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XC Eagles open season at Early Bird

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Gilford freshman Carly White makes her way through the course at Gunstock en route to a 26th place finish at the annual Early Bird Invitational on Friday afternoon. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
September 01, 2014
GILFORD Thanks to a plethora of freshmen competing in their first career high school races, the Gilford High School cross country team performed quite well in the annual Early Bird Invitational at Gunstock Mountain on Friday afternoon.

The girls' team took home seventh place on the day, compiling 154 points thanks to five freshmen harriers. Bow won the girls' event with 59 points while Hopkinton (74) and Plymouth (92) rounded out the top three.

A pair of freshmen led the way for the girls' squad, as Madison Relf and Carly White finished 25th and 26th overall respectively on the afternoon. Relf crossed the line as the top Gilford runner with a time of 26 minutes, 10 seconds, while White was right behind with a time of 26:14.

Senior Lauren Mercuri was third across the line in 32nd place, as she finished in 26:48 for the Eagles. Freshman Elizabeth Relf was 40th overall (27:25), while classmate Kaitlyn Callahan was the team's final scoring runner in 62nd place (30:12).

Freshman Briah Welch was 86th overall for Gilford, as she crossed in 33:13. Teammate Haley MacLeod also cracked the top 100 in 96th position (36:33).

On the boys' side, Gilford finished in eighth place as a team with 199 points. Derryfield won the race with 68 points, while Inter-Lakes (86) and Hopkinton (90) finished second and third respectively.

The familiar 1-2 tandem of junior Ryan LaFrance and senior Matthew Young paced the Eagles on the day, as LaFrance took an impressive fourth place overall (17:39) while Young nabbed 12th place (19:49).

Senior Cody MacLeod was Gilford's number three scorer in 73rd position (24:05), while freshman Travis Shute was next across in 79th position (24:22). Rounding things out scoring-wise for the Eagles was sophomore Alex Amann, who wound up 87th overall (24:36).

Sophomore Ben Altmire took 93rd overall with a time of 25:07, while senior Ryan DuBois (117th, 27:34), freshman Cam White (126th, 28:26) and sophomore Anthony Eldridge (132nd, 29:06) rounded out the boys' team at Gunstock.

The boys' race was won overall by Inter-Lakes junior Cam Daly, as he crossed the line with a time of 17:24. The girls' race was captured by Jessica Schanlaber of White Mountains in 20:52.

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