On a gorgeous September afternoon for running, with temperatures in the low 70s and a slight breeze thanks to Hurricane Lee, the competition for this year’s Mascenic homecoming was sure to be a good one. With last year’s #2, #3, #6, #8 and #11 girls teams in D3, and #1, #4, #5, #9 and #10 boys teams, we’d get an early season glimpse into where these teams’ fitness and development are. With great weather and solid course conditions, the time was ripe for some strong performances.
At the sound of the air horn, the Mascenic squad spent no time asserting themselves at the front of the pack on the opening field loop inside the baseball field. With their strength in their pack running, they showed they wanted to get to the front to control the race. With this front pack heading out of the field was Fall Mountian’s Jenna Fillion, Amelia Hill of Conant, and Ceili Irving of Newfound. But it didn’t take long before Fillion, tenth last year at D3s, to show she meant business. She quickly gapped the field, running strong over the first loop, reentering the starting field with over a 100 meter lead.
Behind her things had started to string out, with Mascenic’s Erin and Kaitlin O’Shea leading the pack. Having been given direction to run as a pack until the field hockey hill, the sisters set off after the lead, breaking the front pack apart. Teammates Emma Schaumloffel and Skye Lambert were in a group with Conant’s Hill and Newfound’s Irving, then back to Conant’s Bella Nero, Mascenic’s Amelia Smith , FMs Isabella West and Trinity’s Boucher.
And while Erin O’Shea would start to make inroads on Fillion’s lead, Fillion would stay out, running solo for much of the course, breaking the course record (by Mascenic alumni Elizabeth McGurk, 2012) running 19:34 (pretty darn fast for the softish course conditions). Erin would finish 32 seconds back, and 21 seconds up on sister Kaitlin. Newfound’s Irving would survive a late charge by Schaumloffel and Lambert, finishing fourth in 20:51 to the Mascenic’s duo of 20:56 and 20:57. Conant’s Hill and Nero were in next, followed by Boucher and West, rounding out the top ten. Mascenic’s Amelia Smith would finish 11th to round out the Mascenic scoring.
Mascenic would show why they were the #9 team last year at Meet of Champions and ranked in the top ten to start the season, winning by 30 points, scoring 24 points, over Fall Mountain’s 54 points. Conant would finish third with 75 points.
With the boys starting five minutes after the girls last finisher, Fall Mountain wasted no time asserting themselves at the front much like the earlier race, with a pile of guys in the camo marron, white and black jerseys as the racers left the opening field loop. Chasing the top group was Newfound’s Evan and Colin Foster, Conant’s Nathan Alajajian, Mascenic’s Dylan Callahan and Epping’s Daniel Ciriello. As expected, by 1000 meters in FMs Ben Tetu was at the point, followed by teammates David Northcott, Ben Fritthsen and Michael Northcott, with Newfound’s Evan Foster, Conant’s Alajajian and Mascenic’s Callahan looking to break up the Wildcats.
After finishing the first loop and heading out on the second, Tetu would lead by 70 meters over Northcott, with Newfound’s Evan Foster battling FMs Fritthsen. Conant’s Alajajian would be in a battle with Mascenic’s Callahan, with Mascenic teammate Derek Somero tracking them both. FMs Michael Northcott was in a battle with Newfound’s Colin Foster and Epping’s Ciriello.
And things would stay mostly the same it was, with FMs Tetu breaking the tape at 16:49, 11 seconds up on teammate Northcott. Newfound’s Foster would take third over Fritthsen and Callahan. Somero would run a great second half to finish just ahead of Conant’s Alajajian. FMs Northcott would outlast Newfound’s Foster and Epping’s Ciriello to round out the top ten.
With four in the top ten, (and the fifth in 14th) the Wildcats of Fall Mountain would win easily, scoring 28 points. Mascenic would have a strong showing, losing four of it’s top seven from last year, to finish second with 64 points and Conant would grab the last podium spot with 87 points.