by Jim Flint
Local Harriers Excel at NVAC Mountain Division Meet
CRAFTSBURY ̶ Cross-country runners from 18 area schools competed at the Northern Vermont Athletic Conference Mountain Division Championship on October 16. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center hosted the meet for varsity, junior varsity, and middle school runners. As a precursor to the October 30 state meet, each school could have up to seven boys or seven girls per varsity squad.
The Craftsbury Academy boys placed second of twelve varsity teams at the meet. The Chargers scored 56 points, behind St. Johnsbury Academy’s 38 points. Harwood Union High School placed third with 101 points. U-32 High School’s B team placed fourth in the boys’ varsity division. U-32’s A team, which is ranked #1 in Vermont, opted out of competing at the Mountain Division championship meet.
Vermont’s fastest high school runner, St. Johnsbury Academy’s Evan Thornton-Sherman, won the 5k boys varsity race in 16:29. James Cilwik of North Country Union High School finished runner-up in 17:15. Cormac Leahy (17:25) and Charlie Krebs (17:55) took third and fifth place for Craftsbury.
Leo Circosta (18:42), Alan Moody (19:07), and Matt Califano (20:38) stepped up for the Chargers with ninth, 15th, and 29th place finishes. Alex Califano (21:00) rounded out the Craftsbury boys’ squad.
Twinfield Union High School runners Ethan Parrish (22:19) and Sam Sainz (22:30) finished in the top half of the varsity boys field.
Hazen Union’s Liam Jurkiewicz (26:06), Khamden Luangrath (26:10), Carter Hill (26:20), and Tobias Benson (32:14) represented the Wildcat boys varsity team.
Craftsbury Academy and Hazen Union fielded full squads in the girls’ varsity division. The Chargers and Wildcats placed fourth and ninth, respectively, among 11 varsity teams.
Lamoille Union senior Maggie McGee won the girls’ varsity race in 21:13. Craftsbury’s Anika Leahy was the top ninth-grader finisher at the meet. She placed sixth in 22:14. Ruth Krebs (24:12) of Craftsbury, Hazen Union’s Cassandra Royer (24:17), and Ava Purdy (24:26) of Craftsbury placed 23rd, 24th, and 25th in the field of 81 runners. Jessica Royer (25:15) finished 32nd for Hazen Union.
Rachel Bjerke (26:28) and Daisy Roianov (29:05) completed Craftsbury’s varsity squad. Ella Considine (28:33), Marta Mas Garrigo (32:40), and Eleonora Andrenelli (34:51) rounded out the Hazen Union varsity.
Craftsbury’s Linden Stelma-Leonard (20:25) won the boys’ junior varsity race. Noah McKibben (22:34) placed sixth for the Chargers.
Manny Fliegelman of Hazen Union placed 21st of 94 runners in the NVAC boys’ middle school championship race. Fliegelman finished the 2.5k course in 10:52. Craftsbury’s Roz Mille ran in his first middle school race. He placed 62nd, in 13:20.
Amelia Circosta of Craftsbury Academy won the NVAC girls’ middle school championship race. She blazed the 2.5k course in 9:59 to remain undefeated in four middle school races this season. Hazen Union’s Finn Burgess placed 41st of 84 middle school girls. Her time was 13:54.
Craftsbury Academy head coach Mike Levangie coordinated the conference championship meet, which involved 409 athletes spread over six races.
“We cannot begin to thank the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and the multitude of volunteers from the community who made the event possible,” he said. “It was great to see so many athletes experience the course at the COC.”
Chargers Win Richford Invitational
RICHFORD ̶ The Craftsbury Academy cross-country team raced to multiple victories at the Richford Invitational on October 12. Runners from six schools participated in the meet.
Craftsbury eighth-grader Amelia Circosta led the way with a victory in the girls’ middle school race. Circosta ran the 3k course in 12:31. Her winning time was 23 seconds faster than the time for the top middle school boy.
Anika Leahy won her first girls’ varsity race of the season. Her time of 23:10 outdistanced the second-place finisher, Ruth Brueckner of Missisquoi Valley, by 16 seconds. Ava Purdy (24:58) and Ruth Krebs (25:25) placed fourth and fifth for the Chargers. Rachel Bjerke (27:54) and Daisy Roianov (31:11) rounded out the Craftsbury girls’ squad.
Cormac Leahy (18:01) and Charlie Krebs (18:09) finished first and second for the Craftsbury boys. John Viens of Richford High School placed third in 18:18. Charger runners Charlie Kehler (19:08), Leo Circosta (19:20), Alan Moody (20:25), and Linden Stelma-Leonard (22:11) swept the next four places. Noah McKibben (23:10) and Alexander Califano (23:28) completed the Craftsbury boys’ squad.