Brattleboro XC teams sweep home meet

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BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro Union High School cross-country coach John Dimick had to call an audible just before the start of the varsity girls race on Tuesday at the East Orchard Street course.

He switched to a shorter route.

It didn't seem to bother The Putney School's Delaney Bullock, who was in front the entire way and prevailed in 13:44.

"The girls ran a modified course after the middle schoolers and varsity boys raced through a section of angry bees in the woods loop," said Dimick, who explained the last-minute change to the female runners around 5 p.m.

Bullock, starting next to the BUHS girls on the inside lane, took the early lead as fans cheered and snapped photos. She powered up the steep hill, went back down, turned right onto a narrow path and then circled back toward the road to complete her first of two laps.

Brattleboro's Sarah Gallagher, who was stalking her training partner the entire way, closed in late to finish second in 13:49.

"My goal was to stick with Delaney. They changed the course, so it was a lot shorter and faster. We had to adjust," stated Gallagher, adding that she prefers a longer race.

Liz Morse placed 12th in 15:29, Alexandra Miskovich was 13th in 15:38, Annie Takacs took 16th in 16:01, and Elery Loggia finished 17th in 16:06 as the BUHS girls won the team event with 55 points. The Colonel girls were followed by Stratton Mountain (57 points), MAU (67), Burr and Burton (98), Rutland (113), Bellows Falls (132) and Hartford (182).

"Our team's been pretty strong. Our top seven are definitely stronger than last year," noted Gallagher.

With cars and buses parked all along East Orchard Street, Brattleboro's Isaac Freitas-Eagan (17:05) took command on the first lap, increased his lead midway through the three-mile varsity boys race, and held on for a four-second victory over Stratton's Ben Hogan (17:09).

"I was trying to beat the course record of 16:58. I was able to take six or eight seconds off of my time here last year," said Freitas-Eagan, who collapsed just after the finish line due to the difficult course. "I'm okay. I gave my all in my last race on my home course."

He had plenty of encouragement as he flew across the path and headed toward the woods for the first time.

"Use your arms," shouted one fan. "You've gotta reach for it. It's gonna hurt."

Also scoring for the Colonels were: Colin Costa Walsh, 5th, 18:02; Trevor Kipp, 6th, 18:30; Evan Koch, 12th, 19:24; and David Pierce, 16th, 19:32. Brattleboro won the boys team event with 40 points and was followed by Stratton (42 points), MAU (66), Bellows Falls (73), Rutland (140), Burr and Burton (171), Saint Mike (197) and Hartford (209).

"Our team is deep and is looking really good," Freitas-Eagan said. "It feels good to be on the same level as our girls team this year."

Tim Salter-Roy (9th), Ian Wallace (10th), Nic Potter (13th), Gabe Hakimoglu (20th) and Colton Baldasaro (21st) were the top five runners for the Bellows Falls boys. Junior captain Lia Clark (7th) led the way for the Terriers in the girls race.

The Woods Trail races are scheduled for Saturday in Thetford.


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