Week 2 - XC Rankings - Week of 9/9/19

VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results - Sept. 9, 2019

Boys Overall Top 10

  1. Essex
  2. U32
  3. CVU
  4. BFA St Albans
  5. Burlington
  6. South Burlington
  7. Middlebury
  8. Colchester
  9. Mt Mansfield
  10. St. Jay


2019 begins just as 2018 ended with the #1 Essex boys firmly in place at the top of the statewide rankings. In a race containing many of the best returning Vermont runners, Essex used a dominant (30 seconds over the field) performance by Henry Farrington to establish themselves as the team to beat. The Hornets beat second place U32 (#2) and third place CVU (#3) 50 to 85, with the Raiders and Redhawks tied on points and having to go to the 6th runner tie breaker. As CVU coach Scott Bliss commented afterward, the race provided a good “teachable moment for both (CVU and U32) teams”. Every place really does matter! Lest U32 or CVU get too optimistic about beating Essex in the coming weeks, it should be noted that 2018 All State selection Liam Mack comfortably won the JV race in 17:30, a time that would have made him 12th in the Varsity Race, and his probable return to the top 7 makes Essex even more formidable going forward.

If any of the top three teams should falter it looks to be only a little way back to a pack of three with BFA-St Albans, Burlington, and a young South Burlington team occupying the #4, #5, and #6 positions. At Essex these teams were separated by only a few points, and they could swap spots frequently as the season progresses. BFA has a fierce one-two punch in Maher and Mashtare and could be a threat to the top teams if their remaining scorers can close the gap to their front runners by 30-60 seconds. It has been a while since the hockey capital of Vermont, St. Albans, has threatened the top of the Cross rankings or made it to New England’s but 2019 could be the year.

The 7th-10th spots belong to Midd, Colchester, MMU and St. Jay. While head-to-head data is slim this early in the season, there are a couple of interesting notes. #10 St. Jay has picked up Hale Boyen (formerly of Harwood), giving them a very strong top two sophomore duo with Evan Thornton-Sherman. Meanwhile #6 Midd has been bolstered by an influx of new athletes from the Tigers' perennially powerful Nordic Ski team.

With limited race data, especially from the southern half of the state, and most teams still in training mode, these early rankings are subject to big changes in the coming weeks. Look for the Manchester (NH) Invite on September 21 to offer the next opportunity to gain some clarity with most Green Mountain teams making the cross-border trip to mix it up with many of the region’s best teams and individuals.

Division 1 Boys Top 5

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


The Essex boys are the early front runner in the team race. They are lead by the states top individual in Henry Farrington followed closely by JR Brady Martisus. The next pack is very tight with several new names. The next time we see them races will be in Manchester. CVU boasts what could be the tightest pack of the ranked teams. If the CVU pack continues to move up they could be very dangerous for any team to deal with. The next three teams look to be very tight. BFA has to be given the edge since they narrowly beat both BHS and SB at the Essex invite. BFA and SB did battle at the craftsbury invitational ending with the same result. BHS finished 2nd behind North Kingston, RI at their home invite.

The season is young and the next time we see all the D1 teams race head to head will be in Manchester, NH.

Division 2 Boys Top 5

1. U32

2. Middlebury

3. Woodstock

4. Spaulding

5. Vergennes


The Essex Invite left little doubt that #1 U32 enters 2019 intent on winning its fourth consecutive D2 State Championship on the boys' side. The Raiders have experience, depth, and a whole lot of family members with Kurts (Waylon and Jed) and Cioffi (Patrick and Leo) brothers playing prominent roles on the Varsity. #2 Midd is strong and looks poised to make a run for a top 6 overall and a potential New England’s berth. The #2 Tigers and #3 Woodstock seem to have bit of separation between themselves and the chase pack of #4 Spaulding and #5 Vergennes, but the leaves are still on the trees and the big races are still several months off.

Division 3 Boys Top 5

  1. Peoples
  2. Stowe
  3. Lake Region
  4. Thetford
  5. Rice


The D3 crown could be looking for a new home this year, as last years champions Thetford graduated 4 of their top 5 runners. They start ranked 4th this season. The early frontrunners to take the title are #1 Peoples, who now find themselves the veteran team, with 3 seniors leading the way. Perennial contender #2 Stowe looks to be Peoples biggest threat, boasting impressive depth for a D3 squad. Lake Region does not have that luxury. With impressive times upfront they land in the 3 spot today, but watch out, as a long season could prove problematic for their squad if injuries become a factor. Rice rounds out our top 5 for week 1, with similar concerns as Lake Region. With only a couple head-to-head meetings so far, expect these standings to fluctuate in the coming weeks. Similarly, an individual champion is tough to predict now, with several schools not reporting times. However, a freshman from Hazen, Cormac Leahy, has set the bar high, with a 45 second margin over the next fastest runner.

VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results - Sept. 2, 2019

Girls Overall Top 10

  1. CVU
  2. Essex
  3. Burlington
  4. Harwood
  5. U32
  6. Bellows Falls
  7. St Johnsbury
  8. BFA St Albans
  9. Middlebury
  10. South Burlington


CVU remains #1 after a strong race in NY this past weekend. Their team averages have been better so far from the same time last year and their top 3 may be stronger than a year ago. Essex and Burlington could both easily be the #2 and there are arguments for each one to be in that spot. This week Essex stays at #2 even after Burlington beating them at the Burlington Invitational. Both teams look strong and will be challenging to move higher in the rankings. The smaller divisions take over spots 4-6 with Harwood at #4 this week after finishing just behind Burlington and Essex this past weekend. Harwood was led by the strong performance of Ava Thurston who won the individual race at Burlington. U-32 come in at #5. U-32 finished behind Harwood at the Essex Invitational and it will be interesting to watch their development as the season progresses. Bellows Falls with their young core of runners starts at #6 and could move higher….if we had any results to compare to the other teams in the rankings. As of now we are only going on last seasons strong performance. St Johnsbury started off the season with a 2nd place showing at Craftsbury and will be a team to keep an eye on. BFA St Albans is at #8 after their 6 point victory at Craftsbury. They showed a great ability to pack run and that helped lead them to that victory. Middlebury is at #9 after their 6th place finish at Essex and South Burlington rounds out the top 10 after a 7th place at Essex and 3rd place finish at Craftsbury.

Division 1 Girls Top 5

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


CVU stays in the top spot after a solid victory at the Sprinstead Invitational. CVU beat a very good team in Shaker HS, Milesplit #5 in NY, with Alicia Veronneau finishing 2nd followed closely by Alice Larson and Finnegan Mittelstadt. Essex remains in 2nd despite Burlington besting them at the Burlington Invitational. These 2 teams seem very evenly matched and a case been made for either team being in the #2 spot. St Johnsbury holds down the #4 spot just in front of BFA St Albans and this could be the same type of situation as the #2 & 3 spots. BFA beat St J by 6 points at the Craftsbury Invitational so a case can be made for either team at the #4 spot. It is early so anything can happen!

Division 2 Girls Top 5

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


Death, taxes, and Harwood on top of the D2 Girls rankings. No shock here as the young and fast 2018 State Champions start 2019 still young and seemingly even faster. Led by super-soph Ava Thurston and senior Julianne Young, the Highlanders beat their perennial Central Vermont rivals #2 U32 at the Essex Invite. The Raiders are also young and fast but, for the moment, not quite up to the level of Kerrigan’s Army. #3 Midd was not far off the pace at Essex and could surprise their northern rivals in the coming weeks. #4 MVU and #5 Woodstock round out the top 5, but with results a bit thin, expect to see some changes in the rankings as the weather cools. Despite persistent rumors that Bellows Falls will move up to D2, so far the likely to be very strong Terriers remain in D3. The individual race in D2 could be particularly interesting with Thurston sure to be challenged by Lamoille’s MegAnne Gilmore and Maggie MaGee.

Division 3 Girls Top 5

  1. Bellows Falls
  2. Rice
  3. Northfield
  4. BFA Fairfax
  5. Lake Region


While flirting with moving up to D2, Bellows Falls will remain on top of D3. Still young and still fast, expect a repeat from last year. Behind them Rice has come out of the gate strong, clearly gunning for the lady terriers. They appear to hold the 2 spot just as strongly as Bellows Falls holds the 1. Northfield rounds out the top 3 with an experienced squad, once again with a clear margin over the next teams. Outside of the podium, with #4 BFA Fairfax and #5 Lake Region, we finally reach a compelling contest. The edge goes to BFA Fairfax early, as they clearly have the more complete team, but watch out as a handful of other schools are just outside the top 5, with chances to get into those last two spots. As with the boys, few race results lead to inaccurate predictions, but expect these top 3 to remain there, in order, throughout the season.