Moskowitz, Souhegan finish second at D-II meet

MANCHESTER – Emma Newton was already thinking about next week.

The Hollis Brookline High School senior was running third in the Division II girls cross country championship Saturday morning, and she wasn’t sure if she’d have enough left to catch the runners in front of her.

But as the lead group came out of the woods at Derryfield Park, the others started to slow down, and Newton picked it up.

By the time she hit the final hill before the finish line, Newton had a comfortable lead, and she held on to win in 18 minutes, 29 seconds to become the first HB runner to win an individual girls cross-country title.

Sarah Cramton (10th, 19:48) and Meghan Philpot (12th, 20:01) also finished strong as the Cavaliers took second as a team.

HB recorded 101 points, trailing only Coe-Brown Northwood Academy, which had 26 points and won its fourth straight title by placing all five of its scorers in the top nine. Hanover came in third at 124 and Souhegan was fourth at 131.

The top six teams and top 25 individuals from D-II advanced to the Meet of Champions next Saturday.

Souhegan’s Eli Moskowitz finished second in the boys race, coming in in 16:05, behind only Coe-Brown’s Jeremy Brassard, the defending champion, who finished in 15:51. Patrick Lynch, Moskowitz’s teammate, also finished in the top 10, in sixth place.

Oyster River, of
Durham, won the D-II boys title, its second in three years, finishing with 74 points, just 15 ahead of second-place Souhegan. Coe-Brown was third with 109.

For Newton, the win kept her undefeated in races this season, something that gave her confidence going into the race.

“I knew I’d beaten them before and I knew I could do it,” she said. “I was hoping to stay in the top five, at least, and once we got around (the tennis courts) they all started slowing down. I felt I had it in me.

“I was fourth throughout pretty much the whole race, until we got to that hill in the woods. I was like, ‘I’ll be content with third,’ because I was third when we were coming down the hill. I always have next week. And then I felt like I could pass them and I did. I just did all I could. I was praying no one would have more than I did on this last stretch, because I couldn’t sprint anymore.”

Also scoring for HB were Cramton, Philpot, Michele Philpot (36th, 21:19) and Lauren Cole (42nd, 21:26).

Hannah Gillis and Madeleine Hunt led Souhegan, finishing 22nd (20:32) and 23rd (20:33). The Sabers also got points from Miclyn Noorda (26th, 20:48), Hannah Culver (29th, 21:03) and Kate Bermingham (31st, 21:08).

Milford took ninth overall and was led by Brianna Lippitt, who came in 30th in 21:07.

On the boys side, Moskowitz and Brassard were side by side as they came out of the woods, and the Souhegan junior thought if he could just get a little bit of a lead, he might be able to hang on for the win.

“I’d never run head-to-head with Jeremy before, so I didn’t know how he was going to run it,” Moskowitz said. “I was pretty tired at that point, but I tried to push it to see if I could get him before his kick.”

Brassard’s kick pulled him ahead for good and Moskowitz took second, 16 seconds ahead of Lebanon’s Josh Fontaine.

Lynch was sixth in 16:32, and Souhegan also got points from Brett Quinn (21st, 17:04), Ryan Lynch (28th, 17:14) and Ben Platt (32nd, 17:21).

HB’s Sean Zapolski (17th, 17:01) and Christian Parenteau (23rd, 17:06) both qualified as individuals for the Meet of Champions, as the Cavs finished ninth as a team.

Jacob Drescher came in 26th (17:18) to lead Milford, which finished 12th overall.