Wildcat Harriers Focus on Fitness, Fun, and Sportsmanship

by Jim Flint

THETFORD  ̶  Hazen Union brought a ten-member squad of cross-country runners to the iconic Woods Trail Invitational on October 2. Despite rainy weather, the trails were in good condition for the nearly 1,600 runners who participated. Races for junior high girls and boys kicked off the meet. Varsity runners were seeded into five separate heats for the girls and boys, based on entry times.

Thomas Kehler came into the junior high boys’ race with two wins under his belt. He ran a blazing 6:02 per mile pace on the 2.7k course. Kehler’s time of 10:08 placed sixth of 167 junior high boys. He was the third Vermont boy to finish and the fastest seventh-grader in the race. 

“Thomas enjoyed being challenged in the company of fast runners,” said Hazen Union’s head coach Netdahe Stoddard. “He is smart about taking care of himself, has a great attitude, and pushed it hard in the race.”

Manny Fliegelman started strong and held his position. The Wildcat seventh-grader placed 38th of 167 runners. His finish time was 11:24.

Finn Burgess was the sole Wildcat in the junior high girls’ race. The eighth-grader finished 85th of 136 girls. Her time was 14:54.

Hazen Union fielded a full varsity girls’ squad for the meet. Cassandra Royer led the way with a 5k finish in 24:11. Her time placed 207th among 599 varsity girls. Jessica Royer finished in 25:50 to place 312th.