2022 New England Boys Team and Individuals Preview

Boys Teams in the mix at New England Championships by state:

Connecticut -   Hall - 185, 177, 170, 165, 158, 157 & 143

          Ridgefield - 189, 169, 165, 164, 157, 145 & 141

          Danbury - 170, 167, 166, 165, 159, 159 & 148

Maine -           Hampden Academy - 176, 160, 160, 160, 148, 146 & 136

New Hampshire - Coe Brown - 171, 159, 159, 154, 143, 137 & 119 - don’t forget Aidan Cox 196 will be racing

         Souhegan - 153, 153, 151, 147, 146, 128 & 125

Rhode Island - Bishop Hendricken - 183, 177, 171, 165, 165, 161 & 159

        La Salle Academy - 172, 171, 161, 161, 160, 146 & 145

Vermont - St Johnsbury - 172, 168, 166, 158, 156, 150 149 & 121

       Champlain Valley - 182, 169, 167, 159, 144, 137 & 135

Last year the team title was up in the air and U-32(VT) pulled off the upset for their first New England Championship. This year it looks like at least five teams could feel like they have a legitimate chance at the title. This could really turn out to be an amazing team race. A number of these teams are very even and even the favorites are not that far ahead of the teams behind them to make it a sure thing. If someone made me pick a favorite team or they would take my cat away…yes that would be traumatic…then I would pick Bishop Hendricken(RI). They have the most solid top 7 of any of the other teams and that could come into play on Saturday. The true contenders in my eyes are Hendricken, Hall(CT), Ridgefield(CT), La Salle Academy(RI) and needing help Danbury(CT), Hampden Academy(ME) and Coe Brown(NH). I could throw St Johnsbury(VT) into that mix too but I think displacement at the #1 spot and at the 4-5 could be too much for them to overcome.

Hendricken is a classic program. They have been good for years. They are a national level program year after year it seems so they are prepared for this type of race. They also are solid 1-5 with their 6 & 7 not far back and they could definitely be displacing other teams 4-5 runners which will only help their cause. Troy Silvestri should lead them with a top 10 level finish and then Andrew Frezza follows as one of the top #2 runners in the field. They will also benefit from their experience at Ponaganset. They have raced the last 2 races at this course so they should know how to run it well. They will be looking to reclaim the New England crown on their home turf.

Hall almost mirrors Hendricken through their 4th runner. Where they may get hurt is at the #5 spot because there is the possibility of displacement hurting them points wise and also Hendricken displacing their #5 with their 6-7. Isaac Mahler leads them and will be looking for a top 5 finish. Colin Goldschmidt at the #2 spot matches the Hendricken #2 and they are basically even with them at spots 3 & 4. It is once you get past that when there becomes a gap to their #5. With weather possibly being an issue can that play a role at all in their 5 or 6 moving forward and putting them in a position to claim the title.

Ridgefield is an interesting team to watch. Their #1 Steve Hergenrother will be challenging for the individual title so he will instantly give them a low stick. The problem is does he really make up that many points on the other teams #1 runners. At the top of the field the displacement is not that big so you can only gain so many points. Their 2-4 runners are basically even with the other teams 2-4. Their #5 is back a little and this is where the majority of the displacement will probably take place. This could cause them some issues because there are going to be a gaggle of runners coming in at this point and will show the importance of getting every spot you can get. Their top end is good enough to put them in contention if things break right for them.

La Salle lacks the top of the field #1 which could create some issues with displacement in a field of this size and this caliber. Their 2-5 are in the mix with everyone else’s but their problem is it doesn’t look like they will have much daylight between their 2-5 and everyone else’s 2-5. They will need some things to break right for them to really have a chance at the title. They are in contention but may not have the firepower needed.

Danbury, Hampden Academy and Coe Brown all have positives that help them but also have some things that probably bring them down. Danbury has the same issue as La Salle where their #1 could be back enough to cause some points issues from displacement. The rest of their top 5 are with everyone else but they will need to find a way to make up points because of the possible displacement issue up front. Hampden Academy has a solid one but they could lose some points there to other teams #1 runners. They have a solid group at 2-4 that seem like they run a tight pack but then their #5 could lose a lot of points. This is the position where LOTS of runners are finishing and could end up being 30+ points lost or more to other teams #5 runners. Coe Brown has their uber talented #1 runner in Aidan Cox and a very solid #2 in Tyler Tkaczyk but they get hurt in the 3-5 spots that are so important in races of this size and caliber. They could lose too many points here to other teams 3-5. 

This has the makings of being a great race and there are a number of teams that definitely have a shot at this title. With the weather being a question mark that could definitely create a new scenario that teams will have to deal with. The field section could become a strength sapper and then how does that impact the other areas of the course like the long climb out from the bottom of the LONG downhill.  This should be a great race and good luck to all!

Boys Individuals in the mix at New England Championships by state(speed ratings are from NE Qualifier Meet unless noted):

Top Boys By State by Speed Rating


Steven Hergenrother, Ridgefield - 189

Griffin Mandirola, Suffield - 187

 Isaac Mahler, Hall - 185

Brayden Bayek, Rocky Hill - 181

Collin Walsh, New Milford - 180


Charlie Collins, Hampden Academy - 176

Maddox Jordan, Noble High School - 173

Adam Bendetson, Scarborough - 171

William Hileman, Bucksport - 171

New Hampshire:

Aidan Cox, Coe Brown - 196

Patrick Gandini, Gilford - 188

Birhanu Harriman, Lebanon - 188

Matthew Giardina, Bishop Guertin - 181

Rhode Island:

Devan Kiphego, St Raphael Academy - 185

Silvestri, Troy, Hendricken - 183

Martin, Nicholas, East Greenwich - 180

Borge, Jackson, North Kingstown - 177

Francis, Cole, Narragansett - 177


Matthew Servin, Champlain Valley - 182

Avery Smart, Montpelier - 175

Porter Hurteau, BFA St Albans - 172

Andrew Thornton-Sherman, St Johnsbury - 172

Cyrus Hansen, U-32 - 171

Luke Miklus, Essex - 171

Top 25 Boys by Speed Rating

This one starts with the three big guns and a BIG if also. The three big guns….Aidan Cox from Coe Brown(NH),  Devan Kipyego St Raphael(RI) and Steve Hergenrother from Ridgefield(CT). Or….really should I say the five big guns because Patrick Gandini of Gilford(NH) and Birhanu Harriman of Lebanon(NH) are right there as well. Oh wait! Griffin Mandirola of Suffield(CT) isn’t far behind either. My point is there are at least 5 legitimate contenders for the individual crown this year with a few more lurking and ready to take advantage of any opportunity they have to join the party.

Let's start with the big IF. Aidan Cox is a huge talent. The if is if he is fully healthy. He has been a bit dinged up so this is a question. With a number of runners ready to take advantage of any weakness he might have, that is the question. If healthy he is the cream of the field. I am going to go forward with the thought process that he is healthy. If that is the case he is the odds on favorite. A speed rating of 196 puts him at #8 nationally in the just updated tullyrunners.com list of top ranking nationally. Personally I hope Aidan is 100% and is able to show the New England field the level of a runner that he is.

Devan Kipyego may not have the speed rating of Aidan BUT his season may be the best of everyone. Devan  in the class races  a couple of weeks ago ran 15:06 on this Ponaganset course which actually equates to a 196 speed rating which is exactly what Aidan has. He won the Eastern States boys race. He is undefeated this season. He is ranked 11th nationally by dyestat.com. He is ranked 10th nationally on the tullyrunners speed ratings list. Ok...maybe he is the true favorite! Plus this is on a course that he has run numerous times. He will be going to Iowa State next year and this could be his crowning moment as a New England cross country runner. It would be an amazing accomplishment to close out his season with a New England championship and then head on to the national level championships to see how he does there. It would be great to be able to see a battle between Aidan and Devan and see what kind of performance they could put on.

Steve Hergenrother is going to be ready for any mistake or any issue to take that top spot. He is ranked #75 nationally which is a not too shabby ranking on its own. Top 100 in the entire country. Yeah I’d take that. Just like Aidan he will also have his team's fortunes partly in his hands. The higher up he can finish the more points he can try to gain for his team. With Ridgefield in the team battle it will be interesting to see if he can just throw caution to the wind because he also needs to be somewhat responsible for his team. This could be a great matchup for the individual crown.

I’m not sure how you don’t include Patrick Gandini and Birhanu Harriman together after their NH MOC finish that was separated by .2 of a second! Both come in after having great seasons and they also seemed to be connected to each other at a number of NH races. With Hergengother having a top rating of 189 they both follow him with 188’s which put them in 88th nationally and 91st nationally. They are so close together you could put a blanket over them. They both will be in the mix and will be ready to pounce if there is an opening for them to take advantage of.

Griffin Mandirola comes in ranked 117th in the country according to tullyrunners and I’m sure feels like he should not be overlooked as a threat. Griffin was only 6 seconds back of Hergenrother at the CT Open last weekend so he is obviously in touch and on any day can challenge for the individual title. He definitely needs to be considered a threat.

After the top 5 there are a group of runners looking to stamp their All New England credentials and a top ten. The next tier of runners also are extremely talented and on any day could challenge for the top 5. These include Isaac Mahler of Hall(CT), Troy Silvestri Hendricken(RI), Matt Servin Champlain Valley(VT), Matthew Gardina Bishop Guertin(NH), Brayden Bayek Rocky Hill(CT), Nicholas Martin East Greenwich(RI) and Collin Walsh New Milford(CT). All of these runners have the ability to challenge for top 5 spots and it will be interesting to see how they fare in this big pack of runners. It will be interesting to see if the home course familiarity will play into the hands of the 3 RI runners who are in this group. Their experience running this course has to benefit them at least a little. This will be the third week in a row they have raced the same course. It is one of the interesting pieces to keep an eye on.

The boys will get to race first so the course should be in the best shape of the day for their race. It will be interesting to see if there is a lot of rain how the field start area holds up. They loop through this section of the course multiple times and if it does become a mess it will be a strength sapper. This could end up leading to certain runners being more suited to this race. The track speedster may not enjoy the strength sapping mud that they may encounter and the grinder may benefit from it. This has a number of different interesting plots that could come out and it will be fun to see how it shakes out in the end. My hope is that weather has little to no effect on the race and that all of the top runners are healthy and we can see who the true New England champion is! Good luck everyone!