Recap! Results! Race Videos! Interviews! 2023 NH Meet of Champions! PICS NOW UP!



What a day!!!  Meet of Champions 2023!  All athletes and teams vying for New England qualifying slots (top 6 teams, top 25 individuals) and NH bragging rights yielded incredible competition.  Second year for the MOCs at the Hill House course at Alvirne. Temps and wind were absolutely perfect with the course in impeccable condition contrasted with the rainy afternoon which was the Battle of the Border.  Once again, kudos to the Alvirne cross country community and NHIAA for organizing and pulling off a top level event.  Now lets get to the racing!

Girls Race

Lancer Timing Results

As expected Hanover’s Leah Perreard took off from the gun establishing an early lead by going through the 800 in around 2:38 and then the mile in 5:33 or so. A chase pack quickly formed which was led by Oyster River’s Mackenzie Cook, along with D1 Champ Bedford’s Kelseigh O’Neil, D3 Champ Hopkinton’s Maddie Lane, Hanover’s Lila Muirhead, OR’s Haley Kavanagh, Bedford’s Fiona Lee and Dover’s Anique Poulin. Pinkerton’s top 3 of Contessa Silva, Sookie Folsom and Isabelle Groulx were hanging back some along with Plymouth’s Ellie Englund and Souhegan’s Samantha Swanbon through halfway.

By 2 miles, it was clear someone would have to have a phenomenal final mile to catch Perreard who still looked as if she was floating over the course. Cook maintained 2nd but was closely followed by O’Neil, Kavanagh, Lane, Lee, Poulin, and Muirhead. Silva, Swanbon and Lee had closed to the chase pack. With about 800 to go, Kavanagh drew even with her teammate for 2nd and both were closing the gap on Perreard, but the Hanover soph would have enough to hold them off to win in 17:50. Kavanagh would continue her momentum to place a hard closing 2nd in 17:56. Cook ran a great race to place 3rd in 18:01. Bedford’s Lee kicking from way back over the last 1k placed 4th in 18:03 right in front of her teammate O’Neil (18:04). Dover’s Poulin, perhaps her best XC race ever, placed 6th in 18:11 out-leaning the freshman Lane who had the same time. Pinkerton’s Silva out-leaned another freshman, Swanbon, for 8th as Hanover’s Megan Faris would place 10th in 18:27.

At this point, in the team race, Hanover did indeed have 3 in before Oyster River’s 3rd, but the Bobcats quickly countered as Haley Bezanson and Neely Roy once again finished right with one another in 17th and 18th in 18:53 and 18:56 respectively. Their 5th and final scorer sealed the deal as Madalyn Cook placed 25th in 19:20 giving Oyster River the MOC title with a total of 61 points. Hanover would once again be second, but by only 1 point over D1 champ Pinkerton. Understanding that Pinkerton was without their number 4 runner, and the likelihood she will be back for New Englands, makes next week all the more interesting. Pinkerton and Hanover match up pretty well through 3 so it will be up to their back end of scoring as to who will determine team place finish next week.

Bedford, off the strength of their top 2 would place 4th with 140 points while Dover would snag another New England berth to place 5th with 177. Perhaps the surprise of the team races was Exeter rising up to gran 6th with 222 points. Look at their lineup and you will see youth youth youth as they were led by freshman Eli Cross.

Boys Race

Lancer Timing Results

The boys race started a tad differently than the girls. Pre-race favorite, D1 Champ, BG’s Matt Giardina decided to hang back and not press the first mile. Still, only Coe-Brown’s Jamie Lano and Keene’s Sullivan Sturtz truly latched on. The chase pack which would materialize saw Sanborn’s Jake Pitre, Hanover’s Lucien Gleiser, Souhegan’s Taloosh Anderson, Bedford’s Jacob Redman, South’s Dante Castellano as well as the Byrne brothers. By the mile Con-Val’s Will Simard had moved past the Byrne brothers while Gilford’s Bocelli Howland-Vlahakis and PCA’s Jonas Teeter had made it to the chase pack.

Coming out of the woods, Giardina had opened up a 7 second lead as he dropped the pace hard through the downhills. Lano and Sturtz were rolling together, and the field was strung out. Of note here, Hillsboro-Deering freshman Elijah Bodanza joined Vlahakis chasing. By 2 miles, Giardina extended his lead to 12 seconds while joining Lano and Sturtz were Gleiser and Pitre. Redman, Simard and Castellano were back by a few seconds, with the Byrne brothers, Bodanza, Vlahakis, Teeter, Mascoma Valley’s Gunner Currier and CBNA’s Sanjith Nomula all fighting for top 10 spots.

In the end, Giardina rolled to the win in 15:11. He absolutely flies down the hills. Gleiser would power to 2nd in 15:20 just ahead of Sturtz in 15:22. Redman was less than a half a second behind in 15:23. Pitre would be a bit of a surprise placing 5th (15:27) with another surprise, Simard (15:33) in 6th. Lano would place 7th (15:34) outkicking Castellano (15:36). Nomula coming from way back would be 9th (15:45) and Pinkerton’s Finn Christensen-Kraft, once again, would employ a fantastic final mile to nab 10th (15:46). Noteworthy also is the 2 freshman Bodanza and Vlahakis who placed 11th and 12th in 15:47!

Teamwise, Nashua South truly established themselves as the class of NH scoring 78 points. While Castellano placed 8th, Daniel Byrne and Andrew Byrne crossed in 13th and 14th respectively. Their 4th Cameron Patronick placed 20th in 15:59, so the only drama on the day was their 5th. However, Ryan DuVarney would slam the door placing 46th in 16:36. Scoring 94 points, Hanover placed a strong 2nd, while Coe-Brown placed 3rd, both as expected. Also expected was Pinkerton placing 4th, but perhaps slightly unexpected was Souhegan placing 5th, a mere 1 point ahead of 6th place Bedford! Souhegan was led by Owen Stine’s 17th place finish.

And with that the NH Cross Country Season, at least on NH soil, has come to another fantastic conclusion! The best part of this however, is we still have New Englands!!! Let’s Go 603!!!

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