The UNH men’s cross-country team headed to UVM to participate in the Fall Foliage Invitational, which featured four other teams: UVM, Sacred Heart, Bryant, and Siena. Senior Nicolas Sevilla-Connelly took first overall place and led the Wildcats to victory as they won the meet with a team score of 32. He ran the 8K course in 24:33.4 and was the only runner in the meet to run an average mile of under five minutes, running at 4:56 mile pace and finishing 14 seconds ahead of the runner who placed second overall. UVM took second place and had a team score of 39.
The second runner for the Wildcats was junior James Wilkes coming in fourth overall with a time of 25:20.9, and just behind him was first-year runner Forest MacKenzie, just a second behind Wilkes, running 25:21.2 to lock up fifth overall. Junior Aidan Sullivan was the fourth runner for the Wildcats to finish in the top 10, running 25:27.5, good enough for eighth overall. The Wildcats were the only team to have at least four runners finish in the top 10, UVM and Siena both had three runners in the top 10.
Rounding out the scoring for the Wildcats was junior Samuel Lanternier, running 25:44.5 and taking 14th overall. Although they did not score, senior Nicholas Brown and first-year runner Aidan O’Hern placed sixth and seventh on the team while placing 15th and 19th overall. These finished psuhed back the scores of other teams. Brown ran the course in 25:49.3, and O’Hern ran in 25:54.4. He had a photo finish with senior teammate Alexander Saveliev who ran 25:54.8, but he was the eighth finisher for UNH. According to head coach Jim Boulanger, most of the runners were within a few seconds of their personal bests.
The five-runner average for UNH was 25:17, a whole nine seconds faster than second place UVM.
“It was a continued process of what we’ve done this fall,” said Coach Boulanger. “We were trying to go out, put ourselves at the front of the meet.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams will be back in action on Friday, Oct. 25 for the CCSU Mini Meet. The women’s team had last weekend off and will look to get back to racing.
“We’re not going to taper or back off, we’re just gonna keep doing what we’ve been doing,” said Boulanger. He reminded that the championship meets are more about place but has confidence that his runners will have the right mindset. He looks to keep building on what the team has been doing this season as they try to solidify their top 10 for the championship meet this season.