EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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December 10, 2013

Cross country: Pinkerton duo named co-MVPs

All season long, Pinkerton sophomores Morgan Sansing and Ariel Vaillancourt were nearly inseparable in practice and in meets. Close enough to share Eagle-Tribune MVP honors.

Sansing finished second at the Division 1 meet in 19:08, breaking former Meet of Champions winner Ashley Morgenstern’s 8-year-old Derryfield Park 5K school record on the course. Vaillancourt was right behind in third.

At Meet of Champions, Sansing got the edge again, taking fifth, one place in front of Vaillancourt. But at the New England Meet, it was Vaillancourt who was in front, running a fine 18:27.9 for 17th place at Derryfield, smashing Sansing’s record.

Sansing came in 43rd at New England, even with a new PR of 19:02.8, helping the Astros finish ninth as a team.

Sansing, a Chester resident, came on strong as a freshman, winning the JV State Meet as a tune-up and then placing 10th as the state’s top freshman in the Div. 1 meet, while Vaillancourt saved her best for the end of her sophomore season.

A resident of Manchester whose parents and younger brother and sister all run, Vaillancourt started her high school career with a splash, running No. 1 for Pinkerton in every race but one. In one year, she improved from 20th in Division 1 to third.

Leila Aruri

Andover Senior

Bothered by injuries last year and couldn’t run her best. Healthy again, she made up for that in a big way. Won eight of 10 dual meets, finished fourth in the MVC meet (19:23, 5K), took fourth in the EMass. Division 1 meet (18:52, 5K) and then led the area in the Division 1 All-State meet, placing 29th. Ranked in top 10 percent of her class academically.

Tiffany Simione

Central Catholic Junior

Repeat Eagle-Tribune All-Star. Got slow start due to concussion, but came on strong. No. 1 Central runner in every meet. Came in seventh at MVC meet. Took sixth at EMass. Division 2 race (18:44, 5K), a minute faster than her sophomore time. Second local runner in Division 1 All-State Meet. Windham resident. Year-round runner. Has run a 5:34.54 mile and an 11:40.77 2-mile.

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