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Mascenic wins state title

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Division II and III cross-country championships took place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 11:44AM

Mascenic put two freshman runners in the top five as the boys' cross-country team held off all comers to win the Division III championship at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday.

“It feels amazing,” said senior DJ Turner. “Two freshman stepped up. They had really big roles on our team this year.”

Campbell junior Jeffrey Allen, as expected, won the race in 16:28, with a sizeable gap between him and the next closest runner. That runner was Mascenic rookie Landen Vaillancourt, who took second in 16:50.

“I just wanted to get out at a good pace, and at the last 800, really go hard,” Vaillancourt said.

After Moultonborough's Tyler McLaughlin and Inter-Lakes' Ian Daly, it was Mascenic freshman Josh Movsessian in fifth to give the Vikings two huge scores right off the bat.

“We just really wanted to L.A. Beast this thing and just go 'HAM,'” Movsessian said. “It's the states, you gotta give it all you want.”

Junior Michael Fappiano-Putre and his streamlined shaved head finished 10th in 17:40, and Turner was 15th in 17:55. Once junior Logan Thibault crossed the line 24th in 18:14, Mascenic clinched the title, which was revealed with some suspense at the awards ceremony immediately thereafter.

It was Mascenic’s fifth boys’ team championship and their first since 2014. With two freshman at the front of the pack, the Vikings like their chances for a repeat or perhaps a dynasty like the three straight title teams of the mid-2000s.

Mascenic’s sixth runner across, Robert McLain, finished 40th, just in front of Conant’s top guy, Chris Taylor, after the two went neck and neck into the chute.

“It was more or less a friendly competition,” Taylor said. “Mascenic and us have always been back and forth with our competition — they have some great runners on that team.”

Taylor PR’d at 18:49 and finished 41st. The freshman, who works at the Woodbound Inn in Rindge, credits the cooking for his breakout season.

“Before every race, I get a salmon dinner,” Taylor said. “When I wake up I feel like a million bucks. It’s just one of those things for me. Salmon dinners — I don’t know, it clicks.”

Division III girls

Mascenic senior Sam Bilodeau had high hopes for a top-10 finish in her final Derryfield Park race, but she had to settle for 12th as a youth movement swept through the course.

“That was a fast start,” Bilodeau said. “I was surprised, one of the fastest I’ve ever seen. I think I counted four or five freshman who just went straight to the front, and they all just stayed there, they all had a day.”

In the end, Kearsarge sophomore Mya Doubie won it in just under 20 minutes at 19:59. Three freshman and six sophomores made the top 10, and Bilodeau was actually the first senior across, finishing in 20:48.

“Personally, I felt in control of the pace for me, but I didn’t feel strong during the race,” Bilodeau said. “I wanted to make a move but I didn’t have the power or the position to do so. It was a strange day. Maybe not disappointing, but I wish I could have ended my senior year on a better note.”

Her year isn’t quite over yet, though, as the Vikings also got strong performances from Maddie Labrie (21st), Sam Hughson (41st), Shelby Babin (42nd) and Quinn Aldrich (44th) to finish fourth as a team and advance to next weekend’s Meet of Champions.

“I haven’t PR’d since sophomore year, I actually haven’t gone under 20 since sophomore year, so I’m hoping next week will be a better week to push it even harder,” Bilodeau said.

Conant freshman Eva Shirey set a new personal best at 25:02 as she was the first Oriole to cross the line, finishing 83rd.

“I was pretty nervous,” said Shirey of her first state meet. “There was a lot of hills, it was fairly difficult, but the downhills were good.”

Shirey said she was able to PR after doing a lot of hard team workouts in the weeks leading up to Saturday’s race, and due to some advice from coach Erin Kelly, who recommended she repeat a phrase or word over and over in her head as she ran. Shirey’s mantra for the day? Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold,” which set a nice rhythm for the freshman runner.

“I had that pace, it kept me going,” Shirey said.

Division II girls

Clare Veverka continued her return to form, taking the No. 1 spot for the ConVal girls for the second straight meet. The junior runner had played second fiddle to newcomer Rachel Hurley for most of the season, but on Saturday, she was back in front. The key for Veverka this season, she said, was patience.

“I’ve just been patient, been working hard, and not letting it get to my head, just because I’m No. 2 doesn’t mean I’m not doing my best,” Veverka said. “Being patient and knowing that this is the race I was training for, and it all pulled together.”

No one was catching Manchester West phenom Julia Robitaille, who won the race in 17:52, nearly a minute ahead of her closest competition. Veverka finished 7th in 19:34.

Hurley was the next ConVal runner across, finishing 14th in 20:10. She said she was disappointed to not finish in the top ten.

“I did not feel like I had a good race at all,” Hurley said. “At the halfway point, I was not feeling it.”

Hurley said the second hill, as the runners ascend into the woods, took a lot out of her. But, between her, Veverka, Schuyler Michalak (28th), Sarah Newell (33rd) and Marina McMahon (57th), ConVal lived up their billing with a fourth-place team finish and a spot in the Meet of Champions.

Hurley said she thinks she’ll be able to improve upon her time next week.

“I think it's just a fluke,” Hurley said. “I need to just not think so hard and just go out and see what happens.”

Division II boys

Evan Coyne did a little spelunking on Saturday in the DII boys’ race. The ConVal junior had the words “Pain Cave” written on his arm in marker as he took to the course.

“[The pain cave] is the area in a race where you're feeling really painful, and you've just got to get out of there mentally and just keep pushing through,” Coyne said.

Coyne escaped the pain cave unscathed, using a solid gameplan to finish 11th in his best time of the season, 17:02.

“I tried to stay nice and calm throughout the first mile,” Coyne said, “because usually I go out way too fast, and then I caught a couple kids on the hills, and then just really opened up on the way down and tried to hold on from there.”