An ancient adage states that “All Good Things Must Come to an End,” and in the case of
the Pinkerton Academy boys’ cross-country program, a long win streak came to an end on
the Great Glens Trails in the Mount Washington region last Saturday, Aug. 27.
The Astros – who are in a 2016 rebuilding mode under veteran coach Mike Clark after
winning another Division I title last fall – came into the annual Paul Letarte/Mount
Washington Cross-Country Invitational having walked away with its championship for
10 consecutive years. But this time around the Pinkerton crew had to be satisfied with
runner-up honors after finishing behind only the new champs from Nashua High School North.
The North Titans won the 15-team event by tallying a team score of 36, with Clark’s
Long Red Line 19 points behind with a 55.
The 2016 Pinkerton contingent was gutted by graduation this past spring, and as a result
Clark – entering his 35th season of running the boys’ cross-country program at the
academy – faced a first in bringing just one returning standout and six rookies to the
Mount Washington event.
The battle-tested veteran – senior Calvin Graves – finished second overall in a time of 17
minutes and five seconds. Also ending up in the overall top-10 was sophomore Joe
Gagnon, who crossed the finish line seventh in 17:42. Pinkerton also had four of its otherharriers finish among the top 19 line-crossers, with brand new cross-country runner and
senior Kyle Hajj finishing 13th overall in 18:03. Hajj, who has been a track and field
stalwart at Pinkerton each of the last several years, was running in his first cross-country
Also in the top 19 were Astros Ethan Desmarais (a sophomore) and Jon L’Abbe and Josh
Noe (both seniors). Sophomore Steven Groulx also finished among the top 30 racers in
the 28th spot.
Almost a year earlier, the 2015 Pinkerton harriers had won their 10th consecutive
Letarte/Mount Washington Invitational with skilled senior Tom Hanlon taking first in
that race in 16:34.
Clark’s crew will continue its 2016 season with its annual alumni race this Friday, Sept.