Lake Region hosts cross-country relays

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Andrew Grittner of North Country Union high School waits for his second wind to kick in as he winds his way toward the final leg of Lake Region's cross-country trail. Photos by David Dudley
Andrew Grittner of North Country Union high School waits for his second wind to kick in as he winds his way toward the final leg of Lake Region’s cross-country trail.
Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle October 15, 2014

by David Dudley

Lake Region Union High School hosted a six-team relay race on Tuesday.  Among the teams competing were:  North Country Union High School, Lyndon, Peoples, Hazen, Stowe, and Lake Region (LR).

It was a beautiful day, warm, sunny, 70 degrees, and not a cloud in the sky. The first part of Lake Region’s course is riddled with hills, leading into the woods behind the school. The latter part of the trail is all downhill, though, which tends to bring out the best in these runners. Especially when they don’t have to worry about puddles and loose soil.

North Country had their fair share of winners, as the team of Alex Cotnoir and Andrew Franklin won second place in the boys category, clocking in at 18:16. They were hot on the heels of the first-place Stowe team, comprised of William McGovern and Aidan Berheisal, who edged out NCU by a scant three seconds, finishing at 18:13.

Third and fourth places in the boys category went to Stowe. JJ Clark and Keegan Loughran crossed the finish line at 19:18, to win third place; Zach Masi and Mike Dougherty finished at 19:57.

Elliott Brunnette and Wyatt Hamby — of North Country — rounded out the boys top five, at 20:28.

“It’s always fun to come down to Lake Region,” North Country Coach Christopher Shaffer said. “We got a good, hard workout in, without having to complete a full five-kilometer race. That’s big, as we wind down the season. Each side only ran about a mile and a half each.”

North Country took first-place honors in co-ed as well, with Loren Searles and Sam Brunnette crossing the line at 20:02. Emily Close and Ian Strange clinched second place for LR, at 22:17.

“Emily Close came up big for us,” Lake Region Coach Greg Hennemuth said. “Not only did she place, but she’s been leading the team in practices. She’s shown exceptional ability as a runner, and a leader.”

Lyndon’s Lorenzo Whitcomb-Paulson and Zosia Prince clocked in at 22:46 to take third place in co-ed. They were followed by Stowe’s Max Girt and Heidi Brynn, who earned fourth place with a 22:50 effort. North Country’s Gabriela and Camden Fort rounded out the top five in co-ed, at 24:05.

Avery Ellis digs deep as she pushes on toward the finish line in Tuesday's cross-country relay races at Lake Region.  Along with her partner, Callie Young, Ellis earned top honors in the girls category for North Country.
Avery Ellis digs deep as she pushes on toward the finish line in Tuesday’s cross-country relay races at Lake Region. Along with her partner, Callie Young, Ellis earned top honors in the girls category for North Country.

North Country took top honors — both first and second places — in the girls category as well. Avery Ellis and Callie Young finished at 22:07, while Lucca Abele and Anica Koontz-Miller crossed the line at 22:46.

“We’ve got a young girls side,” Coach Shaffer said. “But my girls — who are all sophomores and freshman — are loaded with talent. With a little bit more work, we can definitely become one of the top teams in the state.”

Kathleen Hunter and Kylie Harris took third place for Lyndon, and Peoples’ Sophia Anderson and Nikki Crouse clinched fourth place. Stowe’s Amelia Nuzzo and Rachael Wells took fifth place, at 26:53.

“There are only two weeks left in the season,” Coach Hennemuth said after the race. “Our teams have done well this year, but the major goal of the season is still ahead of us.”

Coach Hennemuth is referring to the state championship, at Thetford on Saturday, October 25.

contact David Dudley at [email protected]

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