Week 2 Rankings - Week of 9/16/23

VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Boys Cross Country Rankings - Sept. 16, 2023

Boys Overall Top 10

The more things change the more they stay the same. St. Jay starts 2023 where they ended 2022, on top. Last years D1 Champ and top VT team at New England’s start the year in the #1 spot. While the Hilltoppers did not run at the first two big VT meets (Essex and Burlington Invites) they do return a super strong squad and are bolstered by transfer and newcomer, Emmett Johnson who finished 6th at New England’s in the 1500 on the track last June. They opened their season with a convincing win over the preseason New Hampshire #1 team Pinkerton at the White Mountain Invite in New Hampshire. The boys from St. Jay may have the best Vermont squad since the U32 team that won New England’s in 2021. Look for big things from the boys from the NEK this fall.

        Essex and CVU split the top honors from the first two Invitationals and the coaches have them both at #2 for now. Essex won their home race and season opener.  Last weekend at the Burlington Invite CVU turned the tables and came out on top but Essex was without national caliber 800m man Kelton Poirier. The two Chittenden County giants promise to go back and forth all fall. Question is can either challenge St. Jay for the top spot?

        The D2 top dogs Montpelier hold down the #4 spot with a veteran pack and strong finishes in both early season meets. The Solons could challenge the D1 teams and look to be the class of D2 by a significant margin. #5 BFA has a low stick in Porter Hurteau who won the Burlington Invite and a strong pack in Toby Hurteau, Stoer and Tremblay. If BFA can find a 5th to join those four they could yet deliver the program’s first state title. #6 U32 has Cyrus Hansen up front but Essex suggested that they are in a rebuilding mode after that. The Raiders looked better this Saturday at the Nashua North Invite but not enough to move up in the rankings. Watch out for #7 Burlington who boast a low stick in Avi Yagoda and a sneaky fast 2-5. This team has significant upside if they improve as a group as the season goes on. #8 SB, #9 Midd and #10 MMU round out the top 10. As always in Cross Country early season results are fun but the true picture will start to get clearer as the temps drop and the leaves fall.

        On the individual side of things Cyrus Hansen who ran an eye opening 15:32 on Saturday, Porter Hurteau, Andrew Thorton-Sherman, and Carson Eames look to be among the best. The Manchester Invite this coming Saturday will bring things into sharper focus and look for Avi Yagoda(BHS), Dan Knight(CVU), Owen Deale(CVU), Emmett Johnson(Montpelier) and Henry Nasse(Essex)  to also be featured at the front of races this season.

VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Girls Cross Country Rankings - Sept. 16, 2023 

Girls Overall Top 10

Over the last 20 years there has been one constant in girls cross country in VT and it is you have to go through CVU if you want to be a State Champion. Eighteen of the past twenty years CVU has won the girls championship. They have won the New England Championship 6 times and sent a team or individual to the National Championships 6 years from 2010 - 2018. This year's squad looks like it could compete for these regional championships once again and is looking like the top dog in the state of VT also. Yes, that seems like a broken record!

There should be some great battles behind the CVU train in Division 1 and Division 2. U-32 and Harwood are always prepared to battle it out for the D2 title and this year should not be any different. There are a gaggle of D1 teams looking to be anywhere from 2-5 and it should be a close battle for those spots. Division 3 will be interesting to see what happens after the change in how the scoring will now be conducted. In past years Division 3 scoring was complete after 4 runners. They will now be scoring the top 5 runners like the other two divisions and this could change the team races significantly. This will be something to watch going forward and keep an eye on each team's 4th and 5th runners.

Manchester will be the first chance to really get a read on the entire state with teams competing against the best in VT, NH and the other surrounding states. CVU should challenge for the Large School crown and it will be interesting to see where the other top VT teams finish up in that race. The Small School race will feature U-32 and Harwood and that one should be fun to watch. Everyone should have a much better idea of the pecking order in the state of VT after this Saturday.