North Country’s Brunnette & Ellis Shatter Course Records
DERBY-What a day at the races! The long awaited home meet finally arrived with a picturesque day and great fan support. Thank you to all that came out to watch, and especially to those of you who came out to work. Without those volunteers (especially the timing crew!) this would not have come off so well. In cross country, we don’t have the luxury that every other sport has where the coach shows up to the prepped field with officials waiting and just coaches. Mine is one that requires me to cover every painstaking detail from course set-up to finishing line timing/results; not an easy task while coaching, teaching and parenting. We saw both course records fall today with freshmen Avery Ellis starting it off on the girls side with a 20:36. She improved the new record by 22 seconds. Said Ellis, “My legs were kind of tired and stiff because I raced on Saturday and did a strength workout on Sunday, but I felt pretty good out there.”The girls walked away with 1st place by strong performances (4 girls in the top 10 and 9 in the top 15) and being the only team in the field with 5 scoring runners. Jade Dandurand (5th 23:53), Rachel Petzoldt (7th 24:06) and Emma Stuart (8th 24:12) made major improvements on their personal bests for the season to finish in the top 10. Maggie Stuart ran a strong race (11th 25:09) to finish off the scoring for the Lady Falcons. On the boys side, three boys ran way out in front and all three annihilated the previous course record of 17:44 (Alex Cotnoir-2012). Sam Brunnette dropped his personal best 5K time down to 16:39 en route to setting the official course record. “I felt pretty good, leading the entire time,” Brunnette said. Andrew Franklin ran out of his Nikes today with a 17:02 to finish 2nd two years in a row at this race with Alex Cotnoir hot on his heels in 17:06. Franklin talked about the final stretch, saying, “I knew (Alex) was coming up behind me, so I just pushed and went for it.”“The thing about this race is that it finishes with an uphill (section) and you have to keep that in mind when you are coming down the hill, so you have to remember to keep a little gas in the tank for the end,” Cotnoir added.These three boys have a great chance of qualifying for the New England Championships, along with Avery, by finishing in the top 25 at the state meet in Thetford on the last Saturday in October if they keep up their fast times.“I’m excited about New England’s, but it would be awesome if we could go as a team,” Franklin said about the possibility of making the journey to Manchester New Hampshire next month.Ross DeLaBruere and Alex Cope both set personal bests to get within the top 10 (7th 18:17 & 9th 18:25 respectively) and give the boys team the win over Stowe and Canaan-Pittsburg. We have another week of solid training left before heading to the Lake Region Relays next Monday where each 2 person team (boy-boy, girl-girl, & boy-girl categories) runs half of a 5K course before passing off to their teammate who duplicates the same course to complete the other half of the 5K.For Lake Region, Emily Millar had the best showing, placing 6th in the girls race.Said Millar, “It was a little rough. There are some big hills out there with out much of a break in between. It is a tough, but good course.”Lake Region coach Greg Hennemuth spoke about Millar’s efforts this season, saying, “She has been running really consistently for us this year, and she never misses a beat in her training.”April Streeter (9th, 24:15), Ryan Streeter (24:52) and Cody Dollof (20:35, 17th also competed for the Rangers on Tuesday.Editors Note: Mike Olmstead contributed quotes and Lake Region information to this story. The reason for having coach Shaffer tell you about the race is to give a unique perspective to what it is like for a cross country coach on race day. Thanks to coach Shaffer for his contribution.