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Woodstock Girls in the Running for State Title Again

  • The Thetford Academy Cross Country team warms up at the beginning of practice behind Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vt., on August 22, 2013.  (Valley News- Sarah Priestap)

    The Thetford Academy Cross Country team warms up at the beginning of practice behind Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vt., on August 22, 2013. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Thetford Academy Cross Country Team members finish the lower loop of the Dan Grossman Woods Trail behind Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vt., on August 22, 2013.  (Valley News- Sarah Priestap)

    Thetford Academy Cross Country Team members finish the lower loop of the Dan Grossman Woods Trail behind Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vt., on August 22, 2013. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »

  • The Thetford Academy Cross Country team warms up at the beginning of practice behind Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vt., on August 22, 2013.  (Valley News- Sarah Priestap)
  • Thetford Academy Cross Country Team members finish the lower loop of the Dan Grossman Woods Trail behind Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vt., on August 22, 2013.  (Valley News- Sarah Priestap)

Woodstock — Cross country at Woodstock High has enjoyed recent successes, and the 2013 season looks just as promising, especially for the girls. The Wasps were second in the girls state meet last fall and made a trip to the New Englands, and coach Tracy Rose looks for many more happy days on the trails this fall.

“I think the girls will be in the top two again,” she said.

One of the reasons that Rose is so optimistic is that, in sophomore Carmen Bango, she has a girl who won the state meet as a freshman — and did so by nearly a one-minute margin.

Then there’s this fact: Of the five girls who counted toward Woodstock’s team tally, four are back. Here’s one more reason why Rose has high hopes: The Wasps lost by only two points last year to Harwood, which also returns most of its roster for another showdown.

Elsewhere, some small programs that had some big individual results last fall (Oxbow, Thetford) are looking to improve, and some young programs (Windsor) go into the season filled with optimism. Here’s a look at the squads:

Hartford

Coach: Sandra Rhoades (9).

League: Vermont Division II; Marble Valley League.

Last Year: Boys 15th at states; girls didn’t field full team.

“We had a small team last year with only a couple of veteran runners,” said Rhoades.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Mark Knapp, Emma Patriquin, Joshua Phelps, Kyle Perkins. Juniors — Meredith Boyle. Sophomore — Matthew Phipps.

Who’s New: Sophomore — Constance Yoder. Freshmen — Natalie Yoder, Brandon Zullo.

Who’s Gone: None.

Strengths: “Team spirit. Our captains have been running for several years and are encouraging the new runners,” said Rhoades. “Fast or slow, all are supported by their teammates.”

Weaknesses: “Our team is small.”

Players to Watch: Joshua Phipps, Mark Knapp.

Toughest Opponents: Thetford, Woodstock, Brattleboro.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “I’m looking forward to a good season,” said Rhoades. “This team has shown commitment during the preseason, and I believe that will continue throughout our season. Some of these athletes are out here training for their winter sport and some are looking for a top-10 ribbon at every meet. Whatever their individual goal, I am happy to have them running for me.”

Oxbow

Coach: Katherine Chobanian (3).

League: Vermont Division III; Northern Vermont Athletic Conference.

Last Year: Girls seventh at states, with Shelby Rosten seventh in division. Boys didn’t field a complete team.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Tannr Allard, Brian Fay, Savannah Fay, Cody O’Connell, Travis Parent. Juniors — Shelby Rosten, Abby Speck. Sophomore — Griffin Shaw. Freshman — Briggs Heffernan.

Who’s New: Senior — Eliza Russ. Juniors — Nina Nanopoulos, Darby Sherbert. Sophomore — Abigail Schramm.

Who’s Gone: Megan Speck, Rebecca Calhoun.

Strengths: “Our top runners are very dedicated and strong runners,” said Chobanian. “They will help set the example to our newcomers and younger runners.”

Weaknesses: “There is a large gap between our top runners and the end of the pack,” the coach said. “Hopefully, we can have runners bridge that gap by the end of the season.”

Runners to Watch: Brian Fay, Shelby Rosten. Tannr Allard and Griffin Shaw are also looking strong.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “Our team is bigger than last year, so we are excited to actually have a full boys team.”

Rivendell

Coach: Dan Newstead (3).

League: Vermont Division III; Central Vermont League.

Last Year: Boys and girls won CVL titles; girls fifth, boys ninth at states.

Who’s Back: Senior — Ryan Fauci. Juniors — Liam Fleming, Christian Parenti.

Who’s New: Senior — Kimberly Sobeck. Juniors — Rachel Fauci, Kayle Gould. Sophomores — Catie Brigham, Noah Weisberg.

Who’s Gone: Christiana Moreland, Amber Wolf, Sarah Landgraf, Tala Wilson, Kaitlin Maddock, Stacie Wright.

Strengths: Leadership.

Weaknesses: Lots of new runners.

Players to Watch: Liam Fleming and Christian Parenti.

Toughest Opponents: Hanover, Thetford.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “The guys came back with great attitudes; the girls are really young.”

South Royalton

Coach: Rose Kent (7).

League: Vermont Division III; Central Vermont League.

Last Year: Boys were 11th at states; girls didn’t have a complete team.

Who’s Back: Juniors — Faith Pease, Brooke Knudson. Sophomore — William White.

Who’s New: Senior — Moriah Post-Kinney. Freshman — Sarah Dunkle.

Who’s Gone: James Puopolo, Michael Dunkle, Greg Post, Emmett Lorette.

Strengths: “Great worth ethic and team chemistry.”

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “This will be a rebuilding year, but I look forward to great individual progress from both our returning and new athletes.”

Thetford

Coach: Joe Deffner (10).

League: Vermont Division III; Central Vermont League.

Last Year: Boys were third at D-III states. Girls did not field a complete team due to injuries.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Mary Younce, Jeremy Bauer, Josh Jacob-Rebhun, Andy Sharp. Juniors — Sadie Shelton, Nathaniel Froehlich, Ian Mundy. Sophomore — Christian Jones.

Who’s New: Seniors — Maggie Pomeroy, Tegan Pellerin, Autumn Cornelier, Shenia Covey, Jesse Shannon, Aibhlin Moye-Linehan, Kipling Haviland-Hack. Sophomore — Nicholas Slaughter. Freshmen — Holly Kasten, Nicolette Brown, Raphael Orleck-Jetter, Sage Whitecloud.

Who’s Gone: Tate Buttrey, Riley Nagle, Fin Presland-Byrne, Zach Chatot, David Henson, Cole Chapman, Julian Greene, Lizzy Marks, Helena Gaffney, Nadia Clement, Edie Langdell.

Strengths: Boys have a core group of experienced runners. Girls are energetic, enthusiastic and have good natural running ability.

Weaknesses: “We lost some key (male) runners to graduation and moving,” said Deffner. “(The girls) are inexperienced.”

Runners to Watch: Ian Mundy, Maggie Pomeroy, Mary Younce.

Toughest Opponents: Bellows Falls, Woodstock.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “Many of our boys did their summer homework, and we’re excited to see what they can do,” said Deffner. “On the girls side, we are thrilled to have 10 on the team — the most we have had in a while. Looking forward to see how hard they can push each other.”

Windsor

Coach: Raina White (1).

League: Vermont Division III; Marble Valley League.

Last Year: Only three runners, one of whom (Quincey Smith) finished 18th individually at states.

Who’s Back: Senior — Quincey Smith. Junior — Elizabeth Turco. Freshmen — Troy McCabe, Anika Abrahamsen, Hannah Achilles, Emily Euber, Natawni Combs.

Strengths: “Quincey Smith is a strong runner,” said White. “I think the girls will do OK.”

Weaknesses: Low numbers.

Runners to Watch: Quincey Smith.

Toughest Opponents: Woodstock, Bellows Falls.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “We’ve got some brand new runners on the team,” said White. “I’m really excited.”

Woodstock

Coach: Tracy Rose (1).

League: Vermont Division II; Marble Valley League

Last Year: Girls second, boys third in state meet. Girls made New Englands as a team.

Who’s Back: Seniors — Katherine Tucker, Finn McFarland, Anna Ramsey. Juniors — Kathryn Bassette, Alyssa Rivera, Claire Spangler, Lindsey Stuntz; Sophomores — Carmen Bango, Kristin Ramsey.

Who’s New: Boys/Seniors — Chris Chase, Corey Decoteau; Junior — Ben Leavitt; Sophomore — Trevor Van Neil; Freshman — Alden Krawtzyk.

Who’s Gone: Denali Baker, Christy Harris, Elizabeth Bassette, Jayne Henderson, Jocelyn Werle, Tia Anarkie, Anthony Bald, Matt Frates, Harry Linowski, Dylan Stuntz, Sawyer Mattsson, Reid Langona.

Strengths: “The girls team is expected to well again,” said Rose.

Weaknesses: Boys lack depth.

Runners to Watch: Carmen Bango won Division II meet as a freshman and was fifth-fastest among all runners.

Coach’s Final Thoughts: “I think we have two good, solid teams,” said Rose. “I think the girls will be in the top two in state meet. We’ll know more about the boys once we’ve had some races.”