LHS, PA Cross-Country Crews Split First Mack Plaque Events

The Mack Plaque games between the fall varsity sports squads from Londonderry High and Pinkerton Academy officially got under way Tuesday, Sept. 4, when the rival schools’ boys’ and girls’ cross-country contingents faced off in a pair of three-team races at LHS. Exeter High also had squads involved in the races.

The Lancer boys put forth a superb performance in winning their race handily over the Astro males 20-41, but that success came after the Lady Astros had finished ahead of the LHS Lady Lancers in a girls’ race which was won by Exeter.

Hence, Londonderry and Pinkerton will roll into the remainder of Mack Plaque play next week tied up at 1-1 where team victories are concerned.

GIRLS

The Exeter Lady Blue Hawks took both the first and second individual spots – with Violet Sullivan, daughter of 1983 Londonderry High graduate and standout athlete Chip Sullivan winning the race – in tallying the best team score of 33. Pinkerton finished second with a 41, and the host Lady Lancers placed third with a 46.

The Lady Astros had senior captain Ciara April finish fifth overall and first for their side (in 21 minutes and 54 seconds), freshman Mariesa Preble get sixth (21:57), Molly McGaffigan finish eighth (22:29), Meaghan Robidoux claim ninth place (22:48), Jordan Vaillancourt bag lucky spot number 13 (23:04), Alexis Peet end up 18th (23:59), and Ashleigh Ahearn wind up 20th (24:54).

Londonderry finished third as a group with Caitlin Boufford finishing third among the individuals with her time of 21:08.

Then at the annual Souhegan Relays at Freestyle Farm in Amherst, the LHS ladies placed a very solid third out of five teams behind host Souhegan and Salem.

BOYS

The Lancer males showed that they plan to be a force to be reckoned with by starting their 2018 campaign with a significant success against the always-tough Pinkerton crew of longtime coach Mike Clark.

Veteran mentor Matt Smith’s LHS harriers saw Pinkerton veteran Joe Gagnon win the race in 16:36, but he was followed by five consecutive Londonderry finishers who included Matt Griffin in second (16:48), Will Heenan in third (16:55), Eric Nowak in fourth place (17:11), Kerry Daley in the fifth spot (17:13), and Kyle Hoglund in sixth (17:16).

Both the Lancer and Astro males were active on Saturday, Sept. 8 as well, with Londonderry dominating at the Souhegan Relays and Pinkerton placing second at the annual Great Glen Invitational in Gorham which it has won many times.

In Amherst, coach Smith’s Lancers simply could not be bested as they had their trio of three-runner teams finish first, second, and third for a clean sweep.

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