Wind: 14 mph
By Jimmy Tepedino, Harwood Union sports reporter
The 2008 Harwood cross country had its debut against the largest D 1 teams in the state of Vermont on Saturday at the Burlington High School Invitational.
Harwood boys shook up the cross country powers from Chittenden County by finishing an impressive second place in the prestigious race. Harwood defeated powerhouses from CVU, Burlington, Saranac Lake, Ausable Valley and South Burlington in their efforts to put the school on the cross country map.
Only Essex boys with a school population three times the size of Harwood stood in the way of the Harwood runners. Harwood boys were led by Eamon Welter (5) and was followed by the pack of Sam Mccausland (12), Nick Wisniewski (15), Caleb Kernan (17) and Zach Russo (30)
"Harwood surprised us. They ran very well as a pack. There are few small schools in New England that have the depth of Harwood," said Scott Bliss longtime CVU coach.
"Sam McCausland was awesome for us today. Sam ran a personal best of 17:52. He came through when we needed him the most," said Highlander coach John Kerrigan.
The young Harwood girls' team also continues to impress the veteran coach. Harwood girls finished in ninth place (second among D 2 teams).
Harwood girls were led by Jillian Mendes (18). "Jill proved that she can run with the best in the state. She is gaining the confidence she needs to make her a champion," said Kerrigan. Kelsey Bush (47), Elena Bilodeau (49), Zari Sadri (59) and Haylee Robinson (61) rounded out the top five for Harwood. Elena and Haylee had personal best times on the urban course that included a dash down the bike path.
On Saturday, September 27, both boys' and girls' teams will compete at one of the most competitive meets in the United States. They will be running in the Nike Manchester Invitational at Derryfield Park in Manchester, NH.
"We will be running in the Small Schools Championship and competing against some of the best schools from New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. We have a shot at a National Ranking," said Kerrigan.