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Bennett wins home meet, McGinnis leads boys

BEN MCGINNIS leaps over the rocks during Prospect Mountain’s home meet on Thursday, Sept. 3. Kathy Sutherland. (click for larger version)
September 08, 2009
ALTON — A familiar face crossed the finish line first in both the boys' and girls' races at Prospect Mountain's lone home cross country meet of the season on Thursday, Sept. 3.

Isaac Fithian, who toiled for the Timber Wolves for the last three years but now runs for Sanborn, took top honors in the boys' race, while Prospect Mountain's own Courtney Bennett was the first runner in the girls' race.

Prospect coach John Tuttle, who was Fithian's mentor during his time as a Timber Wolf, was pleased that his former star ran well in front of his friends and former teammates.

All told, seven schools joined the Timber Wolves on the course around the high school, with the Prospect Mountain girls taking fourth and the Timber Wolf boys running to sixth. Sanborn, Berlin, Hopkinton, Campbell, Raymond, Moultonborough and Mascenic all joined in the fun.

Bennett, who was the winner of the Barnstead Old Home Day 5K less than a week earlier, topped the field in 22:34 and in doing so, set a number of firsts.

The time was a new course record and it also marked the first time that a Prospect girl has every taken first place overall at any meet. Tuttle noted it was even more impressive given the fact that Hopkinton was there. It is expected that the Hawks will have a number of runners in the top 10 at the Class M-S Meet later this season.

Rebecca Wright, who was the first Timber Wolf finisher in the season's opening race, took second among the Prospect runners with her time of 27:34. Emily Morton followed in 28:43 and Cristina Varney crossed the line in 29:18. Alex Zaino rounded out the scoring in 30:53 and Jen Crawley rounded out the Timber Wolf finishers in 31:33.

"They ran very, very well," Tuttle said. "They're coming along in order to get fourth out of that group (of teams). I was impressed, they showed a lot of promise."

Ben McGinnis was the top male runner for the Timber Wolves, recording a personal best time of 20:03. Adam Cheney, running his first cross country race of the season, finished in 21:33, followed by Ben Iannotti in 22:06. Ryan Crawley finished in 25:38 and Zach Bungert rounded out the scoring with a time of 28:08. Rich Zaino crossed the line in 34:19 to finish out the team's runners.

The Timber Wolf coach noted that this year's boys' team is putting together solid times and he expects that when all is said and done, the team as a whole will be better than last year.

All told, Tuttle was pleased with the way the meet went and also offered thanks to the parents who came and helped run the event.

"We had a good, productive meet," he said.

The Timber Wolves have a busy few days ahead of them, as they will run at Inter-Lakes on Friday, Sept. 11, at 4:30 p.m. then at Great Glen on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. The stretch of three races in four days concludes on Monday, Sept. 14, with a race at Sant Bani at 4 p.m.

"It will be a good workout for the kids," Tuttle noted.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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