thunder and lightning.


1   Kearsarge boys A 27:55

2   Mascenic boys A 28:01

3   Mascenic boys B 28:02

4   Mascenic girls A 30:40

5   Mascenic girls B 31:09

6   Hinsdale boys A 31:26

7   Kearsarge girls A 31:45

8   Kearsarge boys B 33:36

9   Mascenic girls C 33:39

10 Hinsdale boys B 36:06

11 Mascenic girls D 36:19

12 Wilton boys A 36:47

13 Hinsdale/Mascenic boys 37:04

14 Wilton girls A 37:21

15 Kearsarge girls B 39:52

16 Wilton girls B 48:06

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