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October 09. 2012 9:06PM

Manchester XC Invitational: Conway excels in girls' race, Gagnon top city boy

Elizabeth Conway, from Central, starts out in front and stays there to win the girls race during the Manchester High School Cross Country City Championship on Tuesday at Derryfield Park. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — Elizabeth Conway and Abram Gagnon each got off to a slow start in Tuesday's Manchester High School Cross Country City Championship, but there was nothing slow about how either finished.

Conway and Gagnon each placed first among Manchester runners to help Manchester Central prevail in the girls' and boys' races at Derryfield Park.

Conway completed the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 53 seconds. Gagnon finished first in 16:38.

“I think in this meet, because the field was small, getting out quick wasn't as important as, say, the Manchester Invitational or the New Englands, for example,” Central boys' coach Coby Jacobus said. “There are a lot of courses where you have to go out hard because it gets narrow and there's so many people. But in a smaller race like this you have the ability to be a little bit more conservative.”

Central took the top four spots, and six of the first 10 in the girls' race. The Little Green won with 16 points. Manchester Memorial was next with 54, followed by Trinity of Manchester (84) and Manchester West (93).

“I had six girls finish in under 22 minutes today, which is huge,” Central girls coach Kelly Fox said. “Not a lot of teams can say that. I had four girls under 21 minutes. I think we're in a really good position right now going into (the Division I meet) in a couple weeks. There's still work to be done, but I'm pretty confident that these girls are going to run great races at the divisional championship.”

Conway, a senior who also won this event last year, finished 48 seconds ahead of Central's Laurel Gagnon, Abram's sister, who was second.

“I didn't feel the need to go out fast, so I took it out slow — slow for me,” Conway said. “Time wasn't really the goal today. It was definitely just to place.”

Four Central runners finished among the top 10 in the boys' race. Central prevailed with 27 points. Memorial was second with 42, Trinity ran third with 75 and West was fourth with 83.

Gagnon, a sophomore, crossed the finish line 12 seconds ahead of teammate Jamison Couture, who ran second. Gagnon finished seventh in this event last year.

“I usually go out conservatively,” Gagnon said. “I wasn't too worried about my time, we just wanted to win as a team today.”

In addition to the four Manchester schools, Alvirne also competed in the race. A second set of scores were totaled that included the Alvirne runners.

Alvirne's Aaron Bellomo was the top overall finisher in the boys' race (16:38). Lydia Lyman, who finished third in 20:05.2, was Alvirne's top female finisher.

The Broncos placed second in the girls' race. The Alvirne boys ran third.

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Roger Brown may be reached at

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Manchester High School Cross Country City Championship
At Derryfield Park (3.1 miles)
Top 25 Girls
1. Elizabeth Conway (Central) 18:53; 2. Laurel Gagnon (Central) 19:41; 3. Lydia Lyman (Alvirne) 20:05.2; 4. Emily Harris (Central) 20:05.4; 5. Jen Murphy (Central) 20:39; 6. Kasie Bourque (Trinity) 21:09; 7. Erica Notini (Alvirne) 21:23; 8. Holly Webster (Central) 21:27; 9. Rachel Avard (West) 21:28; 10. Kaitlin George (Memorial) 21:31; 11. Rebecca Walker (Central) 21:48; 12. Lindsey Lussier (Memorial) 21:53; 13. Meagan Nault (Memorial) 21.57.2. 14. Marie Morrier (Alvirne) 21:57.7; 15. Amber Tremblay (Memorial) 22:06; 16. Emily Amlaw (Memorial) 22:07; 17. Vanessa Monzan (Memorial) 22:12; 18. Brianna Dionne (Memorial) 22:29; 19. Karolyne Stimpson (Trinity) 22:31; 20. Sidney Calvagna (Alvirne) 22:35; 21. Emily Mascari (Alvirne) 22:36; 22. Kearsten Pichette (Central) 22:37; 23. Eliza Conrad (Central) 22:39; 24. Caitlyn Van Avery (Central) 22:40; 25. Samantha Gauthier (Central). 22:45.

Top 25 Boys
1. Aaron Bellomo (Alvirne) 16:38; 2. Abram Gagnon (Central) 16:50; 3. Jamison Couture (Central) 17:02; 4. Zach Reynold (Memorial) 17:11; 5. Phillip Demers (Alvirne) 17:36; 6. Ryan Nordie (Central) 17:39; 7. Davis Clark (Memorial) 17:43; 8. Scott Hill (West) 17:51; 9. Adam LeBow (Central) 17:56; 10; Brett Hoerner (Memorial) 17:56.4; 11. Shawn Dunphy (Trinity) 17:57; 12. Bryne Cronin (Trinity) 18:03; 13. Adam Vargas (Memorial) 18:10; 14. Ehsun Farooq (West); 15. Tyler Thompson (Central) 18:22; 16, Connor Luby (Central) 18:37; 17. Parker Leonard (Memorial), 18:44; 18. Joe Lamontagne (Trinity) 18:56; 19. Constantine Routos (Memorial). 19:03; 20. Chaim Tendler (West) 19:03.8; 21. Carlos Turner (Trinity), 19:07; 22. William Kliskey (Memorial) 19:13; 23. Daniel O'Connor (Memorial) 19:22; 24. Ryan Doyle (Alvirne) 19:32; 25. Kyle Saunders (Alvirne) 19:39.

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