Wyatt Ross (#29) and Atticus Ellis (#20) stride out to beat one of the U-32 runners to the finish line of Saturday’s home meet. Photos: Robert Cummiskey.

The Harwood Union cross-country team hosted about a dozen high school teams on Saturday, October 14, for the 36th annual Harwood Co-ed Cross Country Invitational. The co-ed invitational is unique in that both the boys’ and girls’ scores are added for a combined team score. The invitational usually attracts over 20 schools but numbers were down this year due to conflicts with other meets in Chittenden County. The NVAC West Championship took place on Friday, October 13, so many of the D2 teams that usually attend were not present.





Harwood girls won their portion of the co-ed championship by holding off a rapidly improving Montpelier team. Harwood placed all five scoring girls in the top nine. The Highlanders were led by Julia Thurston (1) who defended her championship from 2022. Heidi Haraldsen placed fourth, Hazel Lillis sixth, Pippa Diller eighth and Rowan Clough ninth.  

Harwood boys placed second to Montpelier in their portion of the meet. Montpelier High School boys are ranked among the top five boys’ teams in all of Vermont. The young Highlander team provided a great effort by placing Chris Cummiskey (fourth) and Brody Hackett (11th).  

Sophomore Chapin Rivers finished 14th, Cooper Hansel (17), Wyatt Ross (18), and Atticus Ellis (19) to support the Highlander boys.  

Harwood freshman, Callum Robison placed second in the JV boys’ race and Julia Cisz placed third in the JV girls’ race. 

The co-ed trophy (Hannah the Bear) was awarded to Montpelier HS. The Highlanders finished second. 

Harwood Middle School eighth-grader Brooke Greenberg won the middle school race, breaking the course record by over 30 seconds and finishing just 8 seconds behind the middle school boys’ course record. 

Harwood cross country travels to Stowe on Saturday, October 21, to participate in the NVAC Mountain Division Championship.