Jim Flint's Runners Roundup, Sports

Local Middle Schoolers Excel at State Championships

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Hazen Union 2022 graduate Jessica Royer (left) competed for the University of Vermont women’s cross country team this fall.

ST. ALBANS ̶ Athletes from Hazen Union, Craftsbury Academy, and Twinfield Union were among 304 boys and 237 girls competing Sunday at the Vermont Middle School Cross Country Championships. The girls and boys raced on the 3.2k course at Hard’Ack Recreational Area. Cool conditions prevailed for the late morning event open to runners in fifth to eighth grades.

Isaac McNaughton, from Weathersfield, won the boys middle school race in 10:11. Hazen Union’s Kiah Cloutier was the top local finisher. He placed 34th, in 11:53. Wildcat runner Alden Pougnier finished in 13:22 to place 119th. Colin McIntyre (13:55) led Twinfield in 153rd place. Sylvan Graham (14:06), Sorrel Cleary (15:22), and Marc Ludwig (33:05) rounded out the Twinfield boys squad.

Brooke Greenberg, from Harwood Union, was the fastest finisher in the girls middle school race. Her time was 11:08. Hazen Union’s Eliza Bunten was the top local finisher. She placed 63rd, in 13:55. Hazel Morton Lynch was Twinfield’s top runner. She finished 125th, in 15:26. McKenna Flint led Craftsbury, which fielded a full girls team. Flint placed 158th, in 16:17. Craftsbury’s Iris Jacobs (16:23) finished 117th.

photo by Jim Flint
UVM sophomore Jessica Royer (right) watched her sister Cassandra Royer run for Hazen Union at Saturday’s Vermont Cross Country State Championships in Thetford.

Mia Stout (17:56), Evelyn Stout (18:14), Adrienne Robillard (21:25), and Penelope Gletsos (21:26) rounded out the Craftsbury team. Cora McIntyre (16:47), Louise Swift (18:32), and Lila Christiansen-Pollica (23:15) completed the Twinfield squad.

“A tiny bit of snow was hitting the bus as we pulled in,” said Hazen Union coach Netdahe Stoddard. “The course was a little swampy everywhere but in the woods. This course loves to gobble up shoes and suck them off kids’ feet. We had a fun day and all three of our runners did great!

English Race Streak Continues

SHELBURNE ̶ Maxfield English, 47, completed his fifth half marathon or longer race, in as many weeks, on Saturday. The Hazen Union technology teacher placed second in the scenic Union Bank Field House Half Marathon. English, from Wolcott, moved up from a third-place finish at last year’s half marathon. His time of 1:18:53 set a new personal best (age 40+) effort for the 13.1-mile distance.

John Hinkle, 37, from Charlotte, won the backroads race in 1:12:09. Stephen Andrews, 41, from Shelburne, placed third in 1:19:32. There were 153 finishers.

photo by Jackson Kiefer
Charlie Krebs, from Craftsbury, competed this fall on the Tufts University men’s cross country team. Krebs is a 2023 graduate of St. Johnsbury Academy.

The race was competitive for English. He started in fifth place among the lead group of five runners. During the hilly middle section, he passed two runners then eyed Andrews, who was 500 meters ahead.

“I slowly but surely reeled Stephen in over the next 7k, catching him at about 16k,” said English. “Last year I missed a sub 1:20 on the same course by four seconds, so tried to really push myself. The views of Lake Champlain were a welcome distraction. It stayed relatively cool, even raining a bit while we were on the course.”

Royer Makes Catamount Cross Country Team

BURLINGTON ̶ Jessica Royer, from Hardwick, completed her first season this fall on the University of Vermont women’s cross country team. The 2022 Hazen Union grad succeeded in earning a walk-on spot. A neuroscience major, Royer is one of five Vermonters on the 51-member UVM women’s roster.

Royer competed in four fall races for the Catamounts. She set a new personal best 5k time of 20:47 on September 2, at the Vermont Invitational. Jessica’s sister, Hazen Union senior Cassandra Royer, attended the race held at the Hard’Ack Recreational Area. Jessica, in return, cheered on Cassandra at Saturday’s Vermont State Cross Country Championships.

The Royer sisters started in running in 2014 through the NEK Kids on the Move program. Their mom, Jennifer Royer, is a 1989 UVM grad. Jessica plans to train and compete during the winter and spring as a member of the UVM women’s track and field team.

Krebs Completes College Cross Country Season

MEDFORD, Mass. ̶ Charlie Krebs, from Craftsbury, is off to a solid start at Tufts University where he majors in engineering. The 2023 St. Johnsbury Academy grad competed this fall on the Jumbos NCAA D-III cross country team.

Krebs experienced adversity during his first meet on September 16. Competing at the Bates College Invitational, he twisted an ankle and had to drop out of the race.

Undeterred by the setback, Krebs returned to action at the Codfish Bowl, held September 23 at Franklin Park in Boston. The Tufts men’s team placed first among 20 schools and running clubs. Krebs completed the 8k course in 30:32. He placed 141st of 262 finishers.

Krebs completed his final race of the fall season October 14 at the Connecticut College Invitational. Krebs improved his 8k time to 28:19. He placed 99th of 173 athletes in his race.

The indoor track and field season is next for Krebs. The Jumbos’ winter season kicks off December 2 at the Boston University home opener.

Thornton-Sherman Fifth at America East Championship

ORONO, Maine ̶ Evan Thornton-Sherman, from Waterford, continues to turn heads as a University of Maine sophomore runner. The 2022 St. Johnsbury Academy grad placed fifth of 82 men at the America East Conference Cross Country Championships, held on October 27 at Penobscot Valley Community College. Thornton-Sherman covered the 8k course in 24:39, finishing 0.6 seconds behind his UMaine Black Bear senior teammate, Luke Marsanskis.

The Maine men (74 points) placed second in the team standings to UMass Lowell (34 points). The Black Bears had their highest finish at the meet since 2016.

On October 13, Thornton-Sherman set a new personal best 8k mark of 24:23 at the IC4A Championship meet in New York. Competing at Van Cortlandt Park, in the Bronx, he placed 15th of 310 finishers. Thornton-Sherman led the UMaine men to a seventh-place finish in the 34-team field.

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