VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Boys Cross Country Poll Results - Sept. 5, 2022
Boys Overall Top
1 St J
The 2022 season got off to a great start at the Essex Invitational last Saturday. Many, but not all, of the top teams and individuals in the state were on hand. A rebuilding #1 U32 started the season where they left off last year at the front of the race. Despite the win the Raiders left the coaches unconvinced with idle #1 St. Jay also garnering votes for the top spot. The Hilltoppers are the defending D1 Champs and even after graduating Evan Thornton-Sherman, Vermont’s best male runner in over a decade and perhaps ever, return a deep and fast team aided by the transfer of, previous Craftsbury Academy, Charlie Krebs. But don’t cry for the, D3 defending champion, #5 Chargers as they will be fast, well coached and could yet be the team to beat statewide. Every neutral observer in the state will be pulling for tiny CA to upset the big schools who boast 5 and even 10 times as many students as the giant killers from the Kingdom.
While neither St Jay nor CA ran at Essex the rest of the top 10 did and the rankings follow their order of finish over the fastish Tree Farm Course. #3 CVU boasts Matt Servin up front and he is the preseason favorite to win the Overall Individual State Crown. On Saturday he cruised to a 16:03 while hardly breaking a sweat on the hot day. #4 Essex was without low stick Luke Miklus on Saturday. At full strength the Hornets will also be thinking about a State Championship come November. #6 MHS, led by strongman Avery Smart (2nd on Sat) and backed up by Harwood transfer Noah Rivera plus Ezra Merrill-Triplet, are gunning to unseat U32 in Division 2. Observers will recall that the last team, besides the Raiders, to win D2 was 2015 MHS lead by recent UVM top runner and graduate Matt Hynes. #7 SB, as every year, is in the conversation but will need their pack to move up a bit relative to the field. #8 Middlebury and #9 MMU both have strong top three runners but will need their 4th and 5th guys to improve.
The individual picture is also unclear with Miklus, Cormac Leahy (CA) and other top runners yet to race but the results from Spring Track and Essex make clear that anyone, in Vermont, hoping to beat Servin had better eat their Wheaties and/or have put in a huge summer of work.
The team and individual picture will come into somewhat better focus after this coming Saturday’s Burlington Invitational when St. Jay will first test the waters. Early season races are fun and make for good speculating but with many kids still rounding into shape and teams still putting in lots of training results can be a bit strange at this time of year. Look for the Manchester Invite on September 24th and Woods Trail on October 1st to give us a much better idea of where things stand.
Division 1 Boys Top 5
Comments: It could be Manchester before these teams all square off directly, so we’ll have to guess until then.
Division 2 Boys Top 5
5. Burr and Burton
Comments: Battle for D2 looks like a Montpelier City Limits tussle with a young Middlebury squad knocking at the door.
Division 3 Boys Top 5
Comments: The safest bet in the State, CA to repeat as D3 Champs?
VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Girls Cross Country Poll Results - Sept. 5, 2022
Girls Overall Top 10
The wait is over for Vermont cross country fans as last weekend the gun fired to to start the Essex Invitational and with it, the high school season. The CVU girls returned to their very familiar place atop the podium at Essex, with a relatively close win over DII U-32. The Redhawks were led by individual champion Alice Kredell and new teammate, Estella Laird. That one-two punch was enough to outpace the Raiders, who had their own solid 1-2 of Ginger Long and Amy Felice. A look at the two teams results show some strong similarities in structure. How the fair against each other in a larger race, such as Manchester, will be interesting to watch.
CVU’s win was not a surprise to many who have their ear to the cross country course ground. The Redhawks are led by the top returner from last year’s state championship meet (Soph. Alice Kredell) and added the 2nd fastest returner from that same meet, Estalla Laird, who has transferred from North Branch. These two are the real deal and will provide CVU with some low sticks at meets both big and small.
The U-32 cross country program, both boys and girls, always punches above its weight class when considering size of school. This year is no exception. The girls
The Essex girls did enough on Saturday to come in third in our power rankings, despite a 5th place finish. Coaches were wise enough to look to the JV results and find that the Hornets' would-be 2nd runner ran in this race, reportedly due to a scheduling conflict. Simple math shows that with the addition of Virginia Cobb to the varsity results, the Hornets would have slipped past BHS.
BHS, Harwood and MMU round out the next three in our poll. Both teams will look to improve upon their 3rd and 6th place showings at Essex. Depth will seem to determine how the defending Div 1 champion Seahorses and perennial Div 2 power Harwood measure up as the season wears on.
On the individual side, Alice Kredell’s performance at Essex, seems to have stamped her as the one to beat for the remainder of the season. She controlled the race and was first to the finish line in comfortable fashion. MMU’s Tess Drury was not far behind in cross country terms and will be looking to take a shot at the Redhawk’s #1 repeatedly with many opportunities ahead. Laird was in the mix last week and we anticipate will be all season long. U-32’s Ginger Long, Essex’ Scarlet Stimson, and Burlington’s Gillian Fairfax will concede nothing and look to contend as the season progresses. They will all toe the same line a number of times this season with the next opportunity likely to be the Manchester Invitational in New Hampshire. That will also provide a chance for Vermont’s best to show off against many of New England’s best programs.
Any veteran high school coach will tell you that the season is long and each week brings a new race with new results. A team is only as strong as its top 7 runners on a given day. So many unknowns, but the one thing we do know about the upcoming season is that results will change from week to week. The power rankings will certainly shift and we will report back weekly with the insights from coaches who watch every step of every race.
Division 1 Girls Top 5
Division 2 Girls Top 5
Division 3 Girls Top 5