A Win, in the Long Run: TA Runner a State Champion

  • Just before the start of this race Woodstock cross-country runner Riley Shepherd ties his sneaker while his team surrounds him Justice Bassette, left, Owen Coates, Calef Hepler, Wilbur Abrams, Matthew Bassette, and Teddy Krawczyk at the VPA Vermont State Championship in Thetford, Vt., on Oct. 28, 2017.(Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Cross-country runner Malcolm Silver-Van Meter of Thetford Academy wins his race at the VPA Vermont State Championship in Thetford, Vt., on Oct. 28, 2017. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Oxbow cross-country runner Izzy Giesing VPA Vermont State Championship in Thetford, Vt., on Oct. 28, 2017(Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • After watching his grandson, cross-country runner Malcolm Silver-Van Meter of Thetford Academy, win his race, Don Silver, of Hanover, N.H., remarks, "How exciting it that!" at the VPA Vermont State Championship in Thetford, Vt., on Oct. 28, 2017. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Whitcomb cross-country runner Alexandra Timmins at the VPA Vermont State Championship in Thetford, Vt., on Oct. 28, 2017.(Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/29/2017 12:27:40 AM
Modified: 11/1/2017 5:58:43 PM

 

Thetford — To help earn the result he wanted at Saturday’s VPA Division III cross country championship meet, Thetford Academy’s Malcolm Silver-Van Meter simply relinquished his attachment to obtaining it.

In line with his holistic mental approach to running this season, Silver-Van Meter consciously broke down the challenging Dan Grossman Trail into sections and tackled them one-by-one during Saturday’s race. The result, as it turned out, was a winning time of 17 minutes, 43.5 seconds, 16.4 seconds ahead of Randolph Union junior Isaac Kaplan and 32 seconds faster than Silver-Van Meter’s third-place time at last year’s meet.

It’s the first individual state championship for a Thetford boy since Zach Chatot in 2011.

“Last year, I set a goal to win and kind of lost focus,” said Silver-Van Meter, who also beat his time from the Woods Trail Run on the same course earlier this month by nearly 23.46 seconds. “This year, I decided to break up the course into 100-meter sections and just kind of focused on one section at a time, because I realized that’s all you can really do anything about during a race.”

Silver-Van Meter — whose Panthers were a distant second to champion Stowe, 35-60 — reached a new level of maturity this season, coaches said. The son of Thetford co-coach Emily Silver, he utilized a team-mindfulness training session with visiting parent Bob Bauer to help set personal goals without as much emphasis on winning.

“I feel like my approach was much more process-oriented this year,” said Silver-Van Meter, who hopes to run at New York University next year. “I think I definitely benefited from that.”

It wasn’t all a matter of mental adjustments for Silver-Van Meter, who also increased the length and intensity of his workouts, much to the satisfaction of Thetford’s other co-coach, Joe Deffner.

“He was doing so well with the mental side of it that at one point I said, ‘There’s a physical side to this, too,’ ” Deffner said. “He did a good job balancing both sides and became a really smart runner.”

Thetford’s runner-up finish was six spots better than last year. Senior Clifford Ransom (20th; 19:26.3), junior Ian Spelman (23rd; 19:31.8), sophomore Eamon Deffner (25th; 19:34.1) and freshman Nathan Brooker (29th; 19:54.6) all placed in the top 30.

Oxbow sophomore Keelan Durham placed 15th in 19:14.1, leading a field of three Olympians that was one spot short of qualifying for a team score. (Unlike the five runners required during the regular season, four are necessary for a team score at states in Division III only).

Junior Justin Smith (47th; 20:34.6) led 15th-place Windsor, while the freshman trio of Jordan Place (77th), Vaughan Phillips (92nd) and Trace Peterman (98th) followed for the Jacks.

Sharon Academy boys soccer goalie Dillon Buttner (49th; 20:34.9) ran individually for the Phoenix, placing just ahead of South Royalton senior Nicholas Thornton (20:35.4)

Oxbow missed capturing a third consecutive girls D-III title by a single point, edged by Northfield, 41-42. Tied after the first four runners, the Marauders’ Elizabeth Andrews placed 21st in 24:23.8, ahead of Oxbow No. 5 runner Jessica Daigle (49th; 27:11.9) to clinch the team crown.

Izzy Giesing (third; 21:06.2), Tyrus Rosten (eighth; 22:08.1), Hannah Giesing (19th; 24:09.4) and Emily Carson (26th; 24:49.3) led the way for the Olympians, who appeared during the race to have enough distance between Rosten and Northfield’s second runner, Avery Motyka, to help secure a win.

However, six of the seven runners between Rosten and Motyka competed individually for schools without enough runners from a team score, meaning Rosten’s advantage garnered only two points.

The Marauders finished with four in the top 20, led by sophomore Maya Humbert (21:59.1), one spot ahead of Rosten.

“It was tough to be so close and come up just short,” said Oxbow coach Katherine Chobanian. “Northfield is a good young team. They’re the new threat in Division III. I’m still proud of the way our girls ran.”

Thetford’s girls were third, paced by senior Meaggie Balch (fourth; 21:26.8), who has battled mild tendonitis this season and improved two spots after running last year with a fever. Freshman Eloise Van Meter (13th; 22:56.3), senior Ellenor Koppers (22nd; 24:26.5) and freshman Layla Hanissian (29th; 25:08.8) followed for the Panthers.

Competing individually, Sharon Academy sophomore Laila Reimanis (22:16.8) placed 10th, and Alexandra Timmins, of Whitcomb High, was 14th in 23:23.2.

U-32 swept the Division II races, the Raider girls beating Middlebury on a tiebreaker as No. 6 runner Lucy Krokenberger (27th; 23:59.3), a freshman, finished one spot ahead of Tigers senior Katherine Koehler.

Harwood senior Erin Magill won the D-II girls race in 20:35.5 as the Highlanders placed third, breaking a run of eight consecutive Harwood girls team titles.

Woodstock took 10th behind Grace Vollers’ seventh-place time of 22:08.7 and freshman Molly Shearer’s 22nd-place finish in 23:25.4. Hailey Napier (62nd; 27:51.7) and Erica Kurash (83rd; 33:50.5) and Alison Leibly (87th; 35:23.9) also competed for the Wasps.

“I just put my shoulders forward and charged up those hills,” said Vollers, a senior. “It’s a challenging course. You want to get out in front and just maintain it as long as you can.”

Hartford High freshman Katherine Trombley was the first Hurricanes runner to complete the Division II championship race, placing 29th in 24 minutes, 24.9 seconds.

Woodstock’s boys moved up five spots to fifth place, led by freshman Riley Shepherd’s fifth-place showing in 17:55.2. Senior Matthew Bassette (12th; 18:14.6), sophomore Justice Bassette (39th; 19:54.0), sophomore Owen Coates (42nd; 20:06.4) and freshman Calef Hepler (51st; 20:32.6) also contributed.

After entering just one boy and one girl in last year’s meet, Hartford fielded a maximum seven in each race Saturday, placing 12th in the girls’ race and 13th in the boys’.

Aaron Mitchell (29th; 19:33.2) and Clementine Phillip (45th; 25:53.4) had the top times for the Hurricanes, whose participation increased tenfold this season under first-year co-coaches Cindy Edson and Katie Hluchyj.

“The program is definitely rebuilding,” said senior and first-year runner Michael Olson, who was 87th in 23:43.1. “I didn’t even know we had a cross country team last year, but this year people definitely knew it was an option, and a lot more people came out.”

Olson placed two spots ahead of junior Thomas Kasten, who hopes to help design and build a home course for Hartford in Hurricane Town Forest for his senior capstone project.

“Right now we have a very short trail behind the school, but we do most of our training on roads,” Kasten said. “It would definitely be good for the program to get in the woods more and be able to host a race.”

Jared Pendak can be reached at jpendak@vnews.com or 603-727-3225.

Correction

Hartford High freshman Katherine Trombley was the first Hurricanes runner to complete Saturday’s VPA girls Division II championship race at Thetford Academy, placing 29th in 24 minutes, 24.9 seconds. Trombley’s performance was inadvertently omitted from an earlier version of this story.

 




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