ALI ROGERS rounds the final corner in Saturday’s Division III State Meet. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 29, 2012MANCHESTER — Cross country is a fickle sport. One not look further than the Prospect Mountain boys' team.
The Timber Wolves went into Saturday's Division III State Meet with hopes of moving on to the Meet of Champions for the first time as a team.
While that wasn't meant to be, the Timber Wolves did qualify two boys to move on to the Meet of the Champions and with the addition of one Lady Timber Wolf, Prospect will be represented by three runners at the Meet of Champions this weekend.
"That's how cross country is," coach John Tuttle said. "That's why cross country is the ultimate team sport."
What Tuttle was referencing was an ankle injury to the team's number four runner, Shane McCartney. The Timber Wolf junior hurt his ankle on the hill about 1.5 miles into the race but still gutted out a finish and almost got the Timber Wolves into the Meet of Champions. Prospect finished in sixth place, just five points out of the fifth spot, which would've moved them on.
"I was still thrilled with how the boys ran," Tuttle said.
Junior Drew Tuttle led the way for the Timber Wolves, finishing ninth overall in a time of 17:08, qualifying him for the Meet of Champions.
He will have a little company in the boys' race, as fellow junior Mike Fife finished in 14th place overall in 17:38 to also qualify to move on. Sophomore Cody Symonds ran to 34th place in 18:13 to finish as the third Timber Wolf runner.
Sophomore Dylan Tuttle ended up as the fourth Timber Wolf finisher with a time of 19:27 for 63rd place, while McCartney came home on just one good ankle with a solid 89th place finish in 20:00.
Austin Perrin was 111th in 20:35 and Gave Varney was 114th in 20:39 to round out the field of Timber Wolves.
The average time for the boys was 18:14, which was three minutes faster than the school record, which the boys set last year.
"That made me feel good," Tuttle said.
Drew Tuttle and Fife will have a little company on the trip to the Meet of Champions, as sophomore Ali Rogers led the girls to an 11th place finish with a time of 22;06. That finish placed her 23rd overall, which was the final spot to qualify for the Meet of Champions.
"She showed a lot of guts going out with the top 15 and hanging in there the whole way," Tuttle said. "Ali ran the race of her life, I'd say."
Signe Therrien finished a strong second for the Timber Wolves with a time of 23:40 for 46th place and Natie Kendall finished in 68th place in a time of 24:53 to finish third for Prospect Mountain.
Freshman Annika Patterson was the fourth Prospect finisher in a time of 25:28 for 78th place and Lexi Normandin rounded out the scoring for the Timber Wolves with her time of 26:47 for 94th place overall.
"I was thrilled with how far they've come," Tuttle said of his squad.
Drew Tuttle, Fife and Rogers will be competing with the top runners in the state in the Meet of Champions at Nashua South High School on Saturday, Nov. 3. The girls race at 2:30 p.m. and the boys follow at 3:20 p.m.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126