CONWAY — The Kennett High boys’ and girls’ cross-country team closed the book on the regular season in the wind and rain of a nor’easter in Wolfeboro in the annual Kingswood Invitational. It turned out to be just a two-school meet with the girls from Conway taking top honors on the day, and the host Knights earning them for the boys.
“We were supposed to run against Plymouth and Sanborn, too, but neither of them had school due to power outages,” said Bernie Livingston, Eagles’ head coach. “Kingswood and us didn’t lose power and had school. (Kingswood) called us and asked, ‘Do you still want to come?” We said, sure.
“I’m glad we did it,” he added. “It was cold, windy and rained intermittently, but the course held up surprisingly well.”
The Kennett girls edged Kingswood 27-28 for the team win.
The Eagles, who were without the talented freshman McKayla Dockham due to injury, were led by sophomore Amy Burton, who won the race in a time of 21:23. She was joined on the podium by Kingswood’s rosemary Carpenter and Carolyn Day, who were second and third, respectively, in the 26-girl field in 21:35 and 21:57.
Finishers for Kennett were Sierra Abrams, fourth, 22:05; Grace Perley, sixth, 22:13; Grace Castonguay, seventh, 22:17; Kaylee McLellan, ninth, 22:59; Madelyn Marcotte, 11th, 24:15; Shannon Derby, 13th, 24:49; Grace Jarell, 14th, 24:52; Kameryn Dockham, 15th, 25:24; Mara Taylor, 18th, 26:10; Abby Desmarais, 19th, 26:24; Olivia Scribner, 20th, 27:00; Lauren Violette, 21st, 27:56; Sophie Stimpson, 22nd, 28:30; Maya Gove, 23rd, 28:31; Celia Lynn, 24th, 28:36; Taylor Garland, 25th, 30:10; and Sierra Parsons, 26th, 30:10.
Kingswood’s boys took team honors 22-38 over the Eagles.
Kennett did have the fastest boy in the race with senior Chris Desmarais running away from the 27-runner field to win by more than 50 seconds at 17:24.
Knights Joseph Wasson and Oleg Sheahan were second and third overall in 18:14 and 18:49.
The Eagles were with No. 2 runner Keith Badger (college visit), but Thursday marked the return to race action for freshman Ben Biche, who had been sidelined due to injury. He was fifth at 19:06.
Other Kennett finishers were Ben Klementovich, ninth, 19:31; Tristen Smith, 12th, 20:33; Logan Violette, 13th, 20:59; Shane Fay, 15th, 21:18; Dominick Perry, 16th, 21:20; Adam Schmidt, 19th, 23:03; Julian Brochu, 22nd, 25:15; Caleb White, 23rd, 25:25; Eli Schor, 25th, 27:46; Cody Hamlin, 26th, 28:07; and Devon Hamlin, 27th, 29:47.
The 2019 New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association Cross-Country divisional meets will take center stage this Saturday at Derryfield Park in Manchester. The Eagles are scheduled to run in the Division II girl's race at 10 a.m., with the boy's race to follow at 10:40 p.m. and awards at 11:20 p.m.
Livingston has selected his squads for the meet. For the boys, it’s Desmarais, Badger, Biche, Klementovich, Smith, Violette and Gavin Hunt. Fay will be the team’s alternate.
The KHS girls are Burton, Abrams, McKayla Dockham, Perley, Castonguay, McLellan and Shannon Derby. Marcotte and Jarell have bene named team alternates.
“I hope everyone runs well,” Livingston said. “Everyone seems like they have at least one more good race in them. Hopefully, we still have a couple of weeks left in us.”
Last year, the KHS girls finished ninth overall out of 18 schools, while the boys were 11th out of 19 scoring teams.
The top six schools and the top 25 individual runners get the opportunity run in the Meet of Champions set for Nov. 2 at Derryfield Park.
“I think the girls have a great shot to make it as a team,” Livingston said. “Chris also has a great chance to be in the top 25 overall. I’m hoping our boys can break the Top 10 teams. As a coach, I’d love to see everyone set a new personal best.”