XC Rankings - Week 4 10/8/18

VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results - Oct. 8, 2018

Boys Overall Top 10

  1. Essex
  2. U32
  3. Burlington
  4. St. Jay
  5. CVU
  6. MMU
  7. South Burlington
  8. Harwood
  9. Thetford
  10. 10. Stowe

Comments: Essex won The Woods Trail Invite, over U32 and Burlington, solidifying their #1 ranking for the fifth straight week. Representing the mid-size schools, U32, especially Junior Waylon Kurts, ran well and closed the gap on the Hornets, but the D1 powerhouse proved they are still the team to beat in the Green Mountain State. #3 Burlington has shown they can compete with the top two teams from 1-3 but will need more from their 4th and 5th scorers to move up. In particular, Simon Kissam was superb on Saturday, leading the Seahorses and finishing in 3rd overall and as the second Vermonter behind only Essex Junior Henry Farrington.

We will not see all these teams head to head again until November 10th and the New England Championships(if they all make it?), but until then Essex is the clear #1. Led by Farrington and Senior Peter Alden the Hornets placed four runners among the top 15 Vermont runners and remain a step ahead of the rest.

The 4th through 7th slots are occupied by, in order, St. Jay, CVU and South Burlington. This week these traditional D1 powerhouse teams again do a bit of a shuffle in order. The coaches rank them as they finished at Woods Trail but the battle for New England's looks like it will be very tight when these teams meet again at States on October 27th. Harwood Union remains in 8th based on their strong run two weeks ago in Belfast, Maine. Legendary Harwood coach John Kerrigan takes a different tack than the rest of the Vermont coaching ranks by skipping Woods Trail and opting for a week of training. Highlanders are back in action this coming Saturday at their home invite.

Woods Trail proved to be the week of the D3 teams, with both #9 Thetford and #10 Stowe jumping over many much larger schools to break into the top ten. Look for these two to duke it out for the D3 Crown at States and watch out for one of these “Davids” to break up the large school party and earn a ticket to New England's.

The race for the individual title still sees Farrington undefeated against Vermont competition so far this year. That said, both Kissam and Kurts were within 20 seconds of the Essex star on Saturday, proving that they are closing the gap.

Division 1 Boys Top 5

  1. Essex
  2. Burlington
  3. St Johnsbury
  4. CVU
  5. MMU

Comments: Essex takes home the Woods Trail trophy by a large margin. Henry Farrington lead the Hornets with a strong 2nd place finish. EHS has a complete package of front running and depth. BHS Stays in 2nd place, Kissam lead the way with a 3rd place finish. As always this can be an inconsistent but dangerous team. The 3-5 spots are where it got a bit interesting. St Jay edges CVU by one point and MMU not too far behind the two of them. One of the most impressive runs of the day was St Jay’s #1 in freshman Evan Thornton-Sherman finishing in 9th place. Look for these teams continue to be tight at districts and states.

The individual race is still looking like Farrington who ran a 16:35 on Saturday. Simon Kissam has been the closest of anyone VTer so far finishing only 7 seconds behind him. The most consistent other challenger is Peter Alden of Essex who finished 3rd in the state last year. A hand hand full of other have shown signs of high finishes in the D1 state meet including Thornton-Sherman, Summa, Wagner, Leonard, Martisus and Ford.

Division 2 Boys Top 5


2. Harwood


4. Woodstock

5. Spaulding

Comments: No change this week. #1 U32 showed they are tough over the hills of Thetford. Waylon Kurts, Trevor Patterson, and Jed Kurts all ran particularly well for the Raiders. #2 Harwood was idle. MIDD, Woodstock, and Spaulding all hold their rankings but are still over a minute (top 5 average) behind the top two teams. On the individual front Mill River’s sophomore Brogan Giffin ran a very fine 17:26 on the notoriously slow Thetford course and announced himself as another potential New England's qualifier and name for the future out of D2.

Division 3 Boys Top 5

  1. Thetford
  2. Stowe
  3. Peoples
  4. Randolph
  5. Bellows Falls

Comments: Woods Trail Run was able to clarify a few question marks for Division 3 coaches, which resulted in a few changes in the rankings. Thetford takes top honors behind their strong performance on their home course. The Panthers got two in front of Stowe’s first runner, which helped set them up for a Division 3 win on Saturday. The team from Stowe, however, has a top pack of four runners who were separated by fewer than forty seconds on Saturday. If that pack is able to move up, watch for them to come out on top in a few weeks. Peoples jumps over Randolph largely on the shoulders of their 1-2 punch in Craig and Smith. It is possible the Wolves could make a run at the top spot, but their number four runner is well back of the rest of the competitions’. Randolph slips a spot, although it seems that two of their top five did not race at Woods Trail Run. They haven’t seemed to be in great form lately, but if they put the pieces together on October 27th, they could find themselves in the mix. Bellows Falls, finally, shows that they have been ranked accurately thus far despite the previous lack of results. The Terriers have a strong first two, but have the least depth of any competing team. On the individual side, the race seems to be tight, with Peoples’ Ben Craig and Eli Smith, Thetford’s Owen Deffner and Randolph’s Isaac Kaplan all looking well positioned to have strong races at states. The question mark is Winooski’s Najib Ali who seems to have disappeared since his DNF at Manchester Invitational three weeks ago.

VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results - Oct. 8, 2018

Girls Overall Top 10

  1. CVU
  2. Essex
  3. Burlington
  4. Bellows Falls
  5. St Johnsbury
  6. Harwood
  7. Colchester
  8. U-32
  9. BFA St Albans
  10. Middlebury

Comments: Thetford Invitational allows everyone to finally see almost all of the top VT teams(Harwood does not race Thetford Invite) race head to head on the VT State Championship course. This lets things come into much more clarity and produced at least one major surprise in the top 10 this week. CVU retains the #1 spot after winning the Thetford Invitational. They were led again by Alice Larson in 3rd and Ella Whitman in 9th place. They finished their entire scoring top 7 inside the top 39 spots of the race. Essex stays at #2 after a strong finish at Thetford to take 3rd place. Essex was led by Natalie Preston in 27th place but the impressive thing with this team is their 39 second spread from their #1 to #5 runner. Burlington holds down the #3 spot for another week. They were led by Quincy Massey-Bierman in 21st place and Emma Barker in 29th place. The big mover this week is Bellows Falls. They from unranked to the #4 spot. It is impossible to know much about the southern Vermont tams due to a lack of results online so Thetford was the first time for most to see this good young team. They were led by 9th grader Abby Broadley in 13th spot. Harwood was the only VT team in the top 10 not at Harwood and they were idle for the week. They remain in the #6 spot this week. Colchester and U-32 hold down the #7 and #8 spots this week. Adding up the coaches rankings gave Colchester and one point edge and pushes them BARELY ahead of U-32 this week. BFA St Albans finishes just in front of Middlebury at Thetford so that puts them into the #9 spot and Middlebury slots into the #10 spot. With just three weeks until the Vermont State Championships back at Thetford this was a good snapshot to see where teams are. It will be interesting to see what changes teams can make over the next three weeks!

Division 1 Girls Top 5

  1. CVU
  2. Essex
  3. Burlington
  4. St Johnsbury
  5. Colchester

Comments: The Division 1 top 5 has no changes from last weeks top 5 and Thetford just seemed to solidify each teams spot in the top 5. CVU retains the #1 spot after taking the victory at Thetford this past weekend. They solidified their top spot finishing all 7 scorers in the top 39 and placing Alice Larson in 3rd, Ella Whitman in 9th and strong showing by Sadie Holmes to finish 18th. Their 12 second gap from their #4 to #7 is impressive and is tough to deal with. Essex finishes 3rd overall at Thetford and holds down the #2 spot. Essex’s strength was on display with their incredible pack running finishing their top 5 runners with an impressive 39 seconds. Burlington finished in 7th at Thetford and this allowed them to remain in the #3 spot. They were led by their powerful trio of Quincy Massey-Bierman in 21st, Emma Barker in 29th and Isabel Vivanco in 44th place. St Johnsbury stays at #4 after finishing in 15th place at Thetford. Rebecca Green led the Hilltoppers in 31st and Merrick Hemond in 61st. Colchester continues at #5 after finishing 18th at Thetford. Colchester was led by Maelyn Sartwell in 59th and their 2-4 runners finished in a pack separated by only one second!

Division 2 Girls Top 5

  1. Harwood
  2. U32
  3. MIDD
  4. Woodstock
  5. MVU

Comments: With #1 Harwood idle and #2 U32 missing two Varsity runners, the door was open for someone to move up. That didn’t happen at Woods Trail. Perhaps the Harwood Invite on Saturday will shed some light on the situation. If the team race in D2 is shaping up as a two team dance at the moment, the individual race seems more crowded. While Harwood super frosh Ava Thurston seems like a strong favorite for the win, she will likely face a stiff challenge from Lamoille’s MegAnne Gilmore in what could be one of the more compelling individual races at States.

Division 3 Girls Top 5

  1. Bellows Falls
  2. Rice
  3. Northfield
  4. Stowe
  5. Thetford

Comments: Coaches have been whispering about the strength of the Bellows Falls girls for much of the season now, but until Saturday, it was only rumors. The Terriers showed up at Thetford and ran a solid set of races to put themselves firmly atop the leaderboard for Division 3. The Terriers placed their top four (the number of scorers at D3 states) in the top ten Division 3 athletes. This result bodes well for their prospects at running away with the title at the end of the month. Northfield had a stronger showing than Rice at Woods Trail, but the Green Knights did not seem to have all of their athletes on Saturday, so they remain in the number two spot, well behind the team from Bellows Falls. Stowe and Thetford are another step removed, as they are running tight packs, but probably a bit too slowly to be in contention. The individual race should be fast, as three of the top six Vermonters at Woods Trail came out of Division 3. It seems that Craftsbury’s Camille Bolduc (second overall Vermonter at Woods Trail Run) is the one to beat, although Bellows Falls’ Abby Broadley and Rice’s Emily Bloom won’t be too far back should Bolduc have a misstep at states