Week 4 XC Rankings - 9/27/21

VTHSXC.COM Boys Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results -Sept. 27, 2021

Boys Overall Top 10

1. U32

2. BFA

3. CVU

4. St. Jay

5. Essex

6. SB

7. Craftsbury

8. Rutland

9. Midd

10. Montpelier

Comments: The 41st Manchester Invitational brought together many of the best teams from across New England and made one thing clear: Vermont teams can more than hold their own against the larger and flatter neighboring states. The Vermont girls stole the show with BHS winning the Large School Race and Harwood the Small School Race. These two are legitimate threats to win New England’s in November. More surprising perhaps was the strength of the Vermont boys teams, #1U32 and #2BFA finished 2nd and 4th in the Large School Race and Green Mountain guys grabbed 13 of the top 25 individual spots. This represents the strongest Manchester Invite for Vermont in at least 10 years.

The New Hampshire race broke the season long U32/BFA deadlock.The Raiders had a good race, with their top 5 runners finishing within 33 seconds, and only narrowly lost to nationally ranked Bishop Hendrickson from Rhode Island. The Bobwhites will not have to wait long for a chance to reclaim the top spot, with both teams slated to run Oct 2nd at the Woods Trail Invite in Thetford.

Led by Matthew Servin’s impressive 3rd place finish #3 CVU held on in the rankings against #4 St. Jay. This despite the Hilltoppers narrowly defeating the Redhawks at Manchester. In larger and deeper races like Manchester, St. Jay’s dynamite 1-2 punch of Evan Thorton-Sherman (2nd overall at Manchester) and Hale Boyden gives the NEK boys an advantage. It's one of the oddities of cross country that CVU would likely prevail in a dual meet but on Saturday and at New England’s, St. Jay’s two stars can make the difference. The same is also true of #5 Essex and #6 SB, who swapped places this week. Both of these teams can and have beaten St. Jay in smaller fields. How this, and can any of these teams challenge BFA, will all play out at D1 States remains an open question.

#7 Craftsbury was idle while #8 Rutland solidified their state ranking with a solid showing at Manchester. Two D2 teams #9 Midd and #10 Montpelier round out the top ten. All of the ranked teams will be racing at Woods Trail.

On the individual side, Thornton-Sherman and Servin are the guys to beat but with 11 other Green Mountain Boys finishing within a minute of these two and inside the top 30 at Manchester, it's clear 2021 is setting up to be a banner year for Vermont running. Woods Trail this coming Saturday will provide a picturesque and hilly setting for the next chapter in this story.

Division 1 Boys Top 5

  1. BFA

  2. CVU

  3. St. Jay

  4. Essex

  5. SB

Division 2 Boys Top 5

1. U32

2. Midd

3. Montpelier

4. Harwood

5. Mt. Abe

Division 3 Boys Top 5

  1. Craftsbury

  2. Thetford

  3. Stowe

  4. BFA Fairfax

  5. Burr and Burton

VTHSXC.COM Girls Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results -Sept 27, 2021

Girls Overall Top 10

  1. Burlington - this is a virtual tie at the top between BHS and Harwood

  2. Harwood

  3. EHS

  4. CVU

  5. MMU

  6. SB

  7. Middlebury

  8. BFA St Albans

  9. U-32

  10. Thetford

Comments: It’s not very clear if the Manchester Invitational cleared up any of the uncertainty at the top of the girls top 10! In fact, it may have created more...if that’s possible. The girls started what would end up being a great day for the VT state harriers at Manchester. I think most coaches would consider Burlington and Harwood 1A & 1B at the top of the poll and they are so close it would be like flipping a coin to decide. Burlington had a faster team average of 20:28 with the Harwood team average 20:36. Burlington was paced by Rebecca Cunningham in 4th place and Gillian Fairfax in 6th. Burlington is also powered by a strong 3-6 gap of only 8 seconds. Harwood was led by Ava Thurston who won the Small School girls race in 19:03. Britta Zetterstrom finished in 13th place and then Harwood’s 3-5 runners came in with only 12 seconds separating them. These tight gaps between the Burlington and Harwood 3-5 runners is another similarity between the two teams.

Essex and CVU stayed at 3 & 4 but both had their own issues at Manchester. Essex finished 11th overall and was behind a number of other VT teams BUT they ran without their #1 runner Heidi Stewart which hurt them immensely. CVU didn’t have seven finishers so they didn’t show up in the team standings but Alice Kredell showed once again that she is the real deal by finishing in 5th overall. Her low number should keep CVU in the top 5 when things get figured out with the rest of their top 7.

MMU and SB flip flop this week with MMU finishing 9th and SB finishing 10th at Manchester. MMU was led by Tess Drury in 18th place and their top 10 team position was a solid result. SB was led by Sierra Fisher and her 10th place performance. This is another place where you could flip a coin because the two teams were separated by only 2 points in the team race.

In the 7-10 spots there were two changes. Middlebury didn’t race but still leap frogged BFA St Albans for the 7th spot. BFA was led by another stellar performance Loghan Hughes finishing in 2nd place in the Large School race in 19:03. If the race was another 25 meters Loghan probably would have won the race because she looked very strong coming in. She is having a great senior season. U-32 jumps over Thetford based on their strong 7th place finish in the Small School race. Thetford closes out the top 10 after placing 10th at Manchester.

Division 1 Girls Top 5

  1. BHS

  2. EHS

  3. CVU

  4. MMU

  5. SB

Division 2 Girls Top 5

  1. Harwood

  2. Middlebury

  3. U-32

  4. Lamoille

  5. Burr & Burton

Division 3 Girls Top 5

  1. Bellows Falls

  2. BFA Fairfax

  3. Rice

  4. Hazen

  5. ?? Thetford/Randolph