NHIAA Girls' Cross Country: It's Coe-Brown, Hopkinton and Winnacunnet
MANCHESTER - Coe-Brown Academy of Northwood and Hopkinton High School continued their dominant and winning ways and Winnacunnet of Hampton broke through for its first state title in girls' Division NHIAA cross country meets at Derryfield Park on Saturday.
Coe-Brown won its fourth straight Division II state championship in a race that featured a three-person duel for the individual crown that produced the three fastest times of the day.
Hopkinton raced to its seventh straight Division III title and ninth in the last 10 years.
Winnacunnet put its top five runners all within 35 seconds of each other to hold off Bishop Guertin of Nashua and Pinkerton Academy of Derry.
A pair of newcomers - one a senior and the other a freshman - led the winning Winnacunnet pack.
Senior soccer goalie turned runner Delaney Burns finished sixth for the Warriors and freshman Kelly Arsenault was ninth.
"They stepped up huge and all the others improved their times light years from last year," said coach Jay Damren. "We stressed the gap time between our runners from one to five and we knew if they were close together, we'd be in good shape."
Winnacunnet finished with 61 points, Bishop Guertin had 80 and Pinkerton 98.
The Warriors backed up their win in the large school division at last month's Manchester Invitational.
"Now we have to transition from the hills here to the flats of Nashua," Damren said. "If we do well there, we'll be back to the hills here again for the New Englands (in two weeks at Derryfield)."
Shannon Murdock, a junior from Exeter, won the Division I meet by 33 seconds over sophomore Morgan Sansing of Pinkerton. Murdock finished in 19:08.
Pinkerton sophomore Arie Vaillancourt was third in 19:24, Concord senior Smita Boesch-Dining was fourth in 19:29 and Emily Harrison of Manchester Central was fifth in 19:30.
Coe-Brown, which is going back to defend its Meet of Champions title, turned in another impressive performance.
The Bears put their top five runners in the top nine spots to win the race going away.
Up front, Hollis/Brookline senior Emma Newton edged a pair of sophomores, Elisabeth Danis of Coe-Brown and Maegan Doody of Oyster River of Durham, for the championship. Newton finished in 18:29, Danis in 18:30 and Doody in 18:31.
Doody and Danis were duking it out for the lead and Newton caught them both.
"Emma definitely took advantage of of the fact we were battling it out," Danis said. "She saw an opportunity and came up behind us. I'm really happy with how my race went. Emma's an amazing racer and I'm proud to lose to her. I'm ecstatic with where I finished. ... And it was an awesome day for our team."
Coe-Brown took the fourth through sixth spots with junior Hannah Parker, senior Jessie Carney and sophomore Brooke Laskowsky, and Meg Scannell was ninth.
"We wanted to put as many in the Top 10 as we could," said coach Tim Cox. "The girls ran great."
Coe-Brown had 26 points, Hollis-Brookline 101 and Hanover 124.
Sophomore Sarah Nadeau and freshman Maddie Clark gave Hopkinton a one-two punch at the top of the Division III race. Nadeau won the title in 19:29 and Clark was right behind in 19:38.
Hopkinton's fifth runner, Melissa Irwin, delivered an important result as well.
"We were looking for about a 24:30 out of her," said coach Rob Nadeau.
She finished in 23:19 for a 31st-place finish.
"That was the key," Nadeau said. "Bow all season had five in before we had five, It was a matter of getting our fifth in a good spot. It was an excellent day all around."
Hopkinton finished with 45 points and runnerup Bow had 59.
Junior Jessica Schanlaber of White Mountains Regional in Whitefield was third and junior Casey Hecox of Derryfield of Manchester was fourth.