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High School Cross Country: Ndahayo, Julia Robitaille are tops at Manchester City Cross Country Meet

By CHRIS DUFFY
Chief Sports Editor

October 13. 2017 11:21PM

Trinity's Emmanuel Ndahayo wins the boys' division during the city cross country meet held at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Friday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)



MANCHESTER — “Running scared,” in the words of Trinity High’s Emmanuel Ndahayo, worked very well for him in winning the boys’ competition in Friday’s Manchester City Cross Country Meet at Derryfield Park.

Ndahayo, a senior, blazed to a 17:32, leading the Pioneers to an easy defense of their team triumph. Trinity scored 29 points to “double up” runner-up Manchester Memorial (58 points).

On the girls’ side, junior Julia Robitaille of West continued to assert herself as the city’s best runner, defending her individual city title in a personal-best 18:08 for the demanding 3.1-mile course. Robitaille’s closest competition came from her identical twin sister, Corinne, who ran a 19:41.

Central, led by another set of twins, Katelyn and Keegan Pepin, won the team title with 19 points. Katelyn took third, in 20:07, and Keegan was fifth, in 20:53.

On a spectacular autumn afternoon, Ndahayo, fifth in the city meet last season, battled with West’s Max Frazier for most of the race. “I passed him on the downhill (McIntyre Ski Area) at the beginning of the third mile,” said Ndahayo. From there, Ndahayo gradually pulled away, winning by 20 seconds and stamping himself as a contender when the division meets are held in two weeks on the same Derryfield course.

West's Julia Robitaille, right, won the girls' division during the city cross country meet held at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Friday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

Julia Robitaille beat her personal best at Derryfield, accomplished in the division meet last year, by 27 seconds. “I was trying to run faster to the two-mile mark because generally, if I start faster, I finish faster,” she said.

Corinne Robitaille — older than her sister by one minute — played soccer at West until she tore her ACL last September. She recovered in time for spring track and promptly broke the school record in the 400 meters, according to West coach Leo Ducharme.

“They work so hard,” said Ducharme, referring to the Robitaille girls. “I am lucky to be coaching them.”

Central’s top five girls placed third, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth overall, pleasing assistant coach Kaleigh Campbell, the Pepins’ older sister. “The times were the best so far this season,” she said. “We’re going in the right direction.”

Boys’ team scores

1, Trinity, 29; 2, Memorial, 58; 3, Central, 69; 4, West, 102.

Top 15

1, Ndahayo, T, 17:34, 2, Frazier, W, 17:54; 3, Donovan, T, 18:02, 4, Clark, M, 18:10; 5, Barrett, T, 18:15; 6, Girard, W, 18:25; 7, McGahey, C, 18:34; 8, Discua, M, 18:37; 9, Cote, T, 18:39; 10, Young, C, 18:41; 11, Dunn, T, 18:45; 12, Meehan, T, 18:54; 13, Fraser, M, 18:54; 14, Vo, C, 18:57; 15, Macara, M, 19:12

Girls’ team scores

1, Central, 19; 2, Memorial, 46.

Top 15

1, Julia Robitaille, W, 18:08, 2, Corinne Robitaille, W, 19:41; 3, Katelyn Pepin, C, 20:07, 4, Nault, M, 20:32; 5, Keegan Pepin, C, 20:53; 6, Ducharme, C, 21:50; 7, Krantz, C, 21:58; 8, Crain, C, 22:05; 9, Topic, C, 22:33; 10, Graziano, M, 22:50; 11, Cavignano, T, 23:14; 12, Eng, M, 23:26; 13, Rogers, C, 24:07; 14, Mercier, M, 24:12; Tsang, C, 24:20

The boys start up the first hill during the city cross country meet held at Derryfield Park in Manchester on Friday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)


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