MANCHESTER,NH–On Saturday, the North Country cross country Falcons sent their boy's team and Avery Ellis to the New England Interscholastic Cross Country Championships that were held at Derryfield Park.
It was the first trip to the race for all but one of the Falcons, and they came away with a great showing, a bunch of memories and some valuable experience that all but one of them will be able to implement and utilize moving forward.
"It was a great day at the races," said North Country coach Chris Shaffer. "It is a high pace course that makes you feel like you are actually running."
Avery Ellis was the first member of the team to take to the course, and she did not disappoint, shaving nearly a minute off of her best effort in a 5K while placing 82nd with time of 19:39.9.
"She didn't look like a freshman out there. She was poised, she ran well, and if things go well, she will have three more chances to run this race," Shaffer said of his talented freshman.
Out of the 81 racers that came in before her, eight of them are in Avery's grade, and their times were all within striking distance of Ellis', so that bodes well moving forward.
The Falcon boys were up next, and much like he has all season, Sam Brunnette led the way for North Country.
It was his second time going to New England's and his second time racing on this track this season, as he attended a race there around the mid-point of this year's campaign to test his mettle against some of the same racers he competed with on Saturday.
The last time he visited Manchester he finished in 11th place with a time of 16:52.
This time he trimmed 29 seconds off of his previous time, coming across the line with a new personal record time of 16:23, good for 56th place.
Said Shaffer, "Sam said he didn't feel like he had a good day, but he set a new PR, which is always good."
Alex Cotnoir, with a time of 16:50.5, was the next one in for North Country, finishing in the 115 slot.
Andrew Franklin's time of 17:15 placed him 166th overall, and he was followed by Ross DeLaBruere (224, 18:05.3) and Alex Cope (247, 19:03.9).
Ross was the only senior running for the Falcons, and Shaffer commented on Ross' final race, saying, "This was a great day to end his career on. He was strong, confident and he had a blast."
Parker LaCourse (253rd, 19:15.2) and Patrick Tetreault (255th, 19:23.7) also ran the race, but did not factor in the scoring.
The boys team finished the race in 24th place.
This race signaled the end of the 2013 fall sports season for the North Country Falcons, and now several of these athletes will turn their attention to the winter season, which is just around the corner.