Locals ready to run at states

  • Evan Coyne Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Sam Bilodeau Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, October 26, 2017 4:15PM

The ConVal girls’ cross-country team is just one of the local squads in the hunt for a team title at Saturday’s divisional meet in Manchester. ConVal’s chances have been bolstered by newcomer Rachel Hurley, who’s emerged at the head of the Cougar pack in her first year on the team.

“I thought it was really exciting that no one thought we would do this well,” said Hurley.

ConVal was recently ranked as the fifth-best team in the state regardless of division by newhampshirecrosscountry.com.

Hurley played soccer in her freshman year, but after a successful spring track season, chose to dedicate herself to running.

“I decided that I just really like running, so I’m like ‘Why not just put everything to it?’ So I put my best effort forward in the summer and it definitely paid off.”

Hurley finished first for ConVal in all but one of their races this season, continuously improving until she hit a PR of 19:30 at Coe-Brown.

“It’s not like we have a team full of slouches,” said head coach Lance Flamino. “We have a really solid team, so to have a new runner out front is exciting.”

Neck-and-neck with Hurley is Clare Veverka, the reigning Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Athlete of the Year who has had injury struggles but looked strong down the stretch. The junior star hit a 19:37 at last year’s Meet of Champions and put up a season-best 19:41 at the Black Bear Invitational this year.

After that, it’s Schuyler Michalak, Marina McMahon and Sarah Newell who could put the girls in position to make MOCs again.

The ConVal boys are led by junior Evan Coyne. Coyne ran 300 miles this summer prepping for the fall season, and it showed, as he PR’d at 17:14. He hopes to push past that mark at the state meet.

Breathing down his neck is sophomore Harrison Kim, whose presence alone has been pushing Coyne all season.

“It’s that mindset — can’t let the kid in the lower grade beat you,” Coyne said.


Mascenic’s boys’ team has a great shot at a team title Saturday. Even if none of the young Vikings can hold off Campbell’s Jeffrey Allen and his 16:14 PR, they’re strong enough up front to put together a solid scoring five.

Sophomore Dakota Somero is the Mascenic frontrunner, with his average times creeping closer and closer to 17 minutes. Behind Somero in quick succession come freshmen Landon Vaillancourt and Josh Movsessian and senior DJ Turner. A bit back of that pack is Logan Thibault and Michael Fappiano-Putre. All five of those runners have dominated local races and could position themselves in the top 25.

The Mascenic girls look to senior Sam Bilodeau for their best shot. Bilodeau is still looking for that sub-20 finish this season, but runners have been known to put up career days at Derryfield Park. Maddie Labrie shouldn’t be far behind Bilodeau, and Sam Hughson and Shelby Babin should be in the mix too.


The Orioles will suffer from the loss of junior Isabella Mormando, who raced much of the season with mono before being diagnosed recently. She’ll be unavailable Saturday, turning the reins over to Erin Kelly’s new leading group of runners, Eva Shirey, Emily Chen, Bailey Despres and Rachel Kennedy. Their times have been somewhat interchangeable this season so it remains to be seen who will have the best day. Kelly said the group works best as a pack.

“If they run together they're really solid and amazing,” Kelly said.

Sophomore Chris Taylor has had an up-and-down season, but a performance like his 18:53 at Hopkinton would place him pretty high up in the division. On his heels will be Ben Pyhala and Matt Bernier.

The Division III girls’ race starts at 10 a.m. at Manchester’s Derryfield Park, followed by the boys’ race. The Division II girls’ race starts at 11:30 a.m. with the boys to follow.