Recap! Results! Race Videos! Interviews! 2023 Nashua North Invitational

Full Results Courtesy of Lancer Timing


What a day for cross country racing!!! What Hurricane Lee lacked in the terms of a punch or any excitement, the 2023 Nashua North Invitational more than made up for that! The exciting middle school and JV races were the perfect momentum builder to the varsity crescendo of racing. NH XC racing is back in a big way as showcased today at Mines Falls. Many early season questions were answered, especially the most important one regarding just how strong NH Cross Country is! And, we have some strong

runners and teams.

As outlined in our preview, the girls varsity race did not disappoint as the top 2 teams were separated by only 3 points. However, Hanover’s Lea Perreard made our preview inconsequential as she led from gun to tape winning in a comfortable 18:02. The chase pack finish was what was supposed to happen as places 2nd through 8th were separated by 12 seconds and dominated by Pinkerton, Hanover and Bedford 3 of the top teams battled for supremacy in mid-September. The team race was certainly back and forth the entire distance as this pack was comprised of the top 2-3 of Pinkerton, Hanover and Bedford. While Perreard gave Hanover the ultimate low stick, Bedford’s Fiona Lee won the battle of the pack placing 2nd in 18:39 a tick in front of Pinkerton’s Contessa Silva. Hanover’s Lila Muirhead won the next battle placing 4th in 18:41 2 seconds in front of Lee’s teammate Kelseigh O’Neil. Hanover’s Megan Faris would make it 3 in the top 6 crossing just 2 seconds behind O’Neil. Then Pinkerton rolled in with the next 2 as freshman Sookie Folsom and Isabelle Groulx placed 7th and 8th respectively. Racing in the top pack the entire distance, Salem senior Lily Thomas placed 9th in 18:57 with BG’s Anna Fondakowski rounding out the top 10.

So through 3 it was definitely Pinkerton and Hanover, with the latter having a 7 point lead. In the end while Pinkerton would place 5 in front of Hanover’s 5th, Hanover’s early lead through 3 would hold up as Hanover would hold on for the 3 point victory. Bedford would be place 3rd and within striking distance with 63 points. A bit of a surprise was host school Nashua North using tight packing of their own to place 4th with 141 points edging Winnacunnet by 5 points.

With 6 ranked teams set to compete on the boys’ side, we knew there would be some shuffling in the rankings this coming week. We were also looking forward to seeing BG junior Matthew Giardina and how close Bedford’s middle distance turned cross country harrier Jacob Redman could come to the pure distance runner on a flat and fast course. Well, we got clear answers as one team perhaps supplanted themselves as perhaps the top team in the state while Giardina put on a clinic.

Giardina took the early lead and never looked back, the chase pack materialized as well as the team battle with U-32, VT darting out to the early lead. South was clearly battling not Pinkerton, but Salem early on. Half way through, Giardina had built his lead, with Redman, and U-32’s Cyrus Hansen giving chase. The secondary pack was comprised of Hanover’s Lucien Gleiser, U-32’s Taggart Schrader, BG’s Carson Fischer and South’s Daniel Byrne and Dante Castellano. Pinkerton, viewed as the ultimate pack running team, lay back the first half as characterized by front man Finn Christensen Kraft, who was only 10th midway using the entire distance to work his way up.

In the end, Giardina crossed the line in 15:09. Hansen would crash the NH party outdueling Redman for second 15:32 to 15:36. South’s Daniel Byrne held off the hard charging Christensen Kraft for 4th 15:41 to 15:43. Castellano was right behind them with a 15:45, Schrader placed 7th for U-32 in 15:54, Fischer 8th in 15:58, with Gleiser outleaning Salem’s Brodie Chisholm for 9th both with a time of 16:03.

Nashua South placed their top 4 in the top 13 to take this one by 30 over Vermont’s U-32 63-93. Pinkerton, clearly hanging back the first half would rally to place a close 3rd with 99 points while Salem, with a sophomore and freshman in their scoring 5 would come within 9 points of Pinkerton with 108 points. Hanover was a scant 3 points behind placing 5th with 111 points.

Yes! Cross Country is back in a big way! And while we look forward to Manchester next week, we have to give a hearty thanks and congratulations to the Nashua North XC community for putting on a great event! See you all next week for MI48!

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