SENIORS (back row, l to r), Jake Saucier, Tuckerman Jones, Jordan Canney, Nils Babcock and Austin Beveridge and (front row, l to r), Molly Gwizdala, Haley Manson and Hanne Heinrich pose for a photo after their final home meet on Thursday. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 22, 2012WOLFEBORO — The Kingswood cross country team couldn't have picked a better day for its lone home meet of the season.
Just two days after blustery and cold conditions raced through the area and only a day before rain pummeled the Lakes Region, the Knights played host to Oyster River, Sanborn, Plymouth, Kennett and Laconia at the Kingswood complex on Oct. 18.
The course had to be redesigned a bit in order to accommodate the new fields and the fences that go along with them, but the quick times made it apparent that the runners didn't have many problems on the course.
"I think the kids were surprised that the downhill was about half a mile," coach Paul Harvey said. "They didn't realize how much speed they would get from that.
"And I think a lot of time was made up in that spot," the Knight coach continued.
When all was said and done, the Knight boys and girls both came home with second place, with Kennett getting the win in both races.
The girls went out first and Laconia's Sami Hicks captured the victory with a time of 18:52, more than a minute ahead of her closest competition.
Kingswood's first runner was junior Michaela Flagg, who raced to a fifth place finish overall in a time of 21:11.
She was followed closely by senior Molly Gwizdala, who recorded a time of 21:15 for sixth place and senior Hanne Heinrich, who placed seventh in 21:19.
Freshman Bridget Kiley-Hubbard was Kingswood's fourth scorer, as she ran to a time of 22:04 for 13th place overall. Melissa Manson rounded out the scoring for Kingswood with a 25th place finish in 24:13.
Adrianna Payton finished in 28th place in a time of 24:25, while Stacey Kelleher was 33rd in a time of 25:19. Ally Hopkins crossed in 25:28 for 36th place and Madison Trites rounded out the field of Knights with her 41st place finish in a time of 25:52.
On the boys' side of things, freshman Hunter Miller continued his impressive campaign with a fourth place finish in a time of 17:10 to lead the way for the Knights. Kennett's Nick Brown was the overall winner in 16:34.
Dylan Tarbox came home second among Kingswood runners, placing eighth overall in a time of 17:36, while Jake Saucier raced to 11th in a time of 17:58 to finish as the third scorer for Kingswood.
Seth Richardson was 12th overall in 18:07 and Nils Babcock took 13th in 18:16 to round out the scoring for the Knights.
Austin Beveridge ran to 19th in 18:45, with Jordan Canney coming in at 19:11 for 27th place. Sean Stackhouse finished 30th in 19:39 and Tuckerman Jones place 38th in 20:43. Zack Holt rounded out the Kingswood field in 52nd place in 25:07.
"Each race they got a little faster and push each other a little more," Harvey said. "So Manchester (State Meet) will be interesting for us, to see how we do as a team."
Harvey also extended his thanks to the many people who helped out throughout the day, including fellow coach Sarah Christian and Harvey's wife Pam, who handled the tabulating of the results.
Volunteers on the course also included the last two coaches of the Kingswood team, Katy Peternel and Kara Jacobs. And with former coach Fergus Cullen in town with his Oyster River girls, Kingswood coaches covering the last 10 years were part of the race.
"We had a lot of help out on the course," Harvey said. "Thanks to everyone who pitched in."
The Knights will now compete in the Division II championships, which will take place at Manchester's Derryfield Park on Saturday, Oct. 27. The girls race at 11:30 a.m. and the boys race at 12:10 p.m.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126