2023 All Freshmen Team! Freshman of the Year!

By Tom Cassetty – Bishop Guertin

Every year as coaches we get the pleasure of adding new runners to our teams in the form of freshmen. More often than not, those freshmen turn out to be more than we hoped for. Sometimes they turn out to be the top runner on a team or just added extra firepower to a varsity squad. Those runners don’t always get the recognition they deserve for being an integral part of a varsity team.

We have taken some time and run the numbers to see who those top freshmen were on the boys’ and girls’ side. On the way to the finish, it was impressive to see how many freshmen and sub-freshmen contributed to their teams and how difficult it would be to narrow that number down. Here’s what we came up with.

The girls’ side has some really talented freshmen. The Meet of Champions saw 26 freshmen and 1 sub-freshmen toe the line with 6 of those young women finishing in the top 25 for the day. The competition for the top freshmen was a very fast race, but one female runner stood out against the crowd. Hopkinton’s Madeleine Lane. She finished 7th overall at MOC in an impressive 18:11! The rest of the list below will be a fun group to watch as the progress in the high school careers. These freshmen are the future of the sport!

The remainder of the All State Freshmen list is in alphabetical order.

Abigail Pinegar                    Keene

Austin Williams                   Exeter

Brianna Paterna                  Exeter

Eli Cross                              Exeter

Haley Bezanson                  Oyster River

Izzie Bremer                        Exeter

Madelyn Cook                     Oyster River

Olivia Hanna                       Lebanon

Samantha Swanbon           Souhegan

Sookie Folsom                   Pinkerton

Additionally a few runners deserve an honorable mention for having great seasons. Concord’s Quinn Doherty, Nashua North’s Rosalie Neveu and Exeter’s Alexis Paterna. Congratulations to all for an excellent season.

By Mike Dunhom – Bishop Guertin

On the boys side, 2023 was an exciting year for Freshman. Twenty freshman boys ran at Meet of Champions and our top ten all state freshmen were all sub 17:30 at MOCs, with two running in the 15’s! Unlike the girls, the competition for top freshman boy was extremely close with less than half a second separating the top two freshman at MOCs. We gave the nod to Gilford’s Bocelli Howland-Vlahakis despite finishing just behind Hillsboro-Deering’s Elijah Bodanza that day.  Bocelli had the fastest time by a substantial margin at the Divisional championships and at New England’s.  Elijah and Bocelli finished 11th and 12th respectively at MOCs and with several seniors among the top runners in the state, they are positioned to be All State runners for years to come. The remainder of the top 10 in alphabetical order are:

Elliot Chisholm                     Salem

Levi Clapp                              Oyster River

Colin Foster                           Newfound Regional

Ben Groves                            Hanover

Joseph Gustavson               Pinkerton

Oliver Lehman                      Oyster River

William Moores                    Bishop Guertin

Jack Mortimer                       Bedford

Honorable mention. Falling outside of the top ten, but having impressive years were Coe-Brown’s Benjamin Jobin and  Keene’s Soren Wiederspahn.  A very special honorable mention goes to Alvirne’s Ashton Rowe who actually had the 8th best time among the freshman at Divisionals, but was the only top freshman who didn’t qualify as an individual or as part of a team for MOCs.  We would have loved to see if he could have knocked off some of the top ten on his home course.

Congrats to all!

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