BENNINGTON -- The Mount Anthony Union High School cross-country teams got it done in different ways, but at the end of the day, they were both still on top.
The boys used a podium sweep and the girls finished second through sixth to win Tuesday's meet at Willow Park over teams from Brattleboro, Burr and Burton Academy and Arlington.
The boys had 19 points, ahead of BBA'S 49 and Brattleboro's 66. For the girls, MAU scored 20, outpacing Brattleboro's 57, BBA's 65 and Arlington's 110.
"We're improving as we go along," said MAU coach Jim Dulin. "I was impressed with both teams. Both teams had great grouping ... that's the key to us having a shot to get to New Englands."
In the boys race, Will Buckley took the early lead and never looked back, scoring the win on the 2.95-mile course in 18 minutes, 30.3 seconds (a 6:16 per mile pace). Teammates Andrew Brandmeyer was second in 18:55, while Andy Barlow was third in 19:08.
"We worked really hard over the summer, it's a great team," said Buckley, a junior. It's mental, the body says to stop, but you just keep going. I got to the top of the hill and told myself to keep going down the hill. It was hard, but it was weirdly fun."
In finishing second, Burr and Burton had three runners finish in the top 10 -- Thomas Kittross was fourth, Simon Aborn was fifth and Eric Owens was ninth. Many of the Bulldog runners competed on Saturday in the Maple Leaf half marathon.
"I set out as a coach to reinvigorate the program and this feels like it's the first time we're getting there," said BBA coach Sandy Birch.
Three other MAU runners finished in the top 10, including Matt Strano in sixth, Luke Lapean in seventh and Caleb Noel in 10th.
"The whole team had great races today, we pulled out some top finishes," Buckley said.
On the girls side, Burr and Burton senior Lauren Miskovsky held a slight lead heading up the hill at Upper Willow and extended it on a hot and muggy day to win in 22 minutes, 48 seconds -- 34 seconds ahead of second-place Erica Hale of the Patriots. And on the hot day, there was a certain motivation to reaching the finish first.
"Water was definitely motivating me at the finish, I was really thirsty coming around the hill," said Miskovsky, who ran the Maple Leaf. "Last week (at Rutland), a girl from MAU [Molly O'Callaghan] is a good competitor, I knew she was right behind me. I just had to stay ahead of them. I was tired but i had to keep pushing myself, mentally."
It was Birch's first race winner as the coach of the Bulldogs.
The depth of the Patriots was key, however, as Hale led the charge. She was second, while O'Callaghan was third. Abby Malmborg was next across the line in fourth, Emily Smith was fifth and Asuka Kosaki rounded out the scorers in sixth.
"I was really impressed with Asuka today," Dulin said. "She was the fifth scorer and sixth overall, that was a nice job by her."
Arlington's Amber Welch was the top Eagles finisher in 27th, completing the course in 31 minutes, 54 seconds. Jena Staab was 29th and Janessa Hoyt was 32nd.