Lincoln Gage and Quinn Smith approaching the finish line (Quinn actually passed Lincoln just before the finish.)  Photo: Robert Cummiskey

On Saturday, September 10, Harwood Union cross-country coach John Kerrigan brought his young team to compete at the Burlington Invitational.


Due to issues at Burlington HS, for the second straight year, the races were held off the Burlington/North Beach campus. The BHS Invitational was held at Hard’ack field in St. Albans. This is the same course that UVM uses for its home cross-country course.

Weather conditions were less than ideal for a 5K race on the flat, open and sunny course. Temperatures were in the 90s with high humidity. Several runners from opposing teams collapsed in the heat and were unable to finish.

“Although our runners were stressed, all were able to finish. Team captain Charlie Flint gave adequate warning to her team members and they listened. All of our runners were properly hydrated,” Kerrigan said.

“We are a much smaller and younger team than what we have had in the past. There are only two seniors among our 24 participants. Due to our youth, lack of experience, injuries and the fact that the course was unfamiliar and very flat, I was not expecting outstanding results,” Kerrigan said.

The young Harwood girls’ team surprised coach Kerrigan with a sixth-place team finish, finishing only 20 points behind third-place Essex. CVU girls won the varsity race. Charlie Flint made the podium with a sixth-place finish among some of the top runners in the state. Julia Thurston placed (15), Maisie Frank (26,) Hazel Lillis (39) and Libby Spina (56) supported Flint’s strong result.

The varsity boys placed 10th among mostly D 1 teams. Harwood had three sophomores and one junior in the top four. They were led by sophomores Indy Metcalf (28) and Chris Cummiskey (40), junior Quinn Smith (41), sophomore Lincoln Gage (49)

In the JV races, freshmen Chapin Rivers and Pippa Diller had excellent debuts in their first high school races, Kerrigan reported. Rivers finished 28th in the JV boys and Diller finished 20th in the JV girls. There were over 120 runners in each of the four races.

Harwood XC will compete this Saturday at the U-32 Invitational. Both U-32 boys’ and girls’ teams are ranked among the top three in Vermont. Races start at 10 a.m. at the East Montpelier campus.