EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 30, 2013

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


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — 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

Odds and ends: The Astros return their top five finishers from the Division 1 meet. ... Juniors Olivia Tracy and Kristen Sobolewski ran winter track last year and look like contributors in their first year of cross country. ... Senior Aleah MacKay is a transfer from Bedford. She committed to Syracuse lacrosse in December of 2011. ... Freshman Bela Fast shows, befitting her name, good speed. Her father, Ralph Fast, was a star running back for the Astros, earning Eagle-Tribune Offensive MVP honors.

Amy Bernard (11th year): “I’m excited about this team. I think we’ll have the girls in the front with Morgan (Sansing) and Ariel (Vaillancourt) and we have great depth.”

Salem

2012 season: 17th at Division 1 meet

Returning lettermen: Cara Seely, Sr.; Laura LaPierre, Sr.; Regan Coyle, Jr.; Lauren MacMillan, Soph.

Promising newcomers: Ryan Krahn, Frosh.; Megan Seely, Frosh.

Candidates: 6

Assistant: none

Captains: Cara Seely, Laura LaPierre

Division 1 meet: 117. Lauren MacMillan

Odds and ends: Spencer Shaw takes over for Craig Robinson, who was head coach for eight years. ... Shaw is a former track standout at both Winnacunnet and UNH, where he was captain as a senior, and teaches physical education at the Woodbury Middle School. ... With only six runners out, Shaw hopes to add girls to the team following cuts from volleyball and field hockey.

Spencer Shaw (1st year): “We do not have a lot of runners but the girls we have are runners and have an amazing work ethic. We want to build up the team and get more recognition for cross country at the high school and middle school level.”

Timberlane

2012 season: 8th at Division 1 meet

Returning lettermen: Lauren Oligny, Sr.; Kayla Gaudet, Sr.; Hannah Cosio, Sr.; Paige Andrews, Jr.; Abbie Isenberg, Jr.; Caryn Ojemann, Jr.; Jessica Sexton, Jr.; Rachel Borisko, Jr.; Michele Condon, Jr.; Annie Steenson, Jr.; Alexa Trautz, Jr.; Bridget Kelly; Soph.

Newcomers: Kaitlin Douphinette, Soph.; Emma Hawkes, Soph.; Carina Iacozzi, Soph.; Francesca Iacozzi, Soph.

Candidates: 27

Captains: Lauren Oligny

Division 1 meet: 18. Lauren Oligny

Odds and ends: The team has seven freshmen, the most Timberlane has had in the last 16 years. ... Timberlane’s top two runners from last season, Hannah Kimball and Kate Estep, are running at UNH.

Co-coaches Brian Deveney (13th year) and Mark Behan (16th year): Mark Behan said: “The team has a nice mix of veterans and newcomers. Lauren Oligny had a solid summer of training and is poised to have an excellent season. The freshmen are talented and should be contributors.”

Pelham

2012 season: 2nd Division 3 meet

Returning lettermen: Avery Goss, Sr.; Rhiannon Snide, Sr.; Minta Notini, Sr.; Lauren Chapman, Jr.; Andrea O’Hearn, Jr.; Rachel Romeo, Soph.; Shaylyn Harrington, Soph.; Emily Ennis, Soph.

Newcomers: Jamie Grimard, Frosh.; Sarah Walker, Frosh.

Candidates: 10

Captains: None

Division 3 meet: 15. Shaylyn Harrington, 22. Rhiannon Snide, 39. Avery Goss

Assistant: None

Odds and ends: AD Todd Kress switched from the boys coach to the girls coach after Justin Soucy stepped down because of a job conflict following nine years heading the program. ... Three of the top five runners return from last year’s Division 3 runner-up team. ... Last year’s No. 1, Shannen Arsenault, will not compete which is a big blow.

Todd Kress (1st year): “The key to following up last year’s runner-up finish will be tight grouping amongst runners 2-5. Shaylyn (Harrington) will give us a small number on the scoresheet each meet — she has sub-20 minute ability right now.”

Sanborn

2012 season: didn’t have full team

Returning lettermen: Molly Dolan, Sr.; Kaleigh Santos, Jr.; Zoee Torrey, Soph.

Newcomers: Laura Samoisette, Sr.; Caitlyn Pagnotarro, Sr.; Koran Sherman, Frosh.; Sarah Bibeau, Frosh., Kate Kurgan, Frosh.; April Miller, Frosh.

Candidates: 9

Captains: TBA

Assistants: None

Odds and ends: Seniors Laura Samoisette and Caitlyn Pagnotarro switched to from soccer. .

Scott Maxwell (4th year): “We’re excited by the freshmen who have come out.”

Windham

2012 season: 8th at Division 2 meet

Returning lettermen: Meghan O’Connor, Sr.; Lindsay Maffei, Sr.; Kayla Jolicoeur, Sr.; Megan McNamara, Sr.; Bethany Fennessey, Sr.; Kristen Tilley, Jr.; Grace McNamara, Jr.; Mackenzie Bryant, Jr.; Kaitlin Howard, Soph.; Anna Matsco, Soph.; Athena Chan, Soph.; Kaley Missert, Soph.; Sarah Bowman, Soph.; Rachael Page, Soph.; Laura Pomeroy, Soph.

Promising newcomers: Jillian Moffatt, Jr.; Sarah Monahan, Frosh.; Lily Shpak, Frosh.; Morgan McGinnis, Frosh.; Klaudia Klonowski, Frosh.

Candidates: 20

Captains: None

Division 2 meet: 41. Kristen Tilley, 73. Meghan O’Connor

Assistants: None

Odds and ends: Kate Jackson leaves as coach after five years, partially to focus on her triathlon training. New coach Dolyne Divino is a former Andover High standout (ran a school-record 11:15 2-mile) who later ran at Springfield College. ... Jillian Moffatt is an accomplished hockey player who moved from Canada. ... Meghan O’Connor is currently out with an injury.

Dolyne Divino (1st year): “We’ve got some promising younger girls and we’re looking pretty good.”