In her very first meeting with the entire girls’ team, co-captain Ava Thurston stated that her goal for the team was to win the Vermont State Division 2 Championship and be the best girls’ team in Vermont across all divisions.
The Harwood girls won the Division 2 state XC championship on October 30 with a crushing win over the 2020 state champion U-32. Step one accomplished!
On Saturday, November 6, at the Meet of Champions held in St. Albans, the Harwood girls accomplished Thurston’s second goal for the team. Despite missing two of their top seven runners they squeaked out a narrow two-point victory over Champlain Valley (2019 New England Champions). Mission accomplished!
Thurston helped her team’s cause with a 17-second victory over Division 1 state champion, Logan Hughes of BFA St. Albans. Hughes was the pre-race favorite since she was running on her home course. Thurston broke away from Hughes and freshman sensation Alice Kredell of CVU at the halfway point.
Senior Britta Zetterstrom had a personal best time of 19:29 and finished fifth among the best runners in Vermont. Julia Thurston showed that she has finally recovered from the sickness that plagued her during the state meet. The younger Thurston finished eighth. Elisa Clerici had a personal best time of 20:18 finishing just ahead of the fifth runner from CVU. Freshman Celia Wing also had a personal record of 21:22 finishing in 32nd place in the elite field of runners.
“With Charlie (Flint) out with an illness and Caelyn (McDonough) missing to take SATs, I thought there was no way we had a chance to win this race. Britta, Elisa and Celia all had personal bests. They really stepped it up. It gives us great momentum going into the New England’s next week,” said Coach John Kerrigan
Harwood boys finished ninth in the 14-team field of the best runners in Vermont. Despite being sick all week, Noah Rivera led all Harwood and had a personal best finishing the 5K race in 17:59 in 44th place overall. Freshman Indy Metcalf (51) had his best race of the year also achieving a personal record (18:15). Rye McCurtain (53) finished third for Harwood. Ebbe Lillis finished 58th and Chris Cummiskey (61). Freshman Lincoln Gage (63) also had a personal best to aid the Highlanders.
“Having three of our guys achieving personal best times in the last meet of the season was awesome,” Kerrigan said.
“It was a good way for our boys to finish the season. Our girls, however, will compete next weekend at the New England Championships,“ said Coach Kerrigan.
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