For UNH senior Nick Brown (KHS '16), Plymouth State University sophomore Kim Bowles (KHS '18), Union (N.Y.) College junior Jonathan Caputo (KHS '17), and Clarkson University sophomore Melissa Brown (KHS '18), racing the trails behind Kennett Middle School and along the NHIAA Division II circuit was just a beginning. All four local runners are achieving success and carrying their passion for running to the college level and made an impact on their respective cross-country teams this fall.
Nick Brown of Conway was named to the 2019 America East All-Academic Team. Brown was a scoring runner for New Hampshire in the America East Championship meet, as the team placed fourth in the team standings, the program's highest finish since 2016.
Brown, a mechanical engineering major, posted a 3.91 GPA while finishing 38th overall for UNH in the conference meet setting a new personal best 10K time; he was the sixth Wildcat across the finish line. In his career, Brown was also selected to the America East Commissioner's Honor Roll the last two cross-country seasons.
Brown is the first Wildcat to make the America East men's cross country All-Academic Team since 2016 and will complete his collegiate running career with indoor and outdoor track seasons this coming winter and spring.
Caputo of Silver Lake made his mark both on the cross-country trails and in the classroom, earning his second consecutive selection to the Liberty League All-Academic Team. The computer science major consistently finished as the sixth or seventh runner for the Dutchmen, topping off his season with an 8K best time of 30:31.5 at the Liberty League Championships at the Annandale-on-Hudson course on the campus of Bard College on Nov. 2.
Caputo also runs on the indoor and outdoor track teams.
On the women's side, Bowles of Wonalancet, a PSU sophomore, led the Panthers in each of the six meets this fall and shattered the school record at the Little East Conference Championship by 23 seconds to finish fourth in 19:07.66 in the 5K race. The Panthers third-place team finish marked the second time in the top three in program history.
Bowles then established a new school record in the 6K to lead the Plymouth State University women's cross-country team to a 30th place finish at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship at Pickard Fields on the campus of Bowdoin College on Nov. 16. Battling low temperatures and competition that included six nationally ranked programs, Bowles finished in 23:53.80 to top her own program record of 23:59.00 set on the same course last October.
Williams, the fourth-ranked team in the nation, topped second-ranked MIT for the team championship with 64 points. Plymouth State totaled 931 points to finish just behind Eastern Connecticut (849) and ahead of Little East Conference rivals Castleton, UMass Dartmouth, Southern Maine and Western Conn.
Melissa Brown of Conway closed the book on her sophomore cross-country season on Nov. 2 when she finished 88th in the Liberty League Championships at Annandale-on-Hudson in New York and hosted by Bard College. She covered the 6K in 27:51.
Brown was 18th overall in 27:23 in the 6K at the Cross-Country-Only Championships at Seneca Lake State Park and hosted by Hobart William Smith College.