photo from @RedhawkXC1
Vermont State Champion Champlain Valley might sit just third in the virtual meet but don't be fooled they are the team to beat on Saturday at the New England XC Championship at Derryfield Park in Manchester, NH. The Red Hawks dominated the Vermont championship where they went 1-2-3, and placed all seven runners in the top ten. They averaged 20:10 on the tough layout at Thetford Academy on their way to winning their 10th straight D1 title.
Champlain Valley ran on the course at Derryfield Park back in September at the Manchester Invitational, they bested the field in the Large school race by 48 points and in the process averaged 19:58 as a team in warm conditions.
Connecticut State Open Champion Danbury figures to be in the mix for a top three finish, along with Immaculate who finished just one point behind the Hatters last week. Danbury finished 4th at the Manchester Invitational earlier this fall.
Rhode Island State Champion Portsmouth has the firepower up front to tally a low score. The Patriots have two returning All New Englands runners in RI state champion Elizabeth Sullivan and Nikki Merrill, they averaged 19:35 on the fast course at Ponaganset.
Maine state champion Bonny Eagle leads the way in the virtual meet partially because they run on three pretty fast courses throughout the year which has skewed the data a bit. Don't sleep on the Scots though they won by 39 points at states averaging 19:35. Earlier this fall they finished 6th at the Manchester Invitational with a 20:34 team average.
The New Hampshire teams will have the home course advantage. Exeter HS edged Coe-Brown by three points at the Meet of Champions last weekend, not much separates the two schools and both are capable of a top finish. Exeter averaged 19:43 while Coe-Brown had a 19:45 average.