On the other end of the perspective, the Timberlane boys performed better than expected. A young crew, the Owls were competitive with the big boys and came within 19 points of qualifying for the Meet of Champions.
Senior Zach Bowen made remarkable improvement during the season and was the team’s top runner, but sophomore Peter Saviano came on strong as the No. 2 man and freshman Liam Kimball, showed great promise, finishing as the Owls’ third man at Div. 1 state meet.
Sophomores James Busi, Connor Mills and Tyler DeChane also showed plenty of promise.
“This is the first time I’ve had a young group like this really into it,” said Behan. “I think they’ll work hard at it and we’ll be pretty good in the next year or two.”
Although the Londonderry girls were as good as advertised, winning Division 1 and finishing second at the MOC, there were plenty of other surprises in New Hampshire as well.
— Despite serious graduation losses, the Pinkerton boys reloaded and got unexpected excellence from senior Patrick Chabot, junior Phil Parent and others to finish second in Division 1 for the fifth time in seven years — an impressive accomplishment.
— Just as noteworthy were the Londondery boys, who regrouped nicely from their 2011 Division 1 runner-up team that graduated their top six runners to come in third in Division 1, fourth at the Meet of Champions and finished in front of Pinkerton at New England. Junior Damon Kilgore, in particular, made remarkable strides.
— The Pinkerton girls, meanwhile, were expected to be middle of the pack at best. But, thanks to freshmen Morgan Sansing, Ariel Vaillancourt and Taylor Lacey, the Astros were an impressive fourth in Division 1 (better by two places than 2011) and barely missed qualifying for New England.
Outside of the area, there were plenty of other surprises as well. On the boys side, Winnacunnet was supposed to be the overwhelming boys power, but it slipped badly, finishing fourth in Division 1 and eighth in the MOC while Bedford soared to win Division 1 and finish second in the MOC.