Cross Country Nuggets

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photo by Mike Levangie
Craftsbury Academy placed third of 15 small school teams Saturday at the Catholic Memorial Invitational in Boston. From left to right: Theo Alexander, Soren Stelma-Leonard, Matt Califano, Charlie Kehler, Alex Califano, Silas Hunt, Owen McKibben.

by Jim Flint

Craftsbury Boys Run to New Personal Bests

BOSTON, Mass. ̶ Coach Mike Levangie’s Craftsbury Academy boys cross country team ventured south to compete at the Catholic Memorial Invitational. The prestigious meet was held Saturday on the storied Franklin Park 5k cross country course. With 485 acres, Franklin Park is the crown gem in Boston’s Emerald Necklace of public parks.

Seventeen large school teams competed in the Boys Varsity Red division. Craftsbury placed third among 15 small school teams in the Boys Varsity Silver division. Junior Charlie Kehler led the way with his fastest 5k race of the season. Kehler’s time of 17:09 placed tenth of 110 finishers.

Craftsbury’s senior twins, Matt Califano and Alex Califano, chased Kehler to the finish line. Matt placed 12th in a new personal best 5k time of 17:30.5. Alex finished 14th in a season’s best time of 17:33.

Senior Silas Hunt keeps getting faster. Hunt finished 27th, lowering his 5k personal time from 18:35 to 18:12. Freshman Soren Stelma-Leonard also made dramatic gains at the race. Stelma-Leonard’s 20:02 finish shattered his personal best 5k time of 23:23, set the previous Saturday in Thetford.

Freshman Theo Alexander (24:16) and sophomore Owen McKibben (24:18) paced each other as they ran to new personal best 5k times.

The Chargers’ weekend adventure culminated with a professional hockey game at TD Boston Garden. The boys cheered the Boston Bruins during a 3 to 2 victory over the Nashville Predators.

Royer’s Winning Streak Runs to Three

LYNDONVILLE ̶ Cassandra Royer chooses her races carefully. Hazen Union’s senior standout notched a third consecutive victory October 14 at the Harwood Union Invitational. Running in the Varsity-B race, Royer covered the hilly 5k course in 22:32. The winning Wildcat outdistanced runner-up McKenna Knapp of Northfield by 50 seconds. Royers’ time was a second faster than Julia Thurston’s first-place effort for Harwood Union in the Varsity-A race.

“This is one of my favorite courses, with its series of climbs finishing with a steep ascent up Kerrigan’s Killer, which was quite muddy,” said Royer. “I felt strong throughout the race.”

The NVAC Mountain Division Championship meet on October 18 is coming up for Royer. Hosted by Stowe High School, the course is flat and fast. Royer will look to lower her personal best 5k time of 21:51 set on September 9 at the Burlington Invitational.

photo by Jennifer Royer
Hazen Union senior Cassandra Royer had the fastest time among 43 varsity girls Saturday at the Harwood Union High School Invitational meet.

Wildcats Fine Tune at NVAC Meet

ST. JOHNSBURY ̶ A cadre of Hazen Union runners competed in a NVAC meet on October 11 hosted by St. Johnsbury Academy. Freshmen Daniel Pougnier and Manny Fliegelman placed 28th and 29th, among 56 varsity boys. Their respective times were 22:30 and 22:34. Senior Gabriel Aubuchon set a new personal best 5k mark of 26:03. Sophomore Lewis LaPierre rounded out the team effort with a 27:43 finish. In the girls varsity division, Chloe Dyer finished the hilly course in 36:13.

In the 1.5-mile middle school race, Wildcat eighth-grader Kiah Cloutier continued his string of strong performances. Cloutier’s time of 10:21 placed fourth of 45 boys. U-32 Middle School’s Calvin Winters won the race in 9:03.

Hazen Union seventh-grader Eliza Bunten was ninth of 49 middle school girls. Bunten’s time was 11:32. Brooke Greenberg, from Harwood Union Middle School, topped the field in 9:24.

The Wildcats host a varsity and middle school home meet at Hardwick Trails on Wednesday, starting at 4 p.m.

Krebs Wins Again

ST. JOHNSBURY ̶ St. Johnsbury Academy hosted runners from eight schools at an NVAC meet on October 11. Ruth Krebs, from Craftsbury, won her second race of the season to lead the Hilltoppers to victory in the girls varsity race. Her time was 22:14.

Ava Purdy, from Greensboro, finished seventh for St. Johnsbury Academy. Her 5k time was 23:59. Of the three teams with five scoring runners, St. Johnsbury Academy won with 19 points. Lyndon Institute (52 points) and Lamoille Union (61 points) placed second and third.

Krebs and Purdy also anchored the St. Johnsbury girls varsity team at the Woods Trail meet on October 7. Running in the top- seeded group, Krebs finished the 5k course in 22:18. Purdy went the distance in 24:38.

photo by Netdahe Stoddard
Hazen Union eighth-grader Kiah Cloutier finished 53rd of 166 junior high boys at the Woods Trail Invitational in Thetford on October 7.

Wildcats Make First Run on Woods Trail

THETFORD ̶ Hazen Union’s middle school and varsity squads had their first experience running the iconic Woods Trail Course on October 7. Hosted by Thetford Academy, the annual Woods Trail Invitational brings together several hundred runners from Vermont and neighboring New England states.

Eliza Bunten placed 27th of 141 entries in the 2.7 kilometer junior high girls race. Her time was 12:47. Kiah Cloutier finished 53rd of 166 entries in the boys junior high race. Cloutier covered the course in 11:47. Aiden Pougnier placed 112th for the Wildcats in 13:32.

Varsity boys and girls were seeded by qualifying time into five races per gender. Manny Fliegelman and Daniel Pougnier paced together in the fourth-seeded group, finishing in 22:20 and 22:21 respectively. Lewis LaPierre rounded out the Wildcat varsity boys with a 29:04 finish on the hilly 5k course.

Twinfield Hosts Meet

PLAINFIELD ̶ The Twinfield Union crosscountry team hosted varsity runners from Peoples Academy, Lyndon Institute, and Danville on October 4. Lyndon Institute’s Macey Mawhinney edged out Danville’s Austin Roos, 25:06 to 25:10, to win the girls varsity 5k race. Twinfield finishers were Gigi Guerin (31:38), August Howe (35:55), and Talassa Howe (42:28).

Magnus Hayden (20:05) and Alvaro Hernando (20:44) were the fastest runners in the boys varsity contest. Sam Sainz led Twinfield with a 26:50 effort in the 5k race.

The middle school races drew 25 girls and 32 boys representing five schools. Danville’s Landon Garrand won the boys 1.65-mile race in 10:46. Willa Mantius, from Danville, won the girls division in 12:14.

The Twinfield Middle School boys made a strong showing with a second-place team finish. Twinfield eighth grader Colin McIntyre led the way with a sixth-place finish, in 12:41. Hazel Morton-Lynch paced the Twinfield Middle School girls squad with a fourth-place finish, in 14:43.

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