Aho tops for JRMS at state meet

  • JRMS star Kylie Aho in action at the state championships. Courtesy photo

Published: 10/23/2018 9:49:26 AM

On her final run for the Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School Cardinals cross country team, 8th grader Kylie Aho once again lead her team to a tremendous 10th place finish in the Division III NH Middle School State Meet, contested Saturday at Coe-Brown.

Aho began with an excellent start and was a Top-15 runner through most of the wooded trail-section of the 2 mile course. An inadvertent crash on a rocky/muddy section of the course, with about 200 meters to go, resulted in her slipping to 19th, and with bloodied hands, knees and elbows. “Kylie is one of the best runners to run for JRMS in many years,” said her head coach, Kevin McCusker. “She knows how to get the job done. Having her take a fall, but getting up to finish strong, comes as no surprise. I’m confident that the Conant High School team will have a wonderful addition to their team, next year!” Aho’s time was 13:34 (averaging 6:47/mile!) which was over 30 seconds faster than her previous best on the course.

7th grade teammate, Amarah Lapinsky, was next to cross the line. Lapinsky knocked more than a minute off her time of a year ago. One of the hardest working runners on the JRMS team, Lapinsky was often seen running extra mileage during training session. She ran the course in 14:25 and placed 54th, and is poised to be the team leader, next year.

Lainey Holombo, already a proven sprinter on the track team, trained hard and built her endurance to become the consistent 3rd team member on this very competitive team. Holombo finished 66th in 14:45.

Upstart Amber Gnoza, completing her first season of competition, proved to be a great addition for the team. Gnoza, a quiet, hard-working 6th grader, shadowed Holombo for most of the race and finished a mere 5 seconds back in 14:50 and 70th place in this race of 200.

The fifth and final scorer for the team, Olivia Jadlocki, has been a consistent performer for JRMS for 3 years. One of the original “Power Pack” of runners in her class, Jadlocki finished 104th in 15:26, over a minute faster than her time last year.

Pushing Jadlocki for most of the race, (the injured) Iris Hill, with taped ankles and knees, was just back in 108th with a time of 15:31. Of great importance, Hill was also a couple places ahead of Boynton Middle School’s 5th runner, thereby pushing the Boynton’s team total up by one point. Boynton, a perennially strong-running squad, placed 11th, just behind JRMS, last year. This year, Boynton had convincingly bettered the team over this course in September’s Black Bear Invitational. For the States, JRMS was 10th, but Boynton lurked only 2 points behind the JRMS team, once again in 11th. If a couple of runners on the JRMS team had faded, and given up just one more place, Boynton would have snuck into 10th place.

Emily Brown had also toed the start line for the JRMS team, finishing a fine 132nd place with a time of 16:06, improving her time over the Coe-Brown course by over a minute and a half.

Missing from the field was super-6th grade runner, Neve Mormando, who rested an injured ankle, but will be a contender for years to come.

In the boys race, Ben Gaudet lead the team to the finish line in a fine 13:45, for 97th place, followed by John Morrilly (106th/13:59.) These two have been moving to the front of the pack since they began their running careers in September. With both of them finishing in the Top 25 of all 6thgraders in the race, they should continue to perform well in the region for years to come.

Solid and consistent Austen Richards capped off a great year with a strong finish and 134th place, with a time of 14:29.

Perhaps the surprise of the day was Mason Karpinski’s finishing 4th for the JRMS team. Mason showed his talents by finishing 153rd with a time of 14:49.

Brandon Areias and Nathan Simmons, good friends and steady team-leaders off the course, continued to make their mark in their last year at JRMS, with Brandon finishing 171st in 15:20 and Nathan 182nd in 15:46.

Jonathan Hartnett, who promises to be an explosive sprinter this Spring, completed the boys top 7 with his 16:01 for 191st place, gobbling up 10 runners over the final 100 meters of the race.

In the boys non-scoring race, Kayden Wozniak, another up-and-coming 6th grader, roared to a 15:16 over the same course, letting the world know that he intents to be a top scorer next year. Due to a schedule conflict, Tristin Herr was missing from the boys lineup.

For the girls in the non-scoring run, Ellie Cassidy saw teammate, Laurel Bennett, struggling on the course, so she turned on the after-burners to help compensate, completing the course in 18:15. In her best outing of the season, youngster Kendra Wooster, impressed with a 18:57 running. Maya Pressman had a great year and finished in 19:29. While Bennett was slowed, she stayed strong and finished the course in 21:49.

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