Saturday, October 29, the Merrimack Valley High School Cross Country teams competed in the Division II State Championship Meet at Derryfield Park in Manchester. A little short-handed due to injury, the boys took to the line in good spirits.
A tenth place finish was the modified goal (at pre-season camp it was 15th), but again, everything would have to work out perfectly. When the gun started, the boys were off to a great start, particularly Matt Reynolds, running right up alongside and even ahead of his brother David around 35th place.
As the race progressed, Matt slid up in the standings, then back a little, while David picked off runners all along the course. Despite having a slightly off day, David still managed to place 21st and continue his season for one more week by qualifying for the Meet of Champions.
Matt had a super sub-18 run, not enough to qualify for MOC’s, but his best race of the year. Dylan Guinard turned in a 1-second personal best as MV’s third runner, while Matt Lyle ran out of his head to finish as the fourth man and come close to the 19 minute barrier. He is destined for great things next year!
Raging River Lynch, Ryan Latorella, and Connor Butt all came agonizingly close to going sub-20, but unfortunately the course was just a tad too long. Connor did run yet another huge personal best despite heading up the start hill in practically last place. That’s good, patient running!
In the end, the boys finished a very respectable 15th place to achieve their pre-season goal. With four of the top boys returning next year, plus Taylor returning from injury, top 10 looks like a good place to start with goals for next year.
The MV Girls were the story of the day. They ran a solid race all around, nothing too spectacular. Tristan Beyer was the only one with a PR (of 1 second), while Lauren Rouse tied hers and Kristie Schoffield ran her best time at Derryfield, but a very solid run. Then it was time to wait.
On the New Hampshire XC Web site MV was picked to finish 8th or 9th, but only the top 6 qualify for the Meet of Champions. After Kristie picked up her 5th-place medal, the girls huddled for power and…6TH PLACE, MERRIMACK VALLEY!! They absolutely had the loudest scream/cheer of any team announced, even the winner.
It’s not every year that training works out so perfectly, but this year nothing could have gone better. Run your best at the end, and that’s what the girls did!
At the Meet of Champions the girl’s team and David Reynolds represented Merrimack Valley. The girls again ran solidly as a team exceeding expectations to finish 12th. They were led by Kristie Schoffield who qualified for the New England Cross Country Meet individually finishing 13th.
In the boys race David got off the great start and hovered the whole race around 30th place. To qualify for the New England meet he needed to finish 25th or better. In the end he ran a 20 second personal best finishing 33rd in 16:39.