VTHSXC.COM Boys Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results -Oct. 18, 2021
Boys Overall Top 10
6. St. Jay
Comments: Despite plenty of racing over the past week there was very little movement in the rankings. With the championship season (States 10/30, Meet of Champions 11/6, and New England’s 11/13) fast approaching, the top teams take different approaches to the run up to the big meets. Some like #1 U32 chose to rest their top runners at NVAC’s. Others like #2BFA and #3 CVU went in search of, and found, fast times in New York and Missisquoi.
The D1 race continues to tighten up. The Redhawks were very impressive at NVACs in Franklin County and have the depth that is vital at the end of a long season. BFA has a monster top three but, as often happens, the State Championship will come down to the fifth man. The big school crown remains a toss up.
The middle tier of teams #4SB, #5 Essex, #6 St. Jay and #7 Craftsbury are very tightly grouped. SB and Essex have not been getting as much attention as some of the other teams but both are well coached and have a tight 2-5th pack to back top runners in Sky Valin and Luke Miklus. St. Jay, minus Nathan Lenzini, won NVACs over a similarly short-handed Craftsbury. St. Jay is a major wild card; they have two of the best runners in the state in Evan Thorton-Sherman and Hale Boyden. These two low sticks could make a big impact in the D1 race. It's hard to believe that the Hilltoppers, winners of myriad Track State Championships both Indoor and Outdoors have not won a boys cross country “Chip” since the 50’s. Could this be the year? The Chargers (ranked 7th but received votes as high as 5th) are the tiny school “Hoosiers” of Vermont this year with one difference to the storyline. Unlike the Gene Hackman Hollywood classic, Craftsbury will not sneak up on the big schools. They wear hot pink shorts and everyone knows the boys from the NEK are fast.
On the individual side ETS is getting votes as one of the top 50 runners in the US. Needless to say this makes him the class of Vermont. Last Saturday, Evan won an unprecedented third straight NVAC title. If not for being outkicked by, current UVM #1runner, Andrew Crompton in 2018 as a freshman, ETS would have four NVAC’s titles. Probably the best male athlete (in any sport) in Vermont, all sports fans would be well served to come out and see him race before he is off to college.
With districts in the books Harwood enters the weekend as the #1 team. HU easily won the NVAC championship mountain division without Ava Thurston, one of the states top runners. The Highlanders have been very consistent all season long now resulting in distancing themselves from BHS who they’ve been tied with nearly all season long. BHS finished 2nd in the NVAC Metro District race to CVU. The Seahorses entered the race with a full roster but had several top runners returning from sickness. CVU gains some serious momentum in defending its NVAC crown. The Redhawks are led by Alice Kredel who continues to impress every weekend. MMU finished a very tight 1 point behind BHS and is entering the final weeks of the season on a hot streak. South Burlington and Essex round out the top 6 finishing in 4th and 5th at the district race. SB has strung together several strong team performances and has a low stick in Sierra Fisher. The hornets were without two of its top runners. They will challenge the other top D1 teams when at full strength. All top six teams will be competing at MMU today as the final race before the state meet.
The coaches all had a different order in #7 through #10. U-32, Middlebury, BFA and Thetford raced at different races. Not much clarity will come out of this weekend's racing but come states these 4 teams will be looking to snag a New Englands spot.
Ava Thurston, Loghan Hughes and Alice Kredel all have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack for individual title. One big move over the weekend came from 9th grader Estella Laird of North Branch School running the fastest time of the day with a 19:02. This was a solo effort besting 2nd place by nearly 2 minutes.