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XC championship set for Saturday


by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

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Moultonborough Academy' Kelsey Mako (left) and Rachel Smith are two of the team's top runners entering this Saturday's NHIAA Division III State Championship at Manchester's Derryfield Park. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
October 20, 2014
MANCHESTER It's been building towards this.

The high school cross country season will reach its apex on Saturday, as the locals will take their talents to Derryfield Park for the annual NHIAA Division III State Championship. The girls' race is slated to kick off at 11:30 a.m., while the boys' race will follow at 12:10 p.m.

It's been an impressive year for the Lakes Region schools, as an influx of young talent has helped improve team standings in a big way. That has been especially noticeable for the Gilford High School and Moultonborough Academy girls' teams, as the pair have found themselves mixed up in some nail-biters throughout the fall. Several races saw just one or two points separating the two foes.

There have also been plenty of standout individual performances. Inter-Lakes junior Cam Daly has been dominant at times, winning most of the local races while competing with top runners state-wide. Add in a leap forward from Gilford's Ryan LaFrance and the improvement of Daly's teammate at I-L, Trevor Colby and the LR should be well-represented at the top of the leaderboard on Saturday.

Here's a closer look at some things to look for:

Last year's race

Underclassmen ruled last year's races, as junior Tim Fafard (Mascenic) won the boys' race while sophomore Sarah Nadeau (Hopkinton) was the girls' winner. None of the top three finishers in either race came from the senior class, meaning a lot of familiar faces will be back at the front of the packs come Saturday.

Inter-Lakes (last year's state championship finish in parentheses)

Top runners:

Boys

Cam Daly, jr. (second); Trevor Colby, sr. (eigth); Ambrose Bean, jr. (23rd); Johnny Cox (43rd); Ian Daly, fr.

Girls

Melissa Seeley, jr. (85th); Kaitlyn Gable, fr; Alaina Duchin, jr; Courtney Burrell, sr.; Kalee Tinker, sr. (91st).

What to expect: The Lakers were the top local side in last year's boys' race, putting three runners in the top 23 to take seventh place. Expect them to try and improve on that finish this year behind Daly, who finished second last year by 21 seconds to Fafard. With Colby also in the top 10 a year ago, the Lakers possess quite a formidable 1-2 punch.

Seeley was the runner-up at the Central Lakes Invitational in Gilford two weeks ago; Gable was 10th.

Moultonborough Academy

Top runners:

Boys

Quinlan Trexler, sr. (99th); Garrett McCarthy, fr. (128th); Alex Bassett, fr. (131st); Jack Fogarty, fr. (164th).

Girls

Rachel Smith, fr. (25th); Emily Blundo, jr.; Kelsey Mako, so. (46th); Meghan Hurley, jr.; Ella Morse, fr.; Lauren Hurley, fr.; Tess Erskine, sr. (75th).

What to expect: It's been an outstanding year for the girls' team, as MA won several races during the regular season including three events in a one week span (Newfound, Laconia, Moultonborough). With an incredibly young core, the Panthers should give a nice accounting of themselves at the state meet.

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