MANCHESTER — The sun was shining brightly for the Pinkerton boys cross country team yesterday at Derryfield Park.
Against a loaded field of the best teams in New England, the Astros finished fourth in the Elite Division and showed their depth by placing second in a field of 44 teams in the JV division and third in the freshman race.
“We just had a fabulous day,” said Pinkerton coach Mike Clark. “It was just exciting the way we competed at every level and our varsity kids had some epic races.”
Darien, Conn., was first in the elite race, followed by perennial power Bishop Hendricken and South Burlington. The Astros had a better place and time than any other New Hampshire team, including in the large school race.
Leading the way for Pinkerton was rising senior Phil Parent, who came in eighth in 16:11, a 47-second personal-best time on the rugged Derryfield Park 5K course.
Sophomore Tom Hanlon also had a big PR, finishing 30th in 16:49, and junior Owen Clark slipped under 17 minutes for the first time in his career at 16:55.
Londonderry, which was 11th, was paced by Grant McAuliffe in 39th, one place ahead of Pinkerton sophomore Nick Sevilla and one place behind Astro senior Connor Kwiecien.
All seven varsity runners had personal-best times on the Derryfield course for the Astros, who took five of the top 12 places in the JV race, led by Joe Poggi,
In the freshman race, Londonderry’s Chris Zaino finished first in 11:12 over 2.1 miles while Calvin Graves and Jonathan L’Abbe came in eighth and ninth for the Astros.
In the large school division, Timberlane’s young runners had a fine day, placing fifth in the 29-team field, led by sophomore Liam Kimball in 14th (16:55) and junior Peter Saviano in 22nd. Joe Settineri was 32nd for Salem.