By Justin Platt
The Derryfield middle school cross-country team competed at their league championship meet on Saturday, October 14, at Presentation of Mary Academy (PMA) in Hudson, NH. Seventeen DS athletes toed the line against 39 other schools across four divisions. This year Derryfield competed in Division 3E, which included Auburn, Chester, Hampstead, Iber Holmes Gove, Litchfield, Pelham, and St. Joseph-Salem. The weather was perfect, and there was electricity in the air with so many great runners and family in attendance.
In the scoring races the girls were led by Anna Fazelat. In the end she battled tough to finish third overall, shaving almost one minute off her time on the course earlier in the season. Next for the team was Sophia Cataldo, (-1:30), Defne Inalpolat (-1:21) and then Marley Justinvil (-2:30), all performing their best times on this course. Fifth and sixth for the team was Jane Levesque (18:43) and Grace Howe (19:07). Jane shaved about 2:30 and Grace about 1:30 off their prior times at PMA. The final runner was Maggie Moulis, who also took about 1:40 off her best time. With all these improvements and clutch performances the girls took third place, and earned a championship plaque for the school. What a great team performance and nice surprise girls!!
On the boys side, having won last year, they greatly hoped for a repeat performance. The team came out fast, and really ran well as a pack. Leading the team for the third race in a row was Gabe Spera, finishing third overall in a time of 13:21, which was 40 seconds faster for this course. Packed right after him was Juelrick Phanor 4th (13:27), Adam Willett 5th (13:44), and Owen Myers 6th (13:58), placing four runners in the top ten! Derryfield really needed a fifth runner to step up strongly, and Noah Barreto filled the bill, finishing in 18th overall in 15:04. Deepsun Adhikari followed closely with 15:21, and Gabe Jenkins rounded out the team in 17:13. Almost every boy on the team took time off their prior time at PMA, and they saved their best for the biggest meet. The boys’ team finished 1st, to again earn the title of league champions.
In the girls non-scoring race, Annabeth Jenkins tried some new strategies, and really put things together, running 26:04, which was her season’s best (SB). In the boys non-scoring race, Griffin Kim took first place in 15:33, which was a SB, and 1:30 faster than he previously ran on this course. Arden Silva-Baroody also improved his time on the course by 18 seconds.
Featured Photo: 2023 Derryfield middle school cross-country team.