After a more than solid freshman campaign, Pinkerton’s Luke Brennan set at least two goals for this fall, to break 16 minutes for 5K and finish in the top 10 at Meet of Champions. Well, check and check and then some.

Brennan, our Eagle-Tribune MVP, broke 16 minutes early, recording a 15:59.6 at the Nashua Invitational, then took fourth at the Division 1 meet with a 16:06.2 on Derryfield Park’s challenging 5K course and followed that with a sensational 15:35.4 time for fifth at the Meet of Champions, breaking a school record held by current UNH star Nico Sevilla.

For good measure, Brennan then became the team’s top finisher at the New England meet, taking 34th overall as the fifth fastest sophomore.

With a season like that, it’s understandable that Brennan has now set a more ambitious goal.

“My biggest goal is to win a state championship, which I’m going to try to do next year,” said Brennan.

A year-round runner, Brennan also has his eye on Sevilla’s school record 9:16.90 in the 3,200 meters. Brennan was clocked in 9:39 as a freshman while also running a 4:30 in the 1,600 meters.

Based on what he’s seen, Pinkerton coach Mike Clark wouldn’t put anything past him.

“Luke is a very dedicated runner, he’s a smart runner and he has the skill set,” said Clark. “He has all the attributes to become one of the best we’ve had.”

Brennan started running seriously at Derry’s West Running Brook Middle School and looked up to the highly regarded Pinkerton program, dreaming one day of running for “The Long Red Line.” But, with two more years remaining, he’s already living the dream.

Former Eagle-Tribune MVPs

2018 — Dylan Khalil, Sanborn; 2017 -- Joe Gagnon, Pinkerton; 2016 — Cam Star, Pelham; 2015-2014 — Liam Kimball, Timberlane; 2013 — Phil Parent, Pinkerton; 2012 — Mike O’Donnell, Methuen; 2011 — Tony Anzivino, Pinkerton; 2010 — Kevin MacPherson, Pinkerton; 2009 — Jared Reddy, Methuen; 2008 — Chris Pietrocarlo, Pinkerton; 2007 — Eric McDonald, Pentucket; 2006 — Pat Fullerton, Haverhill; 2005 — Jared Samuel, Londonderry; 2004 — Vinny Olson, Londonderry; 2003 — Erik Donohoe, Masconomet; 2002 — Phil Shaw, Andover; 2001 — Matt Haley, Masconomet; 2000 — Patrick Moulton, Pelham; 1999 — David Barrett, Londonderry; 1998 — Brian Astell, Pinkerton; 1997 — Todd Swenson, Londonderry; 1996 — Joe Letourneau, Londonderry; 1995 — Jason Vanderhoof, Timberlane; 1994 — John Mortimer, Londonderry and Matt Downin, Pinkerton; 1993 — John Mortimer, Londonderry; 1992 — John Stanley, Pinkerton; 1991 — Peter Wefers, North Andover; 1990 — Creaghan Trainor, Central; 1989 — Tom McColley, Haverhill

JAMES POTHIER

Central Catholic Senior

Second straight year as Central’s No. 1 runner. Repeat Eagle-Tribune All-Star. Finished sixth at Catholic Memorial Invitational with 16:30, came in eighth at Ocean State Invitational, captured fourth at MVC meet with a 16:39. Year-round runner. Coming off strong track season, running 4:25.68 in the mile, 1:58.30 in 800. Mother Sue Pothier a standout runner for Haverhill High. Moved from Alaska to Haverhill prior to sophomore year.

XAVIER METIVIER

Methuen Senior

Team’s No. 1 runner for second straight year. Repeat Eagle-Tribune All-Star. Finished third in Merrimack Valley Conference meet with 16:28 time for 5K, placed second in Seniors race at State Coaches Meet. Ran 16:23 (5K) for 18th in rugged D1 Eastern Mass. meet. Excellent student ranked in top 10% of senior class. Just started running as freshman but worked hard from the start. Family originally from Quebec. Speaks fluent French.

JACK BICKSLER

North Andover Junior

MVC Division 2 MVP. Had a 5K best time of 15:46 for fifth place at the Battle of the Border. Ran much of the season overcoming stress fracture suffered in spring track but still finished second — with limited training — at MVC meet with 16:27 for 5K. He then suffered stress fracture on other leg and will miss much of indoor track. “He’s incredibly talented. If he can get healthy and get the miles in he’s got a great future,” said coach Rick DelleChiaie.

PETER LOPATA

Pentucket Senior

Third straight year as Eagle-Tribune All-Star. No. 1 runner all year for the Sachems, who finished 9th at Division 2 All-State Meet. Tied own course record on Pipestave home course, a 15:52 for 2.95 miles. Came in 7th in tough Eastern Mass. Division 5 field (16:44.4, 5K), and 20th at Division 2 All-States. Coming off great track season, breaking school record in mile with 4:18.01 and part of superb 4x800 relay. Returning starter on basketball team.

STEPHEN CONNELLY

Pinkerton Junior

Made immediate impact after moving back to Chester from California. Terrific No. 2 runner to MVP Luke Brennan. Finished fifth at Nashua Invitational, came in fourth at Catholic Memorial Invitational. Placed 12th at Meet of Champions with 5K personal-best 15:46.1. Brother of Nico Sevilla-Connelly (PA ‘16), who is now UNH’s No. 1 runner. First year running cross country. Ran 1:58 in 800 meters as sophomore, 4:32 in 1,600. Father ran at Fordham.

Alex Fleury

Phillips Senior

Two-year captain and three-year All-Star in cross country. Consistent runner throughout the season. Ran an excellent 15:58 on home 5K course, finished seventh at Division 1 New England Prep Meet, recording a 16:42 on rough Northfield course. Coming off historic track season. Ran all-time area best times in both the 800 (1:52.43) and mile (4:08.32). North Andover resident. Sister Tina ran for North Andover High.

NOLAN PREBLE

Pinkerton Senior

Two-year captain. Started season with mononucleosis but came on strong. Came in 11th at Catholic Memorial Invitational and then really stepped it up. No. 2 runner at Division 1 state meet, leading the Astros to third place. Came in 13th at Meet of Champions with 15:46.6 (5K), an improvement of one and a half minutes on Mines Falls 5K course. Second local finisher at New England meet. Hampstead resident. Younger sister Mariesa a sophomore on Astros’ girls team.

ROHAN RAI

Windham Junior

Injured much of sophomore season. One of most improved runners in area. Led Jaguars to Meet of Champions and their best season ever. Splashed onto scene with first place at Pelham Invitational with superb 5K time and school record 15:47.07. Nearly matched that with 14th-place finish of 15:47.10 clocking at Meet of Champions. Placed fifth at Division 2 state meet with school record 16:21.2 at Derryfield Park. Third local finisher at New England meet.

JARED KHALIL

Sanborn Freshman

One of top two freshmen in New Hampshire. Emerged quickly as team’s No. 1 runner. Finished third at Manchester Invitational, sixth at the Bobcat Invitational and runner-up at Pelham Invitational with 5K time of 15:52. Was fourth at Division 2 state meet with excellent 16:15.2 time at Derryfield Park and came in 15th at Meet of Champions with 5K personal-best 15:47.4. Fourth local finisher at New England. Middle school state champ in eighth grade. Also plays basketball.

JACKSON MAZEJKA

Salem Junior

Captain and team’s No. 1 runner all year. One of the most consistent runners in the area. Came on strong at Division 1 state meet, finishing 11th as second local finisher with a Derryfield Park personal-best 5K time of 16:32.2. Qualified for New England with 16:02.6 (5K) clocking for 23rd place at Meet of Champions. Ran a 16:06.33 5K for third at Pelham Invite. Three-season runner. Had best 1,600-meter time last spring of 4:37.28.

Honorable Mention

Andover — Jack Sipley, Sr.

Brooks — Alex Tobias, Soph., Andover

Central Catholic — Matt Giannasca, Jr.; Cormac Crippen, Sr.; Luke Ryan, Sr.

Greater Lawrence — Wander Languasco, Sr.; Marcos Olivieri, Frosh.; Owen Carlton, Soph.

Haverhill — Ben Craven, Jr.; Collin Daugherty, Soph.

Lawrence — Cristian Bueno, Sr.

Methuen — Freddy Coleman, Soph.; Mitchell Crowe, Jr.; Jason Dibble, Soph.

North Andover — Jett Stad, Sr.; Chris Brady, Sr.; Segev Moretz, Sr.

Pelham — Josh Nottebart, Sr.; Cam Dufault, Sr.

Pentucket — Keegan Comeau, Sr.; Colin Costa, Jr.; Sam Stys, Sr.

Phillips Academy — Sam Capobianco, Jr.

Pinkerton Academy — Zach Plaza, Sr.

PMA — Emmanuel Reynoso, Sr.

Salem — Massi Bosli, Sr.

Sanborn — Dylan Khalil, Jr.; Owen Stocker, Jr.

Timberlane — Kyle Duffy, Sr.; Matthew Fairhurst, Sop.

Whittier — Jack Venturi, Soph.; Azariah Hooper, Soph.; Karl Rask, Soph.

Windham — Trey Gonzalez, Sr.

Windham — L

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