Ruth White Looks to Defend New England Cross-Country Title

Defending New England champion Ruth White of Orono, Maine is back and in form looking to repeat on Saturday at 87th New England Cross-Country Championship. The race will take place on the covered bridge trail at Ponganset High School in North Scituate, Rhode Island. Weather is likely to play a factor in the race on Saturday as heavy rain is expected on Friday night.

Two weeks ago White a junior won the Maine Class C state title for the second consecutive year in commanding fashion. She ran 18:02 to move to second fastest in state meet history on the tough layout at Twin Brook. White was never challenged and posted a winning margin of 1:27. Ruth a junior won the New England title a year ago at Thetford Academy in muddy conditions as she gapped the field early and never looked back en route to a 18:44 effort, and 23 second margin of victory

Rhode Island state champion Sophia Gorriaran a senior from Moses Brown will look to challenge White for the title. Gorriaran clocked 18:18 on the Ponaganset course last week as she easily won the Rhode Island state title by a margin of 41 seconds. She has raced infrequently this fall leaving her with fresh legs, and should the race come down to a kick her 2 flat 800m speed should come in handy.

New Hampshire Meet of Champions winner Brianna Malone of Portsmouth of Portsmouth Christian dominated last weekend with a 18:04 trot on the Alvrine High School course. Malone won handily with a 46 second margin of victory. She finished 13th in the race a year ago.

Vermont state champion Alice Kredell of Champlain Valley is another top flight contender. Kredell placed ninth as a freshman last year, eeked out a two second victory at the Vermont state meet over Scarlet Stimson of Essex two weeks ago. In last week's Meet of Champions race Kredell's teammate Estella Laird took top honors, with Stimson second and Kredell third.

Brooke Strauss won the CT State Open and leads Glastonbury into the NE Champs.

Connecticut State Open champion Brooke Strauss figures to mix it up with the top talent in New England too. Strauss who was just seventh at the Class LL meet two weeks ago covered the Wickham Park course in 19:05 to win by six seconds over Trumbull junior Katie Marchand by six seconds. Strauss is a big meet runner as a freshman a year ago she placed 7th in the New England Champion.

Others to watch for are Maine Class B champion Cary Drake of York who finished fifth a year ago. Drake is running better than ever heading into the weekend after a light racing schedule in September. Maine Class A champion Addy Thibodeau of Bonny Eagle is another contender of a top ten finish, she ran 19:04 to win two weeks, she is much improved from her 58th effort a year ago. Sydney Kelleher of New Milford, CT had an off day at the State Open placing 11th, she was undefeated leading into that meet, and figures to rebound on Saturday after placing 11th a year ago. Caroline Cummings of LaSalle Academy was the Rhode Island state runner-up and will look to improve on her 12th place finish from 2021.

New Milford, CT is the defending New England Champion.

The team race looks to be between just a handful of teams with Connecticut State Open champion Glastonbury heading into the race a slight favorite over the rest of the field. Lead by Brooke Strauss. Glastonbury had five runners inside the top 31 at the State Open including four at 20:01 or faster on the course at Wickham Park. They tallied 65 points to defeat defending New England champion New Milford by 66 points. Last year's surprise runner-up Bonny Eagle of Maine crushed the competition in Maine all fall as they tallied 32 points to win the Class A title with their five scorers inside the top 15. Vermont state champion Champlain Valley will look to challenge for the top spot once again after winning the Vermont D1 title with just 27 points. They are no stranger to success at New England's winning in 2016, 2018, and 2019. Don't count out defending champion New Milford of Connecticut who was the runner-up to Glastonbury at the State Open, they have one of the best top fours in the meet and if their fifth runner can close the gap they certainly can be on top once again. Rhode Island champion East Greenwich looks to be in the mx as well after winning the team title with 67 points as they averaged 20:13 on the Ponaganset course last week.