Colonels cruise on home course

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BRATTLEBORO — Exactly 295 years after 70 Abenakis attacked Fort Dummer, a bus full of Mount Anthony Union students traveled to the state park on Old Guilford Road prepared for a battle of their own.

But it was the purple and white flag that was waving when the dust settled, as the Brattleboro boys scored 17 points and the Colonel girls ended up with 25 points to complete the cross-country sweep.

"I like this course, it's really fun. It was a perfect day for a race with this weather and all of the fall foliage," said BUHS runner Bella Takacs, who finished fourth among the girls in 26:03. "The first part of the course is uphill and the second part is downhill. I like that you get the hard part over with right away."

It was the school's first race ever at the 217-acre state park, which has tent and trailer sites, a small picnic area, short hiking trails, and a swimming hole.

"The kids had the opportunity to help set the course and also to train on it prior to the event," noted first-year Brattleboro coach Keith Arnold.

The home team's Bram Tabachnick and Finn LaMorder went head-to-head during the entire 3.1-mile race. Tabachnick was in front at the halfway point, LaMorder took over after they turned into the woods, and Tabachnick reclaimed the lead in the stretch — winning the war and setting the course record at 19:25.

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"Come on Bram," a spectator shouted as the senior captain neared the 1.5-mile marker.

LaMorder was the runner-up in 19:33. Rounding out Brattleboro's top five were Reis Perotti (3rd in 20:20), Jonah Bingham (5th in 20:42) and Ben Berkson-Harvey (6th in 20:53).

MAU's Sarah Umphlett ran away with the girls heat, easily prevailing in 21:50. Her teammate, Maggie Payne, earned the silver medal.

With fans crowded around the finish line and cheering on the runners, Brattleboro's Caitlyn Robinson poured it on late to take third in a time of 25:32. Bella Takacs (4th), Alexandra Miskovich (5th), Lizzy Wright (6th) and Hazel Wagner (7th) also counted into the team scoring for the hosts.

"This is a really great team. We are all friends and everyone is so supportive," mentioned a smiling Takacs.

The Brattleboro boys and girls cross-country teams will compete in Thetford on Saturday at 10 a.m.


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