Week 4 XC Rankings - Week of 10/26/20
VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results -Oct. 26, 2020
Boys Overall Top 10
Polls are subjective, but races are objective. On Saturday, the top three ranked boys teams in Vermont raced head to head over a flat and fast course at BFA. #1 U32 took the race out hard with all seven Raiders hitting the mile marker in 5:05. #2 CVU, and tied for #2. St. Jay fought hard, but the D2 boys took the day with 6 runners under 16:50. Expect these three teams to go head to head again in two weeks at the Vermont Meet of Champions. This assumes that all three qualify via the State Meet this coming Saturday. In two weeks the Redhawks should also have their number two runner Matthew Severin back in the lineup, and will be looking to reestablish themselves as the best in Vermont. Assuming Severin was in the mix, the coaches could not pick between Hilltoppers and Redhawks for the second spot.
#4 Essex remains an enigma as their top runner Brady Maritus has raced infrequently in Vermont, but is clearly in monster shape. In his absence, the Hornets pack has been up and down. If the “supporting cast” run well, and with Martisus back in the line up, Essex could easily be back on top at States and the Meet of Champs in a few weeks' time.
Behind the top four it's a ways back to the 5-10 ranked teams. #5 BHS has been the most consistent and deep of the remaining challengers; they are improving fast and are closely bunched together. #6 SB has been holding place in the rankings for several weeks now, but after that the coaches are all over the board. No fewer than seven teams (Spaulding, MMU, Woodstock, Craftsbury, Harwood, Rutland, and Middulbury) received votes for the final three positions. This week the D3 #8 Chargers from tiny Craftsbury Academy crack the top 10. Led by sophomore stud Cormac Leahy, this young team could be a fixture in the rankings for years to come. All of these seven teams have shown some of the elements needed to move up, but will also need a couple runners to improve a bit. #10 Harwood, on the strength of their one point defeat of Spaulding, is back in the top 10. As another Central Vermont coach noted “Any team coached by John Kerrigan is dangerous”. The team battle to qualify for the Meet of Champions (top 6 teams plus division champs) is going to be a rough one.
On the individual side, everyone is waiting to see the Martisus vs Sherman-Thorton clash. For now, those two seem to be 30+ seconds ahead of the field. Nye, Cormac, Miller-Arsenault, Huston, Mastare, Boyden, and Shepherd seem to be the best of the rest for the time being.
Division 1 Boys Top 5
St Jay impressed everyone with its first race against the other top D1 teams. They were the top D1 team of the day beating CVU by 15 points. Voters gave CVU (#1) the nod because they did run without one of its top runners (Servin). CVU has a very tight pack and low finish with Nye while St Jay (#2) boasts the state top 1-2 duo with Thornton-Sherman and Boyden. This scenario only sets up for an exciting team race this weekend at Thetford. Essex holds the #3 spot despite finishing 2nd to BHS over the weekend. Voters felt in a bigger field of runners Martisus’s low finish will make up the difference. If the rest of the EHS pack stays tight and near the front the Hornets could be overlooked. BFA Holds #4 with another strong performance and are led by a very strong 1-2-3 (Mashtere, Storms and Trembly). BHS (#5) has been quietly closing the gaps all season, but will need all hands on deck to make a jump in the rankings. Unranked South Burlington has been in striking distance all season, so don’t be surprised if they upset some of the ranked teams.
The individual title is a two man battle with Martisus and Thornten-Sherman. The two have nearly identical best times of the season and are both undefeated this season. Nye, Boyden and Mashtere lead the chase pack where it becomes very crowded with top runners.
Division 2 Boys Top 5
#1 U32 owns nine of the fastest fifteen times in all of Division 2 this year. Only seven Raiders can actually race at States, but any team that wants to challenge for the top spot will need to improve significantly and hope that U32 stumbles badly. Huge upsets can, and have happened at States, but if U32 shows up ready for business, the challengers will have their work cut out for them. #2 Harwood nipped a resurgent #3 Spaulding on the strength of the Highlanders depth in their one point victory over the Tide at Millstone last week. #4 Woodstock has been dormant for a few weeks, so they are a wildcard at the State meet. Meanwhile, #5 Midd seems to be getting stronger, and has the depth to move up at Thetford.
Don't forget unranked Vergennes, who has two of the best runners in the Division, seniors Ben Huston and Gabe Praamsma. These two will definitely be at the front of the States Race at Thetford on 10/31.They should be joined up front by Riley Shepherd of Woodstock, Magoon, Rielly, and Poulin from Spaulding, as well as Cumminsky from Harwood. Seven U32 Raiders could all be in the top 10 as well.
Division 3 Boys Top 5
A week before states and the end of the season, the D3 boys rankings have solidified. #1 Craftsbury has come into their own, and have 4 of the top 9 runners in the division. They will be a very hard team to beat on Saturday. #2 Thetford and #3 Rice will provide a more compelling competition, as they enter states in a virtual tie for second. Thetford has proven time and again they are capable of capitalizing on home field advantage, so the nod goes to them for this week’s rankings. Outside of the top 3 the division is a toss up, with 6 teams in the mix. Of that bunch, BFA Fairfax has shown the most consistency during this short season, so look for them to make a strong case to win the middle of the pack.
Individually, Craftsbury now hold the top two spots with #1 Cormac Leahy and #2 Charlie Krebs. Both Sophomores, each runner holds nearly a minute lead over their next closest competitor. Look for Cormac to compete for the fastest time of the day overall, as well.
VTHSXC.COM Vermont HS Cross Country Poll Results - Oct 26, 2020
Girls Overall Top 10
CVU continues its run as the #1 Vermont team. They are the heavy overall favorites and are loaded with battle tested runners. 5 of the top 7 are from the previous State Championship team. Harwood and U32 stay in the #2 and #3 positions. Harwood went 1-7 in their last meet and have the defending overall champion leading the way. U32 impresses again with a 2nd place finish at a meet with lots of strong D1 schools. They have one of the smallest 1-5 time gaps in the state. EHS and SB were tighted for 4th. EHS has been very consistent all season and have one of the top 1-2 duos in the state (Preston and Stimson). SB impressed over the weekend by beating fellow D1 schools BFA and St Jay. St Jay got its first crack at the other D1 teams and proved they are a force to be reckoned with. BFA has put together one of the most impressive seasons and are fueled by one of the tightest packs in the state. BHS hold #8 with a very strong season and finished only a few points behind EHS over the weekend. MMU, B&B and BF all received votes for the #9 and #10 positions. All have put together strong season. B&B did beat BFU earlier in the season.
The individual title looks to be Broadley leading the way with a 17:58. A time VT hasn’t seen in several years. Thurston is the defending over champion and thrives in the hills of Thetford. Several races ago Bloom finished only 8 seconds from Thurston. The D1 challengers of Veronneau, Preston, Hemond, Fisher, Nails and Stimson all have some ground to make up in order to take the overall win, but will have each other to push.
As results keep coming in expect more changes and more names to be added to the mix.
Division 1 Girls Top 5
CVU is looking to extend it’s streak of State Championships to 12. They remain unbeaten this season with front running, depth and experience. Verinneau, Nails, Larson, Mittlestadt and Taylor were all a part of last year's State Championship team. Essex holds onto the #2 spot with Preston and Stimson leading the way. Their 3-4-5 continue to cut the time gap making them tough for the rest of the D1 challengers to deal with. Voters were tied with St Jay and SB at #3. Only four points separated the two teams over the weekend. SB was fueled by a pack of front runners while St Jay got all its scorers in quicker. BFA moves to the 5th position with one of the most consistent seasons of all the top D1 teams. The 2-6 gap remains very small and Hughes has been leading the way near the front of each race all season. Unranked BHS finished only a few points behind EHS over the weekend. Saturday should be a very exciting day of racing with so many teams in reach of one another.
The individual race hasn’t been clear all season. Nails, Preston, Veronneau and Hemond all have wins throughout the season. Stimson and Fisher have been in striking distance at every race. The D1 winner will likely come from this group.
Division 2 Girls Top 5
Burr and Burton
#1 Harwood easily won at Millstone last Thursday. With a 1-2 Thurston punch the Highlanders are going to be hard to dethrone at Thetford. Meanwhile #2 U32 avenged their one point loss to D1 St. Jay the previous week at BFA. The Raiders finished a competitive second to D1, and Vermont, top seed CVU. The biggest news for the Raiders is the re-emergence of multiple time All State performer Lana Page who led the Raiders and seems to be back to full strength. This latest installment of the Kerrigan/Chaplin rivalry promises to be the best race of the day at States. It will be fast and close, hang on.
Results remain scarce for #3 Burr and Burton but they were fast when they last ran and could spoil the Central Vermont party at Thetford. #4Midd is consistent and #5Lamoille has a front runner in McGee.
Safest bet of the day? Ava Thurston for the win in this race. If she is healthy and has a safe trip, she will win.
Division 3 Girls Top 5
We have a newcomer to the rankings this week, #3 Northfield. Northfield makes their points with an impressive pack of midfield runners. #1 Bellows Falls is dominant as ever this year, and is in position to win the division again, boasting 3 of the top 5 runners. #2 Thetford takes the second spot in the rankings this week, and should be able to retain that spot at states, led by sophomore Madelyn Durkee. The rankings are rounded out with #4 Rice and #5 BFA Fairfax taking the final two positions. If we are to see any movement from the standings to the podium on Saturday, it could be with #3 Northfield and #4 Rice. Only 3 points separate the teams, and with the short season, neither team has raced nearly as much as usual.
Abigail Broadley leads the division with a blistering time of 17:58, posted on her home course last week. The mark is also good fors fastest in the state by any girl,in any division. Emily Bloom (Rice) and Madelyn Durkee (Thetford) form the chase pack, both holding top 10 spots individually in the state this season.