For the second year in a row runners hailing from Litchfield stood out in the Mack’s/Greater Derry Track Club Run for the Apples Cross-Country 5K which rolled through the aromatic Londonderry orchards in pretty steamy weather late this past Sunday afternoon, Aug. 26.
Eighteen-year-old Campbell High School graduate and current Southern New Hampshire University student Luke Hogan was out front of the crowd of 115 runners through much of the race. And he finished up first in a time of 17 minutes and 22 seconds.
The second and third place finishers – also hailing from Litchfield – were brothers Trevor and Tyler Scopelites respectively in 18:16 and 18:37. Londonderry teen Tyler Kraft finished fourth (19:14), and 50-year-old John David Toscano of Salem represented the older runners well by finishing fifth overall (19:30).
The female winner was 13-year-old Salem resident Bethany Graham, who crossed the finish line eighth overall in 20:18. Kate Von Pichl of Londonderry was the fifth female across the line – 17th overall and first among the 40-49-year-old women – exactly a minute behind the female winner in 21:18.
Directed as it has been every year by longtime GDTC member Eldon Burkinshaw, the 2018 event went unhindered by a weather forecast which initially called for potential rain around the time the event began. Instead, the conditions were steamy.
It was the second year in which a runner from Litchfield took top honors. Sixteen-year-old Jeff Allen won the 2017 race in an excellent time of 15:20. And it was also the second straight year in which a 13-year-old girl paced all of the females. Early teen Fiona Doherty from Manchester was the 2017 female winner in 19:15.
Other Londonderry runners who enjoyed noteworthy performances in this year’s event were young Lillianna Cawthorn (second among the 1-12 girls), Emily Von Pichl (fourth among the 17-39 women), Rob Barry (second among the 40-49 men and 14th overall), and Dave Law (fourth among the 60-99 men).