Marauders Advance to Meet of Champs

Girls’ Starting Line. Photo: John Haas

by Liz Haas On Saturday, the 30th of October, 158 girls and 163 boys ran in the Division II cross country state meet. Only the top six of each of the 23 girls’ teams and 24 boys’ teams qualify to run in the Meet of Champions at Nashua South on November 5th. With the girls’ team coming in second to Coe-Brown and the boys’ team coming in fourth, both teams will be competing against other top teams in the state at Nashua this week.

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 were ranked 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’s number three runner, ran a 20:28 5k to come in 23rd. She was closely followed 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 top five, 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.  Both teams, 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.  The girls’ 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 in this rebuilding year, they have shown this to still be true.If Hanover places among the top six teams at Nashua, the team will qualify for the 2010 New England race, this year to be held in Thetford, Vermont. To achieve this, the runners will have to step up their game. The girls’ team has a fair chance at making the cut, with the 4th fastest cumulative time in the entire state last week. The boys need their third through fifth runners to really pick up the paceif they hope to qualify.  Either way, both teams have accomplished more than was expected of them and have shown that Hanover is still competitive in cross country, with many thanks to Head Coach Jim Eakin and Assistant Coaches Stan Crane and Eric Picconi.

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