Week 1 XC Rankings - Week of 9/6/21
VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results -Sept. 6, 2021
Boys Overall Top 10
3. St. Jay
The Essex Invite opened the 2021 Cross Country season with most of the best teams in Vermont in attendance. Early season races do not always guarantee late season success but fast in September sure doesn't hurt. #1BFA used their impressive senior trio of Tremblay, Mashtare and Storm to stake their claim as best in the state. #2U32 ran six new faces on their varsity but still gave the Bobwhites a run for the top honors. Look for these two teams to run at the front of most local races this year. #3 St Jay was absent from Essex but the coaches voted them #3 on the strength of their returning squad. The Hilltoppers will have to be quick to hold off #4 CVU who, led by Essex Invite individual winner Matthew Servin, could have something to say about who is top dog as the season progresses.
#5 Essex and #6 SB are within striking distance but will need their 3-5 runners to gain about a minute on the field if they are to challenge the top teams. #7 Craftsbury flys the D3 flag high and could move into the top 5 when they are at full strength. Led by Avery Smart a very young #8 Montpelier has huge potential upside as young runners often improve the most over the course of the season. It's been at least five years since MHS ran at New Englands (Overall top 6 teams in Vermont) but 2021 could see them back in the mix. #9 Midd and #10 MMU round out the top ten. With results few and far between look for the rankings to change quite a bit over the coming weeks.
On the individual side Evan Thornton-Sherman is the best runner in the state on both the track and the grass. On Tuesday he ran solo to a course record 16;09 on the hilly U32 course. While Servin, Tremblay, Mashtare, Hanson, Cilwik and Smart may dream of being overall state champ they will have to beat “ETS” to make that happen. Easier said than done.
Division 1 Boys Top 5
Comments: The #1 Bobwhites have the best team of five runners in D1. Vermont’s preeminent hockey town may be looking at a first ever parade for the Cross Country boys this November. They are led by three super Seniors who have excelled for each of the past three years. They are motivated to win the school's first cross country state championship.This team will be hard to beat. Their potential Achilles heel is depth. In winning on Saturday at Essex, BFA only had five finishers, they will need to stay healthy and have some JV runners to step up in order to give their top five some breathing room as the season goes on. The coaches voted CVU and St Jay tied for #2. The Hilltoppers have a dynamic 1-2 in Thornton-Sherman and Boyden which should give them low sticks in most meets. CVU led by Servin may have a more consistent 5. Time will tell. #4Essex and #5 SB could be within striking distance.
A course record 16:09 at U32 makes it clear that Thornton-Sherman is fit and the man to beat. D1 has many fine runners but they will all need to take a big step up to challenge ETS who is primed to be a player on the regional and even national stage this fall.
Division 2 Boys Top 5
Comments: #1 U32 has topped the D2 polls for 5 years consecutively. The Essex Invite showed that the Raiders will again be the team to beat in D2. While not as deep as last year's team which finished an unprecedented 1-7 at the D2 State Championships, the boys from Gallison Hill remain the prohibitive favorites in D2. Led by potential individual state champ Avery Smart #2 Montpelier is very young and could be the team to trouble the Raiders if their pack can make significant progress over the course of the season.. #3Midd and #4 Harwood are within sight of the Solons should they falter.
Avery Smart and U32’s Oliver Hanson are frequent summer training partners. No doubt they have discussed who will come out on top this fall. At Essex it was Hanson, albeit by only a couple of seconds. These two will push each other at the front of D2 all season.Will they have company? They might, in the younger Hanson, Cyrus, and teammates Sargent Burns,Tzevi Schwartz and yet to run Austin and Carson Beard.
Division 3 Boys Top 5
Comments: Very limited race results left the coaches guessing at this point. A strong run at Essex, without several key runners, suggests that #1 Craftsbury will again be tough to beat. Beyond that it's hard to divine much about the D3 picture. The next two weeks should clear things up substantially.
VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results -Sept 6th, 2021
Girls Overall Top 10
St Jay, BF, U32, Thetford, BFA
The 2021 season opens with many of the top teams and individuals competing at the Essex Invitational. BHS surprises many with an exceptionally strong start to the season. They are led by Rebecca Cunningham and newcomer Gillian Fairfax finishing 3rd and 6th. The Seahorses also boast a tight 3-7 pack. Harwood finished a close 2nd place with Ava Thurston finishing in 2nd place. Harwood has the experience and will look to battle for the state's top position throughout the season. Essex is always among the top teams in Vermont, finishing a strong 3rd place. They are led by Heidi Stewart and when Stimson improves throughout the season, look for the Hornets to challenge the top two ranked teams. CVU lost nearly its entire varsity team and are still in the mix with the top teams in VT. This shows how deep the Red Hawks are. Filled with young hungry runners don’t ever count the states premier XC team out. Separated by only 5 points at the Essex Invite, SB, MMU and Middlebury come in at 5th, 6th and 7th. 8th through 10th was a mixed match of many teams including St Jay, BF, U32, Thetford and BFA. Expect many changes throughout the coming weeks as many teams will start getting more results in.
Logan Hughes of BFA makes a big statement breaking 19 minutes, winning the Essex Invitational. Ava Thurston and Rebecca Cunningham rounded out the three person lead pack from the race. Abby Broadley will be looking to make her season debut. She returns as the state's top runner from the 2020 season.
Division 1 Girls Top 5
Division 2 Girls Top 5
Burr and Burton
Division 3 Girls Top 5