EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 22, 2013

Astros showing unprecedented depth, romp to JV state championships

On Cross Country
Dave Dyer

---- — When it comes to depth in cross country, no one can compare with Pinkerton Academy.

The Astros don’t win many Division 1 state titles, but they’re always a contender, both on the boys and the girls side.

And, they proved that should be the case for years to come over the weekend at the Division 1 JV state meet with a rather remarkable performance.

The Pinkerton boys won the JV states for the ninth time in 10 years by taking the top five places and nine of the top 14 — a truly remarkable accomplishment. Sophomore Nick Sevilla was first in 17:02 on Nashua South’s 3.1-mile course and the next four Astros were within 34 seconds.

Scoring 15 points in a state meet at any level is almost unheard of, and the Pinkerton boys beat runner-up Keene by 67 points, but the Astros’ girls were just as impressive.

While winning with 30 points, which was 50 fewer than runner-up Winnacunnet, the Astros’ girls stood out by their youth. Four of their first five runners were freshmen and the fifth was a sophomore. Freshman Samantha Mangano led the way, finishing second overall in 20:44, trailing only a senior, Bishop Guertin’s Shauna Salem, who was timed in 20:32.

Of the top seven freshmen at the JV states, five were from Pinkerton.

Middle School teams surge in Haverhill area

Middle school cross country is on the rise in the Greater Haverhill area.

A five-team meet at an impressive new 3K course at the Tattersall Farm in Haverhill last week was a big hit.

The Bradford Huskies easily won the boys race by placing eight runners in the top eight, led by overall runner-up Connor Alessi, who ran an 11:42, while the Huskies’ girls finished second to Pentucket with eighth grader Madeline Kelleher taking second overall in 13:13. Ivy Detjens, who is a mere fifth grader, was 10th in 14:23.

Pentucket, which was second on the boys side, had three of the top seven places in the girls meet to take the team title.

Impressive Huberdeau shines for Timberlane

Speaking of middle school running, Timberlane’s Jacob Huberdeau ran a terrific 10:13 for two miles to win the New Hampshire middle school large school division last week. Keene was the top boys team followed by Londonderry.

Several league meets scheduled for Saturday

This Saturday will be one of the biggest of the year local cross country as the New Hampshire divisional state meets are held at Derryfield Park in Manchester and the league meets will be held for the MVC, CAL and Commonwealth Conference. For the first time in many years, the MVC meet will be held at Tewksbury rather than Chelmsford.