XC Rankings - Week of 10/22/18

VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results - Oct. 22, 2018

Boys Overall Top 10

1. Essex

2. U32

3. Burlington

4. CVU

5. St. Johnsbury

6. MMU

7. South Burlington

8. Harwood

9. Middlebury

10. BFA

Comments: Polls are nice and the regular season is fun, but States is what every team is focused on. This Saturday at Thetford, the battle for divisional bragging rights will be settled for 2018.

#1 Essex and #2 U32 are the prohibitive favorites in Division 1 and Division 2, respectively. These two, in order, have held down the top spots in Vermont for almost two months now, and they appear headed for wins at States and to lead the Vermont delegation at the New England Championships. But the Thetford course has seen huge upsets many times before and if either the Hornets or Raiders falter, there will be plenty of teams ready to capitalize. #3 Burlington has the firepower up front in Kissam, Summa, and Ford to shock their suburban neighbors, and don’t sleep on #4 CVU. The Redhawks, who have been quietly improving all fall, were more than happy to capitalize on Kent Ford’s absence last Saturday and beat Burlington at the regional meet. #5 St. Johnsbury will also be in the thick of things, both in D1 and the fight for overall top 6 and a New England’s berth. The Hilltoppers will be looking for their super tight pack of seniors in places 2-5 to back up their freshman ace Evan Thorton-Sherman and make some noise.

#6 MMU, #7SB and #8 Harwood are also very much in the picture for a New England’s spot. Harwood in particular will look to give U32 a tough fight for the D2 Crown. Even if they don’t prevail, a close race with the Raiders could easily pull the young Highlanders into the top 6 overall. #9 Middlebury was very impressive in winning their race at NVAC’s behind the front running of sophomores Nevis and Christner. BFA grabbed the 10th place this week, but D3 Stowe and Thetford also garnered votes and will surely pull each other to fast times in the D3 race.

Farrington for the win. He hasn’t lost to a Vermonter this year and there is little reason to think that will happen this week. But upsets are part of cross country’s unique charm, and then there is the weather. Saturday may be rainy. If the course is muddy it could scramble all the predictions. Then again don’t bet on it. The tougher courses usually favor the strongest runners, and, so far this year, Henry Farrington is the strongest.

Division 1 Boys Top 5

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

Comments: Not much has changed since the early season rankings. Essex are the heavy favorites heading into states. They are the complete package with front runners and depth. They’ve had an impressive season and will look to do damage at the New England level. BHS has held down #2 all season and will need to all have great races and some continued improvements from its back end varsity runners to entertain the idea of catching Essex. CVU has been inching its way closer to BHS all season and beat them at districts last weekend. MMU and St Jay round out the 5 both will be looking for top 6 overall to compete at New Englands in two weeks. Don’t sleep on SB they tied MMU at districts without Calcagni who is listed on the states entry list.

The individual race is Farrington all the way. Kissam from BHS and Alden from Essex are the two closest challengers. Some others to look for near the front are Wagner, Leonard, Summa, Thornton-Sherman, Martisus, Ford, Edwards and others.

Division 2 Boys Top 5


2. Harwood


4. Vergennes

5. Woodstock

Comments: U32 and Harwood. How many times over the years has this been the headline in D2? At Mountain NVAC’s last weekend it was U32, once again led by Crompton and Kurts. Close observers, however, will recall multiple times over the past few years that the regional race and the State Championships, only 7 days later, have seen major swings in finishing order. By this Saturday at 1pm no one will remember what happened during the regular season. Middlebury is a solid 3rd and has the potential to sneak past Harwood or U32 if the top seeds blow up. #4 Vergennes has been quietly solid all year and #5 Woodstock has a potential individual winner in 10th grader Riley Shepherd. Getting to New England’s (top 6 teams and top 25 individuals over all three divisions) is certainly tougher out of D2 and D3, because of depth of competition, so look for Harwood, U32, and the top individuals to take it out hard.

Division 3 Boys Top 5

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

Comments: Going into States, the top two spots in the rankings didn’t change, with Thetford and Stowe still seeming like the odds-on favorites to go 1-2. Thetford remains at the top based on their strong performances at Manchester and Woods Trail Run earlier in the season. If their top four runners come through this weekend, they may be tough to beat. That being said, the Panthers’ depth does not compare to Stowe’s, so if one or more of Thetford’s runners have off-days on Saturday, watch for Stowe to come out on top. Randolph hasn’t run their top five in the same meet since mid-September, but they will need to see some big movement in their 2-4 spots in order to come out on top. Peoples continues to have the best 1-2 in the division, and their third runner has been moving up as the season as gone on. Their fourth runner, however, hasn’t been under 21:30 yet this year, which is part of the reason that they dropped a spot in the rankings. Peoples’ fourth runner will need to move up at least a minute in order for the Wolves to make a play for the top spot. Bellows Falls clings onto the fifth spoth based on their performance at Woods Trail, although Lake Region and Stowe both could make arguments for positions in the top 5. Individually, expect to see a tight race between Randolph’s Kaplan, Peoples’ Craig or Smith, Thetford’s Owen Deffner, and Winooski’s Ali.

VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results - Oct. 22, 2018

Girls Overall Top 10

  1. CVU
  2. Essex
  3. Burlington
  4. Bellows Falls
  5. Tie: St Johnsbury - Harwood
  6. Tie: St Johnsbury - Harwood
  7. MMU
  8. U-32
  9. South Burlington
  10. Middlebury

Comments: Finally we are only a few days from having our overall top 10 settled on the course at Thetford Academy, so here is our final top 10 of the regular season. CVU stays at #1 after winning the NVAC Championship this past weekend. They were led by Ella Whitman in 1st, Chloe Silverman 2nd, Alicia Veronneau 4th, Cate Noel 5th and Finnegan Mittelstadt in 9th place. Running without one of their normal top 2 runners the Redhawks still had 7 of the top 11 places in the race. Essex remains at #2 and once again and were propelled to their 2nd place finish at NVAC by their close pack of runners. The Hornets were led by Natalie Preston in 6th and Lizzie Martell in 7th but their 1-5 runner gap of 49 seconds was what was really impressive. Burlington remains at #3 after their third place finish at NVAC. Burlington was led by Emma Barker in 3rd and continues her great season. Isabel Vivianco also helped lead the Seahorses to their 3rd place finish by finishing in 8th place. Bellows Falls was idle this week(we think no results we could access) but based on their past strong performances they remain in the #4 spot. One of the closest spots in the poll are the #5 and #6 spots. Harwood and St Johnsbury tie this week even though Harwood beat St J head to head at the Mountain Championships. What could determine this spot in the poll is whether the Harwood top 2 of Ava Thurston and Julianne Young can be offset by the pack of St Johnsbury runners. MMU who had fallen out of the top 10 moves back into the #7 spot after finishing 4th at NVAC. The Cougars were led by Rose Clayton in 14th place. U-32 holds down the #8 spot after their third place finishing in the Mountain Championships. The defending D2 State Champions were led by Lana Page in 5th place and Shams Ferver in 8th place. South Burlington moves back into the top 10 at the #9 spot after finishing 5th at NVAC. South Burlington was led by their impressive ninth grader Sierra Fisher in 13th place. In the #10 spot Middlebury holds steady after winning the small school race at NVAC. The top runner for the Tigers was Mary Ann Eastman in 4th place. That wraps up our final regular season girls top 10 poll of the 2018 season. Saturday at Thetford Academy all of the questions will be answered and the top 10 will be resolved!

Division 1 Girls Top 5

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

Comments: The division 1 girls top 5 remains stable through the top 4 spots with the only change coming at the #5 spot this week. CVU remains at #1 after winning the NVAC Championship race this past weekend. The Redhawks were led by Ella Whitman in 1st and ninth grader Chloe Silverman in 2nd place. They were closely followed by Alicia Veronneau in 4th place and Cate Noel in 5th place. The Redhawks took 7 of the top 11 places even though they were racing without one of their top 2 runners in Alice Larson. Essex remains at #2 and is once again led by Natalie Preston in 6th place and Lizzie Martell in 7th place. They continued to display their tight pack running finishing their 1-5 runners in a tight 49 second gap. Burlington stays at #3 and were led by their duo of Emma Barker in 3rd place and Isabel Vivianco in 8th place. St Johnsbury finishes 2nd in the Mountain Division Championships and holds down the #4 spot for one more week. St J was led by Merrick Hemond in 3rd place and Rebecca Green in 4th place. MMU moves in to the #5 spot this week after a 4th place finish this weekend at the NVAC Championships. MMU was led by Rose Clayton in 14th place. The full Division 1 top 5 will be settled this weekend at the Vermont State Championships at Thetford Academy. The weather forecast doesn’t look great so we will see who can handle the inclement weather!

Division 2 Girls Top 5

1. Harwood

2. U32

3. Middlebury

4. MVU

5. Woodstock

Comments: At Mountain NVAC’s #1 Harwood left no doubt about who is the top team in D2. They were much faster across the board than #2 U32 and also beat traditional D1 rival St. Johnsbury. Thurston and Young are now consistently backed up by two formidable freshmen in Britta Zetterstrom and Caelyn McDonough. Will the inconsistent Raiders pull another surprise as they did in 2017? Or will a quietly dangerous #3 Middlebury team be the ones to move up and pass the Raiders and give Harwood a race? MVU and Woodstock hold their places in 4th and 5th.

The individual race looks like a fight between Harwood’s Ava Thurston and Lamoille’s MegAnne Gilmore with Milton’s Anna Kaigle and Harwood’s Julianne Young lurking should a front runner falter a bit.

Division 3 Girls Top 5

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

Comments: Bellows Falls was idle last week, but remains in first due to their strong performance at Woods Trail earlier this month. Barring a number of significant surprises, the Terriers should come out on top on Saturday, and have a strong shot at punching a ticket to Manchester for New Englands. Northfield has come on strong at the end of the year and is the clear number two at this point, although if Rice returns to early season form, they could also make a play for second place. Either way, it would take some seriously inspired running, and some mistakes from Bellows Falls for either the Marauders or Green Knights to come away with the championship. Stowe and Thetford remain in the four and five spots, although Lake Region may be able to ride their very strong 1-2 punch into a spot in the top five. Individually, Craftsbury’s Camille Bolduc remains the favorite, but Rice’s Emily Bloom ran a fast 19:20 at NVAC Metros, and Bellows Falls’ Abby Broadley should also be in the mix.