by Liz HaasOn Saturday, the 30th of October, 158 girls and 163 boys ran in theDivision II cross country state meet. Only the top six of each of the23 girls’ teams and 24 boys’ teams qualify to run in the Meet ofChampions at Nashua South on November 5th. With the girls’ team comingin second to Coe-Brown and the boys’ team coming in fourth, both teamswill be competing against other top teams in the state at Nashua thisweek.
Lucy Skinner runs with abandon. Photo: John Haas
Leah Eikoff leads the girls to victory. Photo: John Haas.
What was the secret to the Marauders’ success when the girls wereranked only 10th in the state earlier in the season, and the boys did not even make the list? The answer is teamwork, strong leadership,good coaching, and never giving up hope. Leah Eickhoff led the girls to victory. As the first Hanover runner,she took 7th place overall with a time of 19:21. Second for Hanover,Parker Goss ran a 20:02 5k, finishing 15th. Liz Haas, Hanover’snumber three runner, ran a 20:28 5k to come in 23rd. She was closelyfollowed by number four on the team, Aidan Bardos, who, with her amazing kick, finished 25th in 20:34. Lucy Skinner was next,finishing 29th in 20:47. Emily Nice and Lydia Vogt took 35th and 36th, with times 21:04 and 21:08, respectively. With no girls in the topfive, Hanover used its great depth of ability to secure its second place victory, since all of its scoring runners were in the top 30.
Scout Wallace flies by. Photo: John Haas.
In the boys’ race, sophomore Noah Williams, and senior Nat Lowrey close behind, came in 7th and 8th as Hanover’s top two runners. Number three was Josh Murphy, who finished 29th. He was followed by sophomore Sam Merrens and junior Jacob Kornfeld, who finished 49th and 50th. Ben Stallman and Scout Wallace took 54th and 60th. The boys used Williams’ and Lowrey’s exceptional speed to secure their spot at Nashua. It is easy to see how much heart these teams have simply by observing their pre-race rituals. Not only do they warm up together, but captains pull their runners aside to give last-minute pep talks. Bothteams, plus the JV runners, who come to support their teammates,
Sam Merrens edges ahead. Photo: John Haas.
circle up for a final “MAROON CRUSH” before the gun goes off. Thegirls’ JV team even made shirts spelling out “M-A-R-O-O-N” on the front and “C-R-U-S-H-!” on the back. Hanover cross country has had a long tradition of being an inseparable powerhouse of a team. Even inthis rebuilding year, they have shown this to still be true.If Hanover places among the top six teams at Nashua, the team willqualify for the 2010 New England race, this year to be held inThetford, Vermont. To achieve this, the runners will have to step uptheir game. The girls’ team has a fair chance at making the cut, withthe 4th fastest cumulative time in the entire state last week. Theboys need their third through fifth runners to really pick up the paceif they hope to qualify. Either way, both teams have accomplishedmore than was expected of them and have shown that Hanover is stillcompetitive in cross country, with many thanks to Head Coach Jim Eakinand Assistant Coaches Stan Crane and Eric Picconi.