Both men’s and women’s cross-country went on to sweep UMaine during last Friday’s dual meet with perfect scores in both races. The men’s team won with a score of 15-45 and the women won 15-50.
The men’s team took places one through six, with the first five runners scoring for UNH in their first 8K (4.97 miles) of the season. Maine had a lone runner place in the top ten at seventh overall. The Wildcats also had three runners round out the top 10. Coach Boulanger commented that most of the runners in the top 11 set new personal bests.
First-year runner Forest Mackenzie got it all started for the Wildcats, finishing first overall to win his first collegiate 8K with a time of 25:45. Juniors Aidan Sullivan and James Wilkes finished second and third with times of 25:56 and 25:58 respectively. Rounding out the scoring for the Wildcats was senior Nicholas Brown and first-year runner Aidan O’Hern coming in at nearly the same time with times of 26:11 and 26:11.2 as they raced each other in the final stretch. O’Hern had a great finish to his race, jumping up from 16th to fifth place in the last mile. Samuel Lanternier was the last of the string of ‘Cats to finish concurrently, finishing with a time of 26:15.
It was a great showing for the Wildcats, as they won decisively in a meet against a rival in-conference team.
“The kids stuck together as a team. I think we threw the number one Maine kid off with the fact that there were six guys around him at the mile mark, two-mile mark and three mile mark, and no one was dropping off,” said coach Boulanger.
The women’s 5K (3.11 miles) race went mostly the same, sweeping the Black Bears for the second year in a row. UMaine did not have their first runner finish until the ninth spot. Leading the Wildcats was senior Margaret Champagne, who made her season debut with a time of 18:58. The next four runners all finished within a few seconds of each other. Leading that pack was senior Michaella Conery at 19:10, followed by junior Cayla Barretto at 19:13, senior Morgan Sansing at 19:15 and sophomore Nicole Yeomans at 19:18.
Although they did not contribute to the score for the Wildcats, senior Madeline Quigley, and sophomores Elenora Olsmats, and Lauren Dean finished seconds apart to push UMaine back on the score sheet, as they occupied the sixth, seventh and eighth positions.
The Wildcats will be back in action Friday, September 20, at Franklin Park in Massachusetts for the Coast to Coast Invitational meet. That race will have 180 runners starting on the line and coach Boulanger wants the team to get off to a quick start in that race.