Week 6 Rankings - Week of 10/16/23

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

Boys Overall Top 10

#1 St. Johnsbury took the long drive down to the Bronx last Saturday to compete in the elite heat of the Manhattan Invite where they finished a very impressive 3rd. After all the results were merged from all day racing and over 160 varsity teams the Hilltopers came in 4th beating many of the best teams from up and down the eastern seaboard. St. Jay’s top three of Thornton-Sherman, Johnson and Eames all broke the elite sub 13 barrier on the historic 2.5mile Van Cortlandt Park course. “The Academy” boys will be among the favorites to podium at New England's on Nov 11th in Belfast ME where they will have to contend with #27 in the USA Ridgefield,CT.  

The rest of Vermont seems to be running for second place with #2U32 narrowly ahead of #3 CVU and #4 Montpelier. The Raiders ran a decent race at Manhattan finishing 4th in their race and 22nd (of 162) overall. Hansen and Schader ran particularly well. CVU stayed local and easily won a depleted NVAC’s race with some fast times and good pack running.The Solons were a house divided last Saturday with the bulk of the team running and easily winning the Harwood Invite while Merrill-Tripplett and Rivera traveled to New York and ran well.  #5 Essex and #6 BFA St Albans  chose to forgo the regional race and went to Saratoga Springs in search of fast times and regional level competition. Having crossed the lake the Hornets and Bobwhites found themselves racing head to head at the front of their race at Burnt Hills with Essex narrowly prevailing 83-100 and both Vermont teams beating scores of teams from across New York.

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

Girls Overall Top 10

In what would be quite a statement CVU put up probably the best performance in the history of the program at the Manhattan Invitational(course is 2.5 miles) this weekend. Their 1-5 spread of :35 and the times that they put up in the Eastern States race would have been enough to win the meet in multiple years. The only team that beat them was Tatnall and they are ranked #11 in the country. They were led by Alice Kredell in 10th 15:03, Estella Laird 12th 15:05, Audrey Neilson 17th 15:24, Lydia Donahue 19th 15:30 and Charlotte Crum in 23rd 15:38. This was a statement performance that cements them as favorites for the New England Championship and should clearly put them in a position as one of the favorites at NXR and a berth to NXN.

U-32 finished an impressive 6th in the Varsity A girls race at Manhattan. They were led by Ginger Long in 7th place 15:32. U-32 is in a battle to maintain the #2 spot in the poll with Essex and South Burlington so it will be fun to watch what happens on 10/27 at the State Meet. The unfortunate part of this battle is that U-32 won’t get to battle Essex and SB head to head because they will be in the D2 race with Essex and SB in the D1 race.

Essex and South Burlington continued their season-long battle and won their respective races. Essex won the D3 race at the Burnt Hills Invitational(course is 3.05 miles) at the historic Saratoga Springs course. They continued their normal amazing 1-5 spread and this week it was an impressive :35 seconds. Essex was led by Kathryn Nourse in 8th place 19:55, Alyse Bibeau 10th place 19:58 and Taylore Dall in 14th place 20:09. South Burlington won the NVAC Metro Championship at MVU and they also had an impressive :48 1-5 spread. SB was led by Paige Poirier in 2nd place 20:33, Maggie Clark 8th place 21:15 and Callie Beyor in 9th place in 20:17. This still looks like a race that is going to come down to the State Meet to decide who has the upper hand. This is definitely still one to watch.

The next five teams in the top 10 really could finish in any order depending on the day. Stowe won the Peoples Academy Invitational this weekend and they were carried by a strong top 3 of Leila Griffith 1st place 19:52, Lydia Matson 2nd place 20:41 and Hattie Mitchell 3rd place in 21:43. Harwood won their own home invitational. Julia Thurston took the victory in 22:33 and was followed by teammate Heidi Haraldsen in 4th place 22:58. St Johnsbury won the NVAC meet on their home course last week. The Hilltoppers went 1st and 2nd with Ruth Krebbs 22:14 and Lilly Laskowski 22:46 leading the way. Burlington did not race a full team this weekend and their future is always dependent on the multisport athletes being able to compete or not. If they are they could be a top 5 team if they can’t they may not even be a top 10 team. That makes it very hard to rank them because of the uncertainty. Mount Mansfield finished 3rd at the NVAC Metro Championships. Ella McEntee 4th place 20:57 propelled the Cougars followed closely by Katie Carlson in 6th place 21:02. All of these teams have question marks that need to be solved. The gap to some of these teams' 4th and 5th runners could be the determining factor in who finishes where by the end of the season.

With just about a week and half until the state meet we are very close to having all of these questions answered. It seems like only one question is answered and that is who is the best team in the state. I think it is very hard to argue that CVU is light years ahead of every other team. The exciting racing will be behind them and that at least should be something to look forward to.