Photo: Ann Zetterstrom. Harwood’s Jonah Busker placed 14th in the JV race.

The Harwood Union boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams’ merged team score at the 32nd annual Harwood Co-Ed Invitational of 62 points was almost half that of their closest competitor, Middlebury Union High School (118), giving runners an impressive victory at their own invitational.

Once again, Harwood girls were led by Ava Thurston (19:24) who took one of the top runners in the state, Emily Bloom (20:17) of Rice, on a 5-kilometer tour of the Harwood trails.

Harwood girls showed great depth. Britta Zetterstrom and Julianne Young followed Bloom in third and fourth place. Caelyn McDonough placed sixth. McDonough, one of the twins, was followed by the freshman triplets – Charlie Flint (8), Jill Rundle (10) and Anlu Thamm (11). Harwood girls placed four of their runners before the first girl from Middlebury, beating Middlebury by a score of 47-71.

Harwood boys came up just short of pulling an upset over Vergennes.  Vergennes boys soundly beat HU boys by 24 points two weeks ago at the U-32 Invitational.

Harwood boys (44) came up just two points shy of pulling an upset over Vergennes (46).  “Two of our runners were passed within sight of the finish line; that was the difference. Looks like it may be time for a little sprint workout this week,” said coach John Kerrigan.

Silas Yonkman podiumed (top 10) in the B race. The B race included the JV runners from all teams and the varsity runners from some of the smaller schools. Yonkman and his teammates, Ben White (12), Jack Murphy (13), Jonah Busker (14) and Mason Berry (15), were a formidable pack as they were beaten only by varsity runners.

Freshman Olivia Sprague (fourth) led the Harwood JV girls. Alex Pendo (11), Hadley Keilich (13), Laura Martinez (14), Madison Keilich (16) and Sarah Kate Smith (17) provided enough depth to lead the Harwood JV girls to a one-point victory over the varsity girls from Northfield.

Harwood XC travels to St. Johnsbury on Saturday, October 19, for the NVAC Mountain Division Championship.