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November 07. 2013 11:01PM

Runners gird for N.E. XC meet Saturday in Manchester

Six girls' and boys' teams representing New Hampshire will be competing in the 79th annual New England High School Cross Country Championships Saturday at Derryfield Park in Manchester.

Teams representing the New Hampshire girls are Bishop Guertin of Nashua, Coe-Brown Academy of Northwood, Concord, Pinkerton Academy of Derry, Nashua North and Winnacunnet of Hampton.

In the boys' race, Coe-Brown, Nashua South, Oyster River of Durham, Pinkerton, Portsmouth and Souhegan of Amherst will be running from the Granite State.

The girls' race will begin at 11:30 a.m. The boys' race will follow at 12:30 p.m. The top six teams and 25 runners from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont will challenge the hilly 5,000-meter course through open fields and woods.

Last year, in Cumberland, Maine, the Barrington, R.I., girls totaled 75 points to win the regional title, topping Coe-Brown of Northwood with 132 points and Champlain Valley (Vt.) Union with 176. La Salle Academy of Providence, R.I., finished fourth last year and is currently ranked 17th nationally in the latest Dyestat poll.

This season, La Salle knocked off Barrington for the Rhode Island state title and Coe-Brown defeated Champlain Valley twice, by margins of five and seven points in two respective meets.

In the girls' race, Emma McMillan of Barrington is considered the favorite to win the meet Saturday. The sophomore finished third overall in 19:07.13 last year.

Locally sophomore Elisabeth Danis of Coe-Brown and senior Emma Newton of Hollis/Brookline finished in the top 25 last year. Danis placed 17th overall in 19:47.04 and Newton finished 22nd in 19:53.23.

Other New Hampshire runners to watch are junior Shannon Murdock of Exeter, sophomore Brooke Laskowsky and junior Hannah Parker, both of Coe-Brown, and Smita Boesch-Dining of Concord.

In the boys' race, Josef Holt-Andrews of Telstar, Maine, a fifth-place finisher last year in 16:28.47, is the top returning runner from last season. The top New Hampshire runner back is Jeremy Brassard of Coe-Brown who finished 19th last season in 16:52.77. Brassard won the Meet of Champions race last Saturday for the second straight season.

Other local runners to watch are Tim Fafard of Mascenic of New Ipswich, Cameron Daly of Inter-Lakes of Meredith and Justin Carbone of Exeter.

Last year, Bishop Hendricken amassed 85 points to capture the boys' regional title for the 11th time in program history.

For a complete list of qualifiers, visit lancertiming.com.


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