Local Harriers Reach Mid-season Form

photo by Netdahe Stoddard
Hazen Union’s Gabriel Aubuchon raced at the NVAC meet in St. Johnsbury. The Wildcat junior had a personal best time of 30:01 on the hilly 5k course.

by Jim Flint

ST. JOHNSBURY – St. Johnsbury Academy hosted the Northern Vermont Athletic Conference Mountain Division on October 4. The league meet brought together friendly competitors on a beautiful fall day. The venue offered runners a mid-season tune-up, testing their strength on a challenging course with dips, climbs, and turns.

The SJA Hilltoppers won the boys’ and girls’ divisions. Craftsbury Academy edged out U-32 High School to place second among 13 varsity boys teams. U-32 and Lyndon Institute placed second and third respectively among 10 varsity girls teams.

Bennett Chance of SJA edged out McKenna Knapp, 22:07 to 22:11, to win the girls varsity race. U-32 junior Amy Felice, from Calais, placed fifth of 80 finishers. Her time was 23:06. SJA junior Ava Purdy, from Greensboro, finished 18th in 24:22. Brooklyn Maxfield, a ninth-grader from Twinfield Union High School, placed 22nd, in 25:08. Craftsbury Academy senior Rachel Bjerke, from Wolcott, placed 25th, in 25:19.

The top 12 boys varsity runners finished within a minute of each other. Andrew Thornton-Sherman (17:52) and Carson Eames (17:56) of SJA topped the 95-runner field. SJA senior Charlie Krebs, from Craftsbury, placed third in 17:59. U-32 High School senior Sargent Burns, from Calais, was fourth in 18:00.

Freshman Charlie Kehler, from Greensboro, led the Craftsbury Academy boys with a sixth-place finish. His time was 18:04. Matt Califano (18:36), Alex Califano (18:42), Alan Moody (19:54), Silas Hunt (20:04), and Linden Stelma-Leonard (23:01) rounded out the Charger boys.

Twinfield Union High School senior Ethan Parrish continued his run of solid performances. He placed 14th in 19:32. Sam Sainz finished 69th for the Trojans, in 24:58. Tobias Benson (27:34) and Gabe Aubuchon (30:19) competed for the Hazen Union varsity boys.

photo by Mike Levangie
Craftsbury Academy’s Matt Califano (left) and his twin brother Alex Califano (right) climb a steep hill on St. Johnsbury Academy’s 5k cross country course. Matt and Alex placed ninth and eleventh, respectively, in the field of 95 varsity boys at the October 4 meet.

Stig Donaghy, from Craftsbury Academy, placed 17th of 90 runners in the 1.5-mile Middle School boys race. His time was 10:38. Evelyn Molina represented Hazen Union in the Middle School girls race. She placed 49th of 63 finishers, in 15:44.

St. J Boys and U-32 Girls Compete at Iconic Invitational

BRONX, N.Y. — Van Cortlandt Park is hallowed ground. With more than 1,000 acres, the park is New York City’s third largest. Established in 1888, the land is an urban oasis containing forested ridges, grassy meadows, a freshwater lake, trails, playing fields, courts, and two public golf courses.

The Manhattan College Invitational draws elite high school runners to Van Cortland Park each fall. The runners come from across New York and the Northeast to race on the “old school” 2.5-mile course. This year’s invitational was the 50th annual meet, featuring nearly 8,000 runners competing in 41 different races across all genders and experience levels. The meet is the largest in the country.

The St. Johnsbury Academy boys are the defending D-I champions. They are currently the top-ranked cross country team in Vermont. In the combined results of 193 teams and 1,342 boys varsity runners, the Hilltoppers placed 17th with 735 points. Among other Vermont teams, Champlain Valley Union High School (1045 points) placed 25th followed by Bellows Free Academy – St. Albans (2582 points).

Matthew Servin of CVU was the fastest Vermont finisher. He placed 14th in 12:47. Andrew Thornton-Sherman led SJA with a 48th-place finish, in 13:12. Carson Eames (108th, 13:32) and Charlie Krebs (117th, 13:35) finished in the top 10% of runners for the Hilltoppers. Krebs is a senior transfer from Craftsbury.

The CVU girls finished fifth in the team competition among 153 teams and 1,158 girls varsity runners. Alice Kredell of CVU was the top Vermont finisher. She placed 11th in 15:06. Amy Felice led the U-32 High School girls to a 20th-place team finish. Felice, from Calais, placed 107th in 16:12.