Seniors Julia Thurston, Hazel Lillis, and Rowan Clough (L to R, respectively, in black Harwood shirts) all put forth great effort in one of the last races of their high school careers. Photo: Robert Cummiskey

On Saturday, October 21, the Harwood cross-country team made the short trek north on Route 100 to Stowe to compete at the Northern Vermont (Mountain Division) Cross Country Championships. 



Conditions were less than ideal for the Highlanders. The race took place on a trail that included the Stowe Quiet path and the Stowe Recreation Path. There was 2 inches of rain overnight and puddles in some places were 6 inches deep. The extremely level terrain and sloppy conditions did not support the efforts of the Harwood runners. “Our kids love hills, we live in the hills, train on the hills and love to race on them. This was more like a track race,” said head coach, John Kerrigan. Despite the unfavorable terrain and wet conditions, the teams did well as a team and had several runners get personal record times. 

Chris Cummiskey led the HU boys in 19th place, the HU junior was followed by Quinn Smith (27), Brody Hackett (29), Cooper Hansel (42), Wyatt Ross (48), Callum Robison (50) and Nicky Service (56).

Hansel had his highest team finish ever. “Cooper is normally around our sixth or seventh man. He finished fourth for us today. Callum also had a PR. Freshman Hackett bettered his personal record time by over 30 seconds. It may have been even greater had he not fallen after going down on the Stowe version of the Floating Bridge. Despite the water aerobics he finished strong for us” said Kerrigan.  

Mason Jones also had a personal best time finishing 20th in the JV race 

Saint Johnsbury won the varsity boys’ race. HU boys finished fifth in the 11-team field. 

Harwood girls were led by Heidi Haraldsen (9). The Harwood junior was followed by seniors Julia Thurston (10), Hazel Lillis (21), Rowan Clough (26). Pippa Diller (30), Harmony DeVoe (37) and Julia Cisz (38) who contributed to Harwood’s fourth-place team finish  

U-32 girls who are currently ranked No. 3 overall in the state of Vermont finished first. 

Eireann McDonough (8) and Janelle Hoskins (11) who also had a PR led the HU JV girls.  

Harwood cross country will compete at the Vermont State Championships in Thetford on Saturday, October 28.  

“Make the trip to the Upper Valley this Saturday to cheer on the Highlander XC teams. Girls race at 10:30 a.m. and boys at noon,” Kerrigan added.