MAU girls edge Colonels; boys third in home meet

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BENNINGTON — When the team scores were announced after Tuesday's cross-country race at Willow Park, the Mount Anthony girls cross-country team seemed a bit surprised by the outcome.

They shouldn't have been.

The top three runners finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively, as MAU won the team title.

"I was impressed with the girls and their grouping," said Mount Anthony coach Jim Dulin. "We didn't know what to expect from Brattleboro, but we know we can run with the Brattleboro girls."

MAU scored 39 to edge out Brattleboro's 44 and Stratton Mountain School's 49. BBA was fourth with 95 points.

Brattleboro's Sarah Gallagher was first overall in 20 minutes, 48 seconds, followed by Stratton's Anna Lehmann in 21:16.

Then the next three finishers were Patriots, with Sarah Umphlett third in 21:57. Maggie Payne had a really good race, finishing fourth in 22:29 and Paige Greenawalt was fifth in 22:43.

"Overall, I wasn't feeling my best toward the beginning, trying to settling in wasn't the best this time," Umphlett said. "We all have good days and bad days, hope I'll come back [better] for the race next Tuesday."

For the first part of the race, Umphlett hung with Gallagher and Lehmann, but dropped off about two-thirds of the way through.

"I was trying to let off in the beginning and work together with them but that's not what I usually do," Umphlett said. "Pacing myself is difficult sometimes."

Umphlett said she was happy that Payne and Greenawalt finished as well as they did.

"It's a little bit of security, so if I'm not feeling the best, my teammates back me up," Umphlett said.

"Maggie had a great race too," Dulin said. "I saw her run in middle school, she was always at the top. She's very competitive, and not afraid to pass girls on her own team."

Natalie Jelley and Sarahi Villa Arreguin rounded out the scoring, finishing 11th and 16th.

Stratton had three runners in the top 10. After Lehmann's second-place finish, she was followed by Charlotte Ogden sixth and Mae Chalmers ninth.

BBA's top finisher was Emma Tschaikowsky in seventh place, she completed the Willow Park course in 23:10. Harriet Dahlstrom was 15th, Marguerite Brown was 17th, Claire Iannuzzi was 26th and Nina Marco was 30th.

On the boys side, MAU was third as a team with 49 points. Brattleboro was first with 35 points, followed closely by Stratton's 36. BBA was fourth with 121 points.

"I wasn't sure what to expect on the boys side either," Dulin said. "We have to catch up to Brattleboro."

Brattleboro's Isaac Freitas-Eagan won the race, setting a Willow Park course-record with a time of 17 minutes, 14 seconds. Stratton was second in 17:29. MAU's Evan Page was next across the line, completing the 5K in 17:46.

"It was a good day for a race, a little buggy at the beginning and a little congested at the start," Page said. "Personally, I thought I did well and our team did well too. We have a home-course advantage, we were warmed up and ready to go."

Page said he tried to stick with Freitas-Eagan, something that was a bad decision in hindsight.

"I tried to stay on their tail, but I started to lose them early on, like a half-mile in," Page said. "I think I would have been better running my own race."

The next finisher for the Patriots was Anthony Mazzola in his first cross-country race. Mazzola, a swimmer, finished the course in 19:16, crossing the line eighth overall.

"I had the stamina to keep going and keep a good pace," Mazzola said. "Then I wanted to kick in at the end. I tried to keep pace with the Stratton kids, if I could see the yellow [uniform] in the distance, I knew I was doing good."

"Anthony was unbelievable," Dulin said. "I saw him coming out of the woods and my heart skipped, I wasn't sure if he went the right way. But in practice, he's up with the front group, he knows how to race."

MAU's Asa Burrows-Crane was 10th overall in 19:43, following by Shawn Tobin in 13th in 19:57 and Noah Payne 15th in 20:08.

"Everyone on our team had good finishes, but early in the season, it wasn't our best times on this course," Page said. "We have time to get better."


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