Manchester Central runners Emily Harris and Abe Gagnon are favored to win their respective races in the annual Manchester City Cross Country Championships today at Derryfield Park.
Seen as a tune-up for the upcoming NHIAA Division Meets on Oct. 26 in Manchester, the city meet will commence at 4 p.m. with the girls’ race, followed by the boys’ race at 4:40 p.m.
“The boys’ team race might be decided by one or two points between Memorial and Central,” said Central coach Coby Jacobus. “It’s that close.”
West coach Leo Ducharme said the Central girls will be tough to beat.
“They have depth,” said Ducharme. “The Memorial boys have depth, which could be the difference. But Central has two top runners that could decide the outcome as well. It’ll be fun to watch.”
Gagnon, of Hooksett, who is home-schooled, is one of the top 10 runners in the state. He ran a 16:27 time in the recent Manchester Invitational Large Schools race.
“He has very good race awareness,” said Jacobus. “He has the ability to remain patient before making his move. Abe should win this race by 20 seconds, we hope.”
Gagnon and teammate freshman Carl Harris figure to battle Memorial junior Davis Clark and junior Brett Hoerner for the top spot.
Ducharme said West will be led by sophomore Ehsun Farooq and senior Chaim Tendler. Senior Byrne Cronin of Trinity ran a good race in the Manchester Invitational Small Schools race.
The Manchester Central girls’ team placed 13th overall in the Manchester Invitational behind junior Emily Harris and junior Jen Murphy. Sophomore Meagan Nault of Memorial, freshman Eireann Kolden of Trinity and West juniors Brittney Bolduc and Vanessa Avard are among the top runners.
For the second straight season, Alvirne of Hudson will participate in the meet. “Their scores won’t count, but they wanted to take advantage of running on the course before the division meets,” said Ducharme.