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August 30, 2013

N.H. Girls Cross Country: Astros return top 5 runners

OUTLOOK: Pinkerton snuck up on teams last year and surprised everyone by taking fourth in Division 1. With their top five runners back and at least two others challenging to crack the top five, the Astros will be no surprise anymore and will be a contender for top honors.

Bishop Guertin, which was runner-up last year, is considered the team to beat, however, and Bedford will also contend. Defending champ Londonderry is in rebuilding mode.

Londonderry

2012 season: won Division 1 meet

Returning lettermen: Laura Troisi, Sr.; Katie Wipf, Sr.; Sophia Simard, Jr.; Natalie Howes, Jr.; Makayla D’Urso, Sr.; Sami Tocman, Sr.; Leah Burke, Soph.; Courtney Guay, Soph.; Madison McKivergan, Soph.

Newcomers: Hannah Solomons, Sr.; Sarah Court, Frosh.; Emily Holland, Frosh.; Kaitlyn Marchant, Frosh.; Shaye Sullivan, Frosh.; Bella Ziolek, Frosh.

Candidates: 30

Assistant: Amy Sanborn

Division 1 meet: 30. Madison McKivergan

Odds and ends: The Lancers graduated the top four runners from the Division 1 state championship squad. .. Last year’s eighth graders won the state A large school title. The top runner on that team, Gretchen McGrath, has opted to play soccer, however. ... Hannah Solomons lives in Hooksett and is one of a number of students attending Londonderry this year instead of Manchester Central.

Ed Burgess (29th year): “Last year was a great year, but we’re rebuilding this year. Right now, we’re ranked No. 6 in Division 1. We hope to move up from there. Sami (Tocman) and Makayla (D’Urso) look like they’ve improved a lot.”

Pinkerton

2012 season: 4th at Division 1 meet

Returning lettermen: Danika Ashness, Sr.; Haley McMullen, Sr.; Kaila Cote, Jr.; Morgan Sansing, Soph.; Taylor Lacey, Soph.; Ariel Vaillancourt, Soph.; Vivienne Rouge, Soph.

Newcomers: Aleah MacKay, Sr.; Olivia Tracy, Jr.; Kristen Sobolewski, Jr.; Sara Muller, Frosh.; Sadie Farnsworth, Frosh.; Bela Fast, Frosh.

Candidates: 27

Assistant: Rebecca Noe

Captains: TBA

Division 1 meet: 10. Morgan Sansing, 20. Ariel Vaillancourt, 28. Danika Ashness, 35. Kaila Cote, 37. Haley McMullen

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