BENNINGTON >> Mount Anthony freshman Sarah Umphlett crossed the line second at the Patriots' home meet in Willow Park on Tuesday.
That in itself would be a pretty good result, as Umphlett has thrust herself onto the cross-country scene in southern Vermont with three Top 2 finishes already in her young career.
But as the girls race came to a conclusion, event officials realized that the leader, a Stratton Mountain runner, had veered off course. She was quickly told of her error, got back on course and finished ahead, but she was disqualified for leaving the course and Umphlett was determined as the winner.
Umphlett finished the 2.95-mile course in 21 minutes, 0.8 seconds — 12 seconds ahead of Brattleboro's Sarah Gallagher who was next.
"She's won two races of the three overall and was first in the Marble Valley League in all three," said MAU cross-country coach Jim Dulin. "She's still a freshman and has a lot of pre-race nerves, but once she's out there, they seem to go away. She has some of the best work ethic and she practices like she races."
Overall, Brattleboro won the team score with 41 points, ahead of the Patriots' 61. Rutland was third with 70, with Stratton Mountain fourth at 88 and Burr and Burton fifth at 98.
After Umphlett and Gallagher, the next MVL finisher was Brattleboro's Liz Morse in sixth.
Paige Greenawalt was second for the Patriots, finishing in 22:12.3 and Sarahi Villa Arreguin was third for MAU, and 13th overall in 24:13.9.
"Paige is having such a great year and this year, she ran the course more than a minute better than last year," Dulin said.
Makayla Gelheiser was 19th overall and Emmalene Gabriel rounded out the scoring for the Patriots in 24th overall.
"Makayla has been a consistent scoring [runner] for us this season so far," Dulin said.
Burr and Burton's top runner was Ann Fisher in ninth place with a time of 23:18. Emma Tschaikowsky and Lara Virsik were next, with Emma Stefurak and Natalie Sommons fourth and fifth.
On the boys side, it was a Stratton Mountain rout as a team, as SMS scored 24 team points, driven by the top five runners all in the top 10.
The overall winner was Brattleboro's Isaac Eagan-Freitas, who torched the course in 17 minutes, 23 seconds and topping the second-place finisher, Ben Ogden from SMS by 13 seconds.
Evan Page was the top MAU finisher in fifth place, finishing the 2.95-mile course in 18:04.
"Evan is coming off running in all three seasons last year [as a freshman]," Dulin said. "He had to rest this summer and it's taken him a couple weeks to get back into the flow."
Two of the main scorers for the Patriots, Vitaly Dee and Asa Burrows-Crane, were out for the race on Tuesday but their teammates did a nice job picking them up. Shawn Tobin was the second-best finisher for the Patriots in 11th, while Cooper Mason and Andrew Rockwell were 23rd and 24th, respectively. Ben Doucette was fifth overall for MAU in 28th, completing the course in 22:19.
"Cooper and Ben are first year runners, Cooper a sophomore and Ben a senior," Dulin said. "They have been consistent for us and we've had a chance to see other runners shine. It's tough for new runners, this course is called 'Mount Agony' for a reason."
BBA's Tyler Jager was 14th overall to lead the Bulldogs, with Alejandro Marciendo 20th overall. Tim Kiernan, Nate Severance and Brandon Perra rounded out the scoring.