Week 4 Rankings - Week of 9/26/22
VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Boys Cross Country Poll Results - Sept. 26, 2022
Boys Overall Top Ten
The storied hills of Derryfield Park in Manchester New Hampshire set a few things straight in the polls. #1 St. Jay and #2 U32 were both at full strength and the Hilltoppers were better. Both teams managed top 10 finishes among many of the regions best, but St. Jay led by Andrew Thornton-Sherman outpointed the Raiders led by Cyrus Hansen. #3 CVU held onto the third spot among the voters despite being defeated in New Hampshire by Essex. The coaches gave CVU, very short handed at Manchester, the benefit of the doubt but the Hornets with Luke Milkus back in the line-up,and starting to round into form, look to be a team on the rise. Beware the Redhawks because despite running without Vermont’s top boy, Matthew Servin, and a couple other Varsity runners, they remained very close to Essex at Manchester.
The second half of the rankings are holding steady. #5 SB is led by Sky Valin who ran to an impressive 17th place (4th Vermonter) at Manchester . #6 Montpelier is led by Avery Smart who was the fastest Green Mountain Boy at Manchester and finished 6th overall in a very impressive 16:16. The Solons are quietly setting the stage for a run at the D2 Crown. Smart is also stating a claim as the man most likely to give Severin a run for his money as the season progresses. The CVU top gun sat out Manchester nursing a slight injury in order to be 100% later in the year. Unranked Craftsbury Academy won the Richford meet but remains the enigma of the season.
Talented but injured or just keeping their powder dry, the Chargers have the talent for another D3 Championship, trip to New England's and top ranking by the end of the season.
The next installment of the 2022 season comes this Saturday at the Woods Trail Invite in Thetford. Let's hope all the top teams avoid the injury and illness bug that seems to be hitting so many teams in the early season. If so, Woods Trail can give us a dress rehearsal for the State Championship Meet on the same course in a month.
VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Girls Cross Country Poll Results - Sept. 26, 2022
Girls Overall Top 10
The Vermont high school cross country scene relocated to Manchester, NH this past weekend for one of New England’s biggest invitationals. The coaches had a bit less work to do this week in crafting the rankings as all the major players ran head-to-head, or at least on the same course on the same day. We did have a large school/small school race split to account for!
The CVU girls are doing their best to make the rankings a boring topic as no one can make an argument that they are not Vermont’s best. There seem to be few scenarios where a CVU team fails to come out on top at the state meet. They are too good up front and too deep. “Anything can happen on race day” is a saying that may not be relevant here.
The shuffling for the next few schools does provide some interesting discussion. U-32 remains at #2 with a win in the small school division at Manchester. Don’t be fooled by the small school moniker, as the Raiders ran quite well and would have placed just fine with the bigger schools. The coaches were sharp enough to notice this and leave them firmly in 2nd place with unanimous consent.
MMU arguably had one of the better days on Saturday, showing off strong front running from Tess Drury (3rd overall) and a very solid top 5 all under 23 minutes. The Cougars have looked strong all season and solidified their position in the top 3 of the rankings with a big performance on a big stage.
Essex dropped back a spot behind the Cougars as they continued to run short-handed. At this point in the season, projections of positioning at full staff disappears and it's about what you do on a given weekend. While the Hornets continue to show promise, the coaches agreed that they are firmly in 4th in our power rankings.
The rest of the list is very much a work in progress. Harwood’s sharp race in the Manchester small school division pushed them into the top 5 ahead of Burlington. Speaking of the Seahorses, their demise was a bit overstated in our last poll as they showed at Manchester with 5 scorers. The lack of depth is concerning, but you only need 5 and Burlington’s 5 are pretty good.
SB, Thetford, BFA and Middlebury round out the top 10 and all have some work to do to reach the top 5 in our polling.
On the individual side, Alice Kredell remains the one to beat. Manchester helped us separate the pack a bit as Tess Drury was once again close enough to CVU’s top runner to keep us all interested each and every time they match up. Essex’ Scarlett Stimson continued her strong senior campaign with a 4th place showing in Manchester. Despite teams from all of New England, the Vermont ladies had impressive showings by taking 5 of the top 10 spots and 3 of the top 5. This proud little state is not to be outshined on the cross country course.
Heading into the final month prior to championship season, it appears to be CVU’s title to lose. The chase pack is still improving and trying to determine their best 7 come championship season. The individual race will be much more exciting with a few individuals showing that they are close enough to have spectators paying attention to the bitter end. Lots can happen between now and the end of October, but we will get a lot of data out of the Woods Trail Race this weekend as it's held on the state championship course in Thetford. Morty’s Monster awaits those who toe the line this weekend and will certainly have an impact on the final results.