The Pinkerton Academy girls’ cross-country squad narrowly missed out on winning the state Meet of Champions and the Astro boys had a rare thing happen in just missing out on advancing to the New England Championships when those two talented crews ran at the MOC’s in Nashua’s Mine Falls Park last Saturday, Nov. 4.
Coach Amy Bernard’s now three-time defending Division I champion Pinkerton Trailblazers wound up just five points behind the Meet of Champs winners from Souhegan High in Amherst when the team scores were tallied. The Souhegan Lady Sabers finished with a score of 105, while Bernard’s bunch notched a 110 and runner-up honors. Coe-Brown of Northwood was a distant third (137) in the race.
On the boys’ side of things, coach Mike Clark’s Pinkerton Long Red Line missed out on making it to the New Englands in Belfast, Me., this coming Saturday because the academy crew finished seventh and only six teams advance. The six teams which did move ahead were the MOC champs from Concord, Nashua North, Keene, Oyster River, Londonderry, and Coe-Brown.
Meghan Cross set a new school record by finishing first among PA harriers and eighth overall with a time of 18 minutes and 14 seconds.
“She ran the fastest time by a Pinkerton girl ever at the Meet of Champions,” said an overjoyed coach Bernard.
Next in for Pinkerton was Jordan Vaillancourt with a 26th place in a time of 18:49.
“That was the 12th fastest time by a PA female at Meet of Champs,” said the coach.
Britney Johnson was right behind her with a 27th place finish in a time of 18:56, giving that multi-sport star the 18th best all-time finish for a PA girl at the MOC’s.
Ciara April and Maison D’Amelio also ran strong races and made up the scoring team for the Trailblazers. April placed 33rd (19:11) and D’Amelio took 47th place (19:33).
The MOC runner-up crew also had freshman Molly McGaffigan run a personal best 5k time of 19:43 to finish sixth for the team and 55th overall in a race which had 145 finishers.
The Trailblazers are now on to those regionals in Maine this weekend.
After surprising everybody by taking runner-up honors at the D-I championships a week earlier after being projected to finish fourth or fifth, the Long Red Line finished short of its goal of a return to the New Englands by finishing seventh last Saturday.
The PA effort was paced by Joe Gagnon in fifth overall (15:42), with Nolan Preble ending up 34th (16:28), Ethan Desmarais placing 40th (16:33), Steven Groulx slotting in at 65th (16:50), Nathan Steiger ending up 70th (16:53), Jeff Mize winding up 80th (17:01), and Zach Aham finishing 89th (17:18) in a race which had some 142 finishers.