Eighth Annual Hardwick Gazette Runners’ Roundup Awards
by Jim Flint
In this final issue of the year, the Hardwick Gazette salutes local athletes of diverse ages who tirelessly pound out miles on area roads and trails. Emerging from the pandemic, a full slate of races was held. Athletes from towns covered by the Gazette competed on the state, national, and world level. Here are the 2022 Runners Roundup honorees, from A to Z:
Dot Helling and Chris Andresen countered aging with resilience. Helling overcame a winter bout with COVID-19 to notch F70-79 age group wins at the Paul Mailman Ten Miler and the Adamant Half Marathon. She placed second in the F70-74 age group in the Mount Washington Road Race. Andresen, 66, underwent hip replacement surgery in December. He won the Vermont Senior Games Powerwalk in Northfield, setting a new course record of 34:45.
Bound and Determined
Manny Sainz of Marshfield received Central Vermont Runners 2022 Spirit of the Club Award in March. Sainz was recognized for his volunteerism, participation in races and fun runs, and leadership as a race director and president of CVR. Sainz competed in several spring races before injuries sidelined him. He kept physically active during the summer and slowly returned to running in the fall.
Coach of the Year
The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association recognized Mike Levangie as the 2021 Vermont Cross Country Coach of the Year. Levangie motivated the Craftsbury Academy boys and girls to respective first-place and third-place team finishes at the 2021 Vermont D-III state championship meet. Craftsbury was the first D-III school in Vermont history to qualify for the New England Championship meet.
Levangie also helped coach the Craftsbury Academy spring track and field team. The Charger boys won their first Vermont track and field championship at the 2022 D-IV state meet. In the fall, Levangie coached the Craftsbury Academy boys cross country team to its third consecutive D-III state title. The team made its second trip to the New England Championship meet.
Mack Gardner-Morse of Calais ran with his yellow Lab retriever, Ginger, at the Mutt Strutt 5k race on April 24. Ginger placed third in the large dog category. This was the beginning of a stellar year for Gardner-Morse. He placed first in the M60-69 age group at eight road races and two trail races. He also earned the M60-64 silver medal at the Vermont Senior Games 10k road race.
Energy and Enthusiasm
Netdahe Stoddard of Cabot is a dynamo. For the past seven years, his contagious positive spirit helped a diverse group of athletes on the Hazen Union cross country team develop a love of running. Stoddard placed seventh in the 2021 New Year’s Eve Race in Montpelier and was the top finisher over age 40. In October, he placed third in the Kingdom Challenge half marathon race from Lyndonville to St. Johnsbury.
Charlie Kehler of Greensboro and Amy Felice of Calais set new personal best 5k times following their outstanding fall cross country seasons. On November 19, Kehler won the Central Vermont Runners Fallen Leaves 5k in 16:29. Felice crossed the finish line at Montpelier High School in 19:54 to top the women’s division. Kehler, a sophomore at Craftsbury Academy, was the Vermont D-III state cross country individual champion. Felice, a U-32 High School junior, was the top local finisher at the New England High School Girls Cross Country championship race.
Evan Thornton-Sherman received Gatorade awards for boys cross country and boys track and field. The Gatorade awards recognized Thornton-Sherman as the top Vermont high school athlete for 2021-2022 in both sports. During the 2022 indoor track season, the St. Johnsbury Academy standout set new state records of 3:56.99 (1500m) and 8:28.44 (3000m). During the outdoor track season, Thornton-Sherman set a new Vermont D-I state record of 3:51.51 for 1500m. At the New Balance Outdoor National Championships, he ran a personal best mile time of 4:13.27. Thornton-Sherman chose Central Vermont Runners as his nonprofit of choice to receive a $2,000 charitable donation from Gatorade. On July 3, the University of Maine-bound scholarship athlete broke the Montpelier Mile course record with a time of 4:18.7.
Hard to Beat
Maxfield English, 46, and Rose Modry, 43, were the top local finishers at multiple races during the spring, summer, and fall. English, from Wolcott, won the Catamount Ultra 25k trail race, the Birdland 5k, the Caspian Challenge, and the Cate Farm Tomato Trot. He finished second in the Craftsbury Beer Run, Jay Peak 22-mile trail race, Genny Tenny Ten-Miler, and Elmore 5k. Modry, from Greensboro, was the fastest local finisher at the Vermont Corporate Cup in May. She placed 75th of 757 runners. Modry topped the women’s division at the Elmore 5k road race and was the Genny Tenny women’s runner-up. She was the third female finisher in the Birdland 5k trail race. In October, Modry and English won their respective age groups at the Green Mountain Half Marathon.
Tobias Benson competed in a half dozen cross country races for the Hazen Union Wildcats. The Wildcat junior picked up where he left off in 2021, when he broke 30 minutes for the first time in a 5k race. Benson made steady improvement. He saved his best race for the Vermont D-III state meet at Thetford on October 29, finishing the hilly course in 26:12.
Junior High Cats
Hazen Union fielded a full boys middle school cross country for the first time since 2018. Led by Thomas Kehler and Manny Fliegelman, the Wildcat boys placed 18th of 29 teams at the Vermont Middle School State Championship meet on October 30. Four of the five boys will be eligible for the Hazen Union varsity team in 2023.
King of the Trails
Erick Remick of Hardwick won his first men’s title in the Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s Tuesday Night Trail Race series. Remick competed in 10 of 12 summer 5k races, accumulating 832 points. Adrian Owens and Matt Moody, both from Craftsbury, placed second and third in the men’s division. Owens (774 points) and Moody (709 points) competed in nine races. The best 10 races count in the scoring. Ollie Burruss was fourth for the men, with 691 points in seven races. Maxfield English scored 673 points in seven races to place fifth overall.
Andrew Gilbert, 60, from Hardwick completed the 145-kilometer Ultra Trail Mount Blanc race in August. Gilbert traversed the mountainous route surrounding the 15,774-foot granite massif in 40 hours, 37 minutes, and 46 seconds.
Former Sterling College student, Lance Parker, logged several thousand miles biking, running, and swimming during 2022. In June, he bicycled the length of Vermont on Route 100. His 225-mile pedal from North Troy to Deerfield, Mass. went from dawn to dusk. Parker completed his first Ironman triathlon in October. He was the first American male to finish the Barcelona Ironman.
Elle Purrier St. Pierre won the prestigious Wanamaker Mile Run on January 29 at the New York Armory. Her time was 4:19:30. The 2013 Richford High School graduate, former University of New Hampshire standout, and 2021 Summer Olympian married her high school sweetheart, Jamie St. Pierre, in September 2020. In September, the Berkshire couple announced that they expect their first child to arrive in early March 2023.
Elizabeth McCarthy and Tim Hogeboom competed in more than 20 running races during 2022. In May, the Walden couple traveled to Fort Lauderdale to compete in the National Senior Games. McCarthy placed fifth in her age group for the 5k race and fourth in the 10k event. Hogeboom earned his first National Senior Games ribbon with a sixth-place finish in the 10k road race.
Hogeboom and McCarthy also won multiple medals in the Vermont Senior Games track and field and road race events. Hogeboom notched a silver medal (M70-74) in the 10k road race, four gold medals and a bronze in track and field, and a gold medal in the 5k road race. McCarthy won a bronze medal (F70-74) in the 10k road race, four gold medals in track and field, and a gold medal in the 5k road race. The couple plan to compete in the 2023 National Senior Games held during July in Pittsburgh.
Andrew Thornton-Sherman was Vermont’s top high school sophomore in cross country. He led the St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltoppers to their second consecutive D-I state championship. At the New England Championships, another competitor stepped on the back of Thornton-Sherman’s heel, causing the left spiked shoe to come off. In a gutsy performance, Thornton-Sherman ran 2-1/2 miles of the 5k race with one shoe. He placed 30th of 260 runners representing five New England states.
Craftsbury Olympian Caitlin Patterson was the fourth women to finish the Mount Washington Road Race on June 18. Roger Prevot, 63, and Margie Prevot, 59, were the top local male and female mountain bikers in the Race to the Top of Mount Mansfield on August 28. Former Sterling College student Lance Parker placed third overall in the Mount Mansfield Double Up race on August 14. Ricky McLain, 36, of Cabot placed second in the Groton Forest 15-miler on September 10.
Ira O’Meara-Costello finished third in the five-mountain Westmore Challenge on September 24.
Queen of the Trails
Susan Dunklee won the Tuesday Night Trails 5k series women’s title with 793 points in nine races. Hallie Grossman placed a close second with 770 points, also in nine races. Kaitlynn Miller finished third in the standings, with 676 points in eight races. Caroline Lawlor (669 points) and Paula Davidson (647 points) placed fourth and fifth with 10 races scored. Dunklee, Grossman, Miller, and Davidson are from Craftsbury. Lawlor is from West Glover.
Rookie of the Year
Silas Hunt did double duty for Craftsbury Academy, competing in varsity soccer and cross country. In his first season as a Charger harrier, the high school junior avoided injury and steadily improved each race. Hunt placed 12th in the Vermont D-III state championship race. He set a personal best 5k mark of 18:35 at the Vermont Meet of Champions.
Jessica Bolduc and Damian Bolduc are seasoned Masters athletes. The Craftsbury couple were the top local finishers at the Kaynor’s Sap Run 10k in March. Damian celebrated his 45th birthday in May with a fifth-place finish at the Barre Town Spring Run. Jessica was the fourth women to cross the finish line. Both athletes won their respective age groups at the 5k race.
Encouraged by head coach Cathy DuPont, the Twinfield cross country team competed in high school and community races during the fall. Senior Ethan Parrish and junior Camryn Hoffman were the top runners for the Trojan boys and girls. Parrish overcame adversity to place 13th in the D-III boys championship race at the state meet. Hoffman led the Trojan girls with a 16th-place finish in the D-III girls state championship race. Coach DuPont and several Twinfield runners participated in the Sodom Pond Four-Miler in September and the three Fallen Leaves 5k races in November. Parrish, who is from Adamant, won the Sodom Pond Four-Miler.
Craftsbury’s Kaitlyn Miller, 31, covered 102 miles at the RUTFest Ultra Marathon on November 5-6. During the 36-hour event, Miller ran and walked further than any other woman. 2016 Sterling College graduate Colton Francis, 31, logged 101 miles. April Farnham, 55, from Plainfield, and Ira Wheeler, 44, from Danville, each completed 100 miles on the three-mile and four-mile looping courses at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston.
The Craftsbury Academy boys cross country team overcame injury and illness to win the D-III Vermont State Championship on October 29. The victory was the third consecutive state title for the Chargers. Charlie Kehler and Matt Califano led the way with a one-two finish for the Chargers. Cormac Leahy, Alex Califano, and Alan Moody placed seventh through ninth. Silas Hunt and Linden Stelma-Leonard rounded out the strong team effort. The Charger boys went on to compete in the prestigious New England Championships, held at Ponaganset High School, in Rhode Island.
Donna Smyers won victories in local, state, national, and international competitions during 2022. The Adamant physical therapist notched seven F60-69 age group wins in the Central Vermont Runners annual race series. In May, she traveled to Florida to compete in cycling and triathlon at the National Senior Games. Smyers won three gold medals and a bronze medal in the F65-69 age group. In June, she won the F65-69 age group at the Hawaii Ironman 70.3 triathlon. Smyers returned to Vermont to win the F65-69 gold medal in the Vermont Senior Games 10k road race. She was the fastest F60-64 runner in the Moumt Washington Road Race. In July, Smyers celebrated 25 years of participation in the Colchester Triathlon with a victory in the women’s division.
X Country Excellers
Sargent Burns, from Calais, had an outstanding fall cross country season. The U-32 High School senior helped lead the Raider boys to the D-II state championship. Burns finished 88th at the New England Championship race in Rhode Island. The U-32 boys placed 12th of 30 high school teams.
Charlie Krebs, from Craftsbury, and Ava Purdy, from Greensboro, transferred to St. Johnsbury Academy for the 2021-2022 school year. Krebs, a senior, bounced back from COVID-19 to place ninth in the state championship meet (third man for his team). He set a new personal best 5k time of 17:23. Purdy, a junior, was the third woman for St. Johnsbury at the state meet. Her strong performance helped the Hilltopper girls qualify for the New England Championship Meet.
Scarlett and Ruthie Podolin were regular participants in the 3k division of the Tuesday Night Trail Series. The Stannard sisters competed in ten of the summer races at the Outdoor Center. The girls are following in the footsteps of their mom, Emma Podolin. Emma was the first female finisher in the Genny Tenny Race for the second consecutive year. She conquered the ten-mile course from Craftsbury to Albany in 1:14:31.
New Year’s Eve Race in Montpelier
Congratulations to all the dedicated athletes who train and race on the streets, roads, and trails of our area. The 2022 running season kicks off with the Central Vermont Runners New Year’s Eve 5k, at 2 p.m., on December 31, in downtown Montpelier. For details, visit cvrunners.org.