Hopkinton teams finish second in N.H. Nordic Coaches Series; Belmont’s William Riley wins skate race

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 02-13-2023 2:16 AM

The Hopkinton girls’ Nordic team has a deep roster. When the Hawks have a chance to work together, it’s hard to stop them.

Belmont’s William Riley won the boys’ 5K skate race in 9 minutes, 42.7 seconds and Lebanon’s Annalies Hannah won the girls’ race in 11:48, but both Hopkinton teams displayed their depth of skiers, finishing second in the New Hampshire Coaches Series against most of NHIAA’s programs on Saturday at White Mountains Regional High School.

The Hawk girls maintained the second-place spot they had entering Saturday’s skate race – the second day of a two-part event – but kept a closer gap against Plymouth than they did in the classic race on Jan. 28. 

The Bobcats topped Hopkinton by 11 points two weeks ago, but only had a six-point advantage on Saturday, leading the overall standings with 54 points to Hopkinton’s 71.

Holderness (156), Lebanon (202) and Keene (213) rounded out the top five, with Concord (312) and Bow (567) finishing ninth and 12th, respectively, out of the 15 teams that had enough skiers for a team score.

Kearsarge was 10th through the classic race, but did not have enough skiers to score on Saturday.

On the boys’ side, Gilford (38 points) cruised to the title, with Hopkinton (137), Lebanon (198), Concord (199), Kearsarge (213), Hanover (241), Keene (279) and Bow (314) rounding out the top eight of 16 scoring teams.

“Both teams felt a little better about the skate race on a course they have raced before,” Hopkinton head coach Rob Rothe said. “Since the seeding was done by the current points standings, we ended up with the top four Hopkinton girls in the third heat. I think this played in their favor because they were able to push and chase each other throughout the race with Ava Rothe (10th, 12:38) leading the charge. Overall, it was good to see them pull a little closer to Plymouth and retain a solid second for the state.”

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Hannah Bennett (11th, 12:40), Elizabeth Clarner (13th, 12:43) and Elizabeth Trafton (20th, 13:29) rounded out Hopkinton’s scorers.

Bow’s Rachel Pelletier (18th, 13:20), Concord’s Frances Lesser (41st, 14:47) and Kearsarge’s Ava Valle (48th, 15:12) led their respective teams.

The Hopkinton boys – who improved from sixth place last year – were led by Matt Clarner (fifth, 10:23), Will Chapin (16th, 11:09), Cameron Bassett (36th, 11:57) and Harrison Wilson (42nd, 12:07).

Concord’s Tyler Watt – the winner of the Jan. 28 classic race – finished fourth in 10:14, while teammate Dean Ayotte finished 24th in 11:33.

Kearsarge was led by Elias Baer (14th, 10:57) and Gareth Richer (25th, 11:35), and Bow was led by Eli Wilkening (31st, 11:47) and Calen Smith (34th, 11:55).

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