XC Rankings - Week of 9/24

VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results - Sept. 24, 2018

Boys Overall Top 10

  1. Essex
  2. U32
  3. BHS
  4. St Jay
  5. MMU
  6. CVU (tie) 6. SB (tie)

8. Harwood

9. BFA


Comments: Essex cements their place on top with a fantastic run at the Manchester Invite. With their top 4 under 17 and an impressive 3rd overall in the first big regional race of the 2018 season, the Hornets are well clear of the other Vermont teams and look to be among the better teams in New England. Their top five averaged 45 seconds better than the next Vermont team - a rout in cross country terms.

It's a long way back to second place U32, who finished a solid, if unspectacular, 11th at Manchester. The Raiders are good, and, while they seem to be favorites in D2 Vermont, they will have to raise their game considerably to give Essex much to worry about. Look for Seniors Andrew Crompton and Trevor Patterson to step up if U32 is to move up.

#3 Burlington fell a place in the rankings but remains clear of the rest by a decent margin. An off-day by Wondu Summa at Manchester did not help the Seahorses, but beware of this team. Summa can be inconsistent but is also real talent capable of beating anyone in Vermont. The big question for BHS remains the health of Gaelen Kilburn. If and when he can return, look for the three-sport (cycling, nordic skiing, running) wizard to make an immediate impact. Let’s hope his recovery goes well and that he is back on the grass soon.

#4 St Jay and #5 MMU finished within a few seconds and a few points of each other at Manchester and seem to have an inside lane in the fight for New England’s berths, with St. Jay edging ahead, thanks to super frosh Evan Thornton-Sherm.

The coaches voted CVU and South Burlington as dead even in 6th. CVU seems to be improving rapidly but the return of top gun Lucas Calcagni for the Wolves, hopefully in the next week, is likely to see SB move up.

The final three spot are filled out by a young and fast improving Harwood team, a BFA team with two very good freshman, and Thetford breaking D3 into the rankings for the first time this year.

The race for best individual remains a one-man show with Henry Farrington 15 seconds ahead of Simon Kissam, his closest Vermont pursuer at Manchester. Alden, Kurts, Ford, Summa, Calcagni, Kilburn, and Crompton are among those who may end up challenging. But for now, Farrington remains a clear top dog. Woods Trail in two weeks will be the next opportunity to see all these boys head to head.

Division 1 Boys Top 5

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

Comments: Essex continues to distance themselves from the rest of the field as they race to a strong 3rd place in the Manchester Invitational. Farrington paced the team with a 6th place finish. Alden, Wagner and Martesus all were under 17 minutes as well. Burlington holds the 2nd spot despite an off day from several of their runners. Kissam finished a strong 11th place to help pace the team. They will need all hands on deck to think about challenging EHS for the top spot. St Jay had a strong day and solidify themselves in the 3rd place position. Thornton-Sherman was one of the top 9th graders of the entire day to lead the way. MMU is very much in the battle for top 6 in the state of VT. They are proving to be one of the more consistent teams. CVU and SB are tied for the 5th position. CVU had some great races when they weren't racing other VT teams but will need to show some more consistency to get into the top 4. SB is a tough one to rank since they haven't yet raced with Calcagni (returning state champion). The Woods Trails Runs in a couple weeks will help iron things out where all these teams will race each other.

The individual race is all Farrington right now. Kissam and Alden have cut the gap down and appear to be his biggest challengers. Summa, Calcagni, Ford, Wagner, Kilburn, Martisus and Leonard all could challenge or be near the top come the seasons end.

Division 2 Boys Top 5

  1. U-32
  2. Harwood
  3. MIddlebury
  4. Woodstock
  5. Vergennes

Comments: U32 remains on top in D2 with a solid 11th in the Big School Race at Manchester. With all seven boys under 18, the Raiders have the depth and pack the whole Varsity within a minute. That will make them hard to knock off as they go for a third consecutive state title. #2 Harwood is young and has an established history of coming on stronger as the season progresses. They will get another shot at the Raiders this Saturday at the U32 Invite. If the Highlanders look over their shoulders they will see that MIDD and Woodstock are breathing down their necks. The Tigers and Wasps are very even, with Woodstock’s Riley Shepherd enjoying a fine start to the season that sees him as a contender for the individual D2 title.

Division 3 Boys Top 5

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

Comments: Thetford cemented their place as the team to beat with a strong performance at Manchester Invitational. The Panthers right now seem to have three athletes in front of any other team’s second. If they are able to maintain that positioning at States, they will be hard to best. Stowe remains at number two due to strength of early season racing, although Randolph made a good case for a second-place ranking with the second-best D3 finish at Manchester (Stowe was inactive this weekend.) Peoples has the best top two in the division right now, but will need some serious improvement in their three and four spots if they are to make a play for a podium finish. Finally, the real mystery in the rankings may be Bellows Falls, with very few results available out of the Marble Valley League. Their finish last year, and the few results available so far, have put them in fifth place for the time being.

VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results - Sept. 17, 2018

Girls Overall Top 10

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

Comments: This week the top 4 teams stay stable and remain in their same spots from last week. CVU maintains the top spot after winning the Manchester Invitational even though they were running without one of their top 5 runners. They were propelled by their top duo of Alice Larson in 4th overall and Ella Whitman in 7th overall. Essex made a statement by finishing 5th overall in the Large School race. Natalie Preston has really solidified her place as their #1 runner and has helped to make their top 5 very formidable. Burlington stays in the third spot and they were paced by their very strong top three to finish 14th at Manchester. U-32 finishes in 6th place in the Small School race and holds on to their #4 spot in the rankings. Lana Page led the way finishing 15th overall. St Johnsbury jumps up 2 spots into the fifth spot after finishing in 19th in the Large School race. Harwood stays at #6 with the team finishing 8th overall in the Small School race paced by a great effort by Ava Thurston finishing in 3rd overall. Middlebury drops 2 spots to #7 after being idle for the weekend. The only change in spots 8-10 is MMU jumping into the top 10 and #9. BFA St Albans and South Burlington remain in spots #8 and #10 for the week.

Division 1 Girls Top 5

  1. CVU
  2. Essex
  3. Burlington
  4. St Johnsbury
  5. BFA St Albans

Comments: CVU stays at #1 after their victory at the Manchester Invitational. Being the site of the New England Championships CVU beat the #1 ranked teams from ME, NH and CT and showed their depth by winning without one of their normal top 5 runners. Their JV team also scored a very low 21 points to win the JV race at Manchester. Essex had a very strong performance to finish 5th overall in the Large School race. Natalie Preston led the Hornets finishing in 26th place and Lizzie Martell closely followed her in 36th place. Their strong performances solidified their #2 spot this week. Burlington stays at #3 and was once again paced by the trio of Isabel Vivanco, Quincy Massey-Bierman and Emma Barker. They ran a tight 12 second spread between the three of them. St Johnsbury stays in the #4 spot. The Academy was led by Rebecca Green finishing in 40th place in the Large School race. BFA St Albans remains at #5 and it was very close between BFA and MMU for the #5 spot. BFA ran a couple of possible varsity contributors in the freshman race and factoring that in they remain at the #5 spot.

Division 2 Girls Top 5

  1. U-32
  2. Harwood
  3. Middlebury
  4. Woodstock
  5. MVU

Comments: A very young and deep U32 keeps the top spot, but #2 Harwood is closing fast with #3 MIDD right in the mix as well. The last two weeks have seen the Highlanders' 3-5 runners all improve dramatically. How will the steady U32 and MIDD packs hold up against the front-running Thurston and Young? This could be one of the closest races of the day at States. Last year U32 prevailed in a 6th runner as tie-breaker scenario and 2018 could prove just as tight. This Saturday all three will duke it out in a D2 States preview at the U32 Invite. Frankly D2 is a 1-3 toss up. It's a ways back to Woodstock and MVU in 4th and 5th.

Division 3 Girls Top 5

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

Comments: The Girls rankings have one large change this weekend with results coming out of the Russ Pickering Invitational at Bellows Falls. On that fast course, the Terriers had three girls under 21:00, with their top athlete, freshman Abby Broadley, close to breaking the nineteen minute barrier. Although it is difficult to compare between courses and meets, it seems that the Terriers may be well-placed to threaten Rice for the number one spot when the teams go head-to-head at Thetford Invitational next weekend. Northfield and Stowe each have had strong starts to their seasons, but will need to see better running from their third and fourth girls to make a play for the top. Thetford’s team, a favorite to win last year, may have a shot again this year, but their small numbers could prevent them from making any significant moves.