St. J Boys and U-32 Girls Win NVAC Mountain Division

photo by Matt Krebs
Silas Hunt (No. 10) climbs a sharp hill on the St. Johnsbury cross country course. The Craftsbury Academy junior is a solid performer on the Chargers’ cross country and soccer teams. His 5k time of 19:47 placed 26th of 86 runners at the NVAC Mountain Division Championships on October 22.

ST. JOHNSBURY ̶ Local runners honed their racing strategies at the Northern Vermont Athletic Conference Mountain Division Championship on October 22. The Saturday meet included varsity, junior varsity, and middle school races for girls and boys. Runners from 18 schools participated.

St. Johnsbury Academy was in full race mode for the meet. In the boys varsity race, the host Hilltoppers captured five of the top eight spots. Montpelier High School’s Avery Smart won the 5k race in 16:25. SJA’s Andrew Thornton-Sherman placed second in 16:58. U-32 High School’s Cyrus Hansen (17:14) finished third, followed by SJA’s Carson Eames (17:20) in fourth place.

Charlie Krebs was SJA’s third man. He edged out U-32’s Sargent Burns, 17:41 to 17:48, to take fifth place. Charlie Kehler led Craftsbury Academy with a 12th-place finish in 18:17. Ethan Parrish (18:35) of Twinfield and Matt Califano (18:38) of Craftsbury placed 14th and 15th.

St. Johnsbury Academy ran away with the boys team title. The Hilltoppers’ 26 points placed ahead of Montpelier High School (65), U-32 High School (96), Harwood Union High (117) and Craftsbury (128).

The girls team competition was a closer contest. U-32 won the team title with 42 points followed by St. Johnsbury (53), Harwood (56), Lyndon Institute (105), and Stowe High School (117).

Charlie Flint (21:21) and Julia Thurston (21:26) of Harwood placed first and second. Stowe’s Lydia Mattson (21:44) and SJA’s Bennett Crance (21:53) were third and fourth. U-32’s Ginger Long (21:58) and Amy Felice (21:58) captured fifth and sixth place.

Ava Purdy (22:32) finished 11th for St. Johnsbury Academy. Anika Leahy (24:27) and Rachel Bjerke (25:13) led the Craftsbury Academy girls. Camryn Hoffman (24:26) and Gigi Guerin (28:56) were Twinfield’s top two finishers.

Tobias Benson and Finn Burgess represented Hazen Union at the Mountain Division Championships. Benson notched a personal best 5k time of 26:45 in the boys varsity race. Burgess’s time of 32:53 was a personal best in the girls varsity race.

Stig Donaghy represented Craftsbury Academy in the 1.5-mile boys middle school race. His time of 10:27 placed 25th of 89 runners. Manny Fliegelman placed 32nd for Hazen Union. His time was 10:55.

Leahy Siblings Score Double Win

BRADFORD ̶ Cormac Leahy and Anika Leahy ran to individual victories in a cross country meet at Oxbow Union School on October 11. Cormac won the boys varsity race in a season’s best 5k time of 18:16. Anika was the girls varsity race winner in 22:48, her fastest 5k time this fall.

Cormac delayed starting the 2022 cross country season to provide recovery time from a spring stress fracture in his foot. He is on track to compete in the D-III state meet on October 29, with a shot at qualifying for the New England Championships.

Anika competes for Craftsbury Academy in soccer and cross country. The Oxbow races helped Anika and Cormac become eligible to compete in the Vermont state championships.