BRATTLEBORO -- The Mount Anthony Union High School cross-country teams used smart runs by both the girls and boys team to sweep the Marble Valley League championships on Tuesday afternoon.
On the girls side, Brattleboro’s Nevada Powers won the race, but top-10 finishes by Erica Hale, Molly O’Callaghan, Kinsey Boudreau and Abby Malmborg gave the Patriots the team victory.
The Brattleboro freshman rallied from fourth place to win Tuesday’s cross-country meet in 21 minutes, 51 seconds -- 32 seconds better than runner-up Brynn Cairns of Rutland.
"I really wanted to win," said Powers, who had finished second to Cairns earlier this season. "This was easily my best performance so far."
Powers stole a slight lead early on, but was back in fourth when the runners exited the woods and began their second climb. It was during that up-and-down portion that she made her move, as she led a spread-out field to the bottom and never looked back.
"Way to go, Nevada. Go get that medal," screamed a spectator as Powers ran along the cornfield with a comfortable lead before the final up-and-down.
Powers won the 3.1-mile race in 21:51. Rounding out the top 10 were: Cairns (22:23), Lauren Miskovsky (22:32) of Burr and Burton, MAU’s Hale (22:41) and O’Callaghan (22:48), Rutland’s Misha Goodspeed (22:57) and Meghan Keefe (23:00), BBA’s Anna Fischer (23:13) in eighth, Boudreau (23:31) and Malmborg (23:42).
"It was a great race for Nevada. This was a pretty good victory for her," Colonels coach John Dimick said. "I think she’s starting to believe that she can run with these kids."
The day began with the boys race, which featured the fifth battle of the season between Rutland’s Tim Hughes and MAU’s Andrew Brandmeyer.
Brandmeyer opened up a sizable lead in the early stages, but Hughes ran him down on the last hill and cruised to victory in a time of 17:50. Brandmeyer was 12 seconds back in second.
"I lost to him in Thetford by a foot, but I was able to beat him the other times," Hughes said. "I think this is a pretty good course. I like it better than Thetford’s."
MAU’s William Buckley (18:14) and Andy Barlow (18:27) placed third and fourth respectively. They were followed by: Rutland’s Sam Ligon (18:35), Brattleboro’s Ryan Gilligan (19:16), BBA’s Thomas Kittross (19:18), Rutland’s Isaac Wright (19:20), MAU’s Matt Strano (19:21) and Brendan Wright (19:33) of Rutland.