BRATTLEBORO >> On World Animal Day, Isaac Freitas-Eagan looked a lot like an American antelope.
The Brattleboro Union High School junior won his fifth race of the season by bounding along the 3.1-mile East Orchard Street trail in a blazing time of 17:11, which is just 14 seconds shy of the course record.
"I felt pretty great today. My legs aren't tired at all," said Tuesday's varsity boys race champion. "I like running on my home course, but it's a tough course because of the hills."
Freitas-Eagan went to the front right out of the gate, with Stratton's Russell Boswell and Adam Witkowski following closely. He was leading by about 15 yards when he came out of the woods for the first time and was all by himself at the two-mile mark and beyond.
"Way to go, Isaac!" screamed a fan as the BUHS junior neared the finish line.
Boswell placed second, 41 ticks behind Freitas-Eagan. MAU's Sean Tobin (18:09) and Witkowski (18:10) rounded out the top four.
The Brattleboro boys won the team event with 27 points, as Colin Costa-Walsh took fifth in 18:12, Spencer Loggia was sixth in 18:13, Trevor Kipp ended up seventh in 18:16, and Dan Jaro placed 18th in 21:50.
"That's a great performance by our team," noted Freitas-Eagan. "To have four runners in the top 10 is a definite win for us."
MAU wound up second with 34 points, Burr and Burton was next with 72 points, and Springfield placed fourth with 110 points, on the 60-degree day.
The fans that were lined up along the trail were then treated to a thrilling varsity girls race.
The runners took off, made the quick left-hand turn and then started the first climb all while in a tight pack. But MAU's Sarah Umphlett, Stratton's Anna Lehmann, Delaney Bullock of the Putney School, MAU's Paige Greenwalt, and Brattleboro's Sarah Gallagher began pulling away like a team of sled dogs as they came back down the hill.
Umphlett and Lehmann battled it out for the majority of the race, with Lehmann eventually winning in a course-record time of 20:07 — three seconds faster than Rutland's Mary Kate Cirelli was clocked in six years ago.
Umphlett (20:24), Bullock (20:47), Gallagher (20:50), and Greenwalt (21:41) followed Lehmann home.
"It was a good race. It was my first time running on this course," stated a smiling Bullock. "I knew before the race that the two ahead of me were faster runners."
Brattleboro's Annie Takacs, Ellery Loggia and Liz Morse held hands as they finished side-by-side in 22:37 for the sixth, seventh and eighth positions.
"The 3 Musketeers? The Purple Triplets?" a fan suggested as possible nicknames.
Alexandra Miskovich took 10th in 22:58, helping the Colonel girls win the meet with 25 points. MAU (41), Burr and Burton (60), and Springfield (119) also competed.
NOTE >> You can see a video of the cross-country meet on Twitter at @ShaneCovey or by visiting www.facebook.com/ReformerSports.