MVC Boys Cross Country: Methuen's reloading already complete

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OVERVIEW: Methuen, which had captured five straight MVC meet championships prior to last year, should be back on top this fall after a brief reloading process. Defending champion Chelmsford will be strong again but, after holding off the young Rangers by a mere point in their dual meet last year, they'll miss graduated No. 1 man Chris Brown.

Haverhill needs to develop depth but, with Ethan Penney in front, the Hillies could be dangerous. Andover and Central Catholic should be improved.



2007 record: 2-7

Top returning runners: Andrew Carroll, Sr.; John Conley, Sr.; Andrew Wait, Jr.; Nick Schumacher, Jr.; Adam Vetere, Jr.; Nick Galat, Sr.; Andrew Speen, Sr.; Andrew Newcomb, Soph.; Ben Stacy, Jr.

Promising newcomers: Scott Waller, Jr.; Simon Voorhees, Soph.; Ryan Cooney, Frosh.

Candidates in all grades: 46

Captains: Andrew Speen, Nick Galat

Assistants: Russ Wrigley, Brenda Clark-Warne

Opener: Hosts Haverhill Sept. 10

Odds and ends: Freshman Ryan Cooney has been competing for years at the youth level and, in 2003, captured a Junior Olympics race in New York, racing 12:00 in 3K to win the Bantam division. ... Junior Nick Schumacher had an excellent rookie season in cross country last year and followed with a fine track season, earning MVC All-Star honors. ... Leo Lafond and assistant Russ Wrigley form one of the longest-running coaching tandems in the region.

Coach Leo Lafond (18th year): "We are returning several of our top runners, led by Nick Schumacher and Andrew Speen, so we should be improved. Simon Voorhees and Scott Waller are new runners who will compete for a varsity spot."

Central Catholic

2007 record: 4-5

Returning runners: Matt Kirkham, Sr.; Kevin Soucey, Jr.; Nate Webber, Jr.; Mike Bryant, Jr.; John Malarney, Sr.; Brian George, Sr.; Ben Lewis, Jr.; Tyler Burke, Jr.

Promising newcomers: Francisco Mota, Jr.; Mike Campbell, Frosh.; Adam Gridley, Frosh.; Nick Morris, Soph.

Candidates in all grades: 48

Captains: Matt Kirkham, Brian George

Assistants: Bob MacDougall

Opener: Hosts Billerica Sept. 10

Odds and ends: Central came within a one-point loss to Lowell from a winning season last year. ... Andrew Butterworth, who was in the top 5 last year after playing soccer as a freshman, returned to soccer this fall. ... Kevin Soucey finished 14th in the MVC meet as a sophomore. ... The Raiders continue to boast high numbers. Their 48 candidates are three more than last year.

Coach Rob Benedetto (3rd year): "We are still a young team, but I think we'll be improved this year and we're looking for a winning season. Kevin Soucey and Nate Webber should be a strong top two and should be in the (MVC's) top 10. After that, we're looking at (Tyler) Burke, Brian (George) and (Matt) Kirkham. Our kids are excited by the season."


2007 record: 6-3

Top returning runners: Ethan Penney, Sr.; Neil Fullerton, Sr.; Patrick Lawlor, Sr., Taylor Goehring, Sr.; Brian Twomey, Sr.; Ned Harvey, Jr.; Mike Ragusa, Soph.; Garrett Hammond, Soph.; Tim Danehy, Soph.; Dan Karambelas, Jr.

Promising newcomers: Michael McNaughton, Frosh.; Will Cuneo, Soph.; Casey Sweeney, Soph.

Candidates in all grades: 18

Captains: Ethan Penney, Patrick Lawlor

Assistants: Courtney Kelley, Meg Shanahan

Opener: at Clipper Relays Sept. 6

Odds and ends: The Hillies have posted a winning record for five straight seasons with a 35-11 record, which is the best run for Haverhill in more than 25 years, according to coach Mike Maguire. ... Returning Eagle-Tribune All-Star Ethan Penney was third in the MVC meet last year and, with a superb effort, 8th in the Division 1 All-State meet. ... Senior Neil Fullerton is a cousin of former Eagle-Tribune MVP Pat Fullerton, now a sophomore at Iona.

Coach Mike Maguire (17th year, 77-75-1): "Ethan Penney appears poised for a great season and (Neil) Fullerton is solid. The success of the team is how well guys step up because we graduated three of our top five. (Brian) Twomey and (Garrett) Hammond have worked hard and will contribute. (Michael) McNaughton and (Will) Cuneo have been impressive in practice."


2007 record: 1-9-1

Returning starters: Miguel Taveras, Sr.; Somarith Kim, Jr.; Juan Ventura, Soph.; Eddie Joaquin, Sr.; Delta Thach, Sr.; Luis Cruz, Soph.

Promising newcomers: Melvin Rivera, Sr.; Chris Bisono, Sr.

Candidates in all grades: 8

Captains: Miguel Taveras

Assistants: Angel Pabon

Opener: Hosts Lowell Sept. 10

Odds and ends: Juan Ventura placed first in two races last year (Whittier and Greater Lawrence). ... Melvin Rivera, a fine wrestler, is a promising newcomer. ... Senior Chris Bisono came out as a sophomore but was unable to run last year because of injuries.

Coach Rick Parthum (2nd year): "I'm very disappointed in our numbers. I thought we'd have more. We lost (returnee) Sam Kim to golf and I think we've lost quite a few to golf. Juan (Ventura) and Miguel (Taveras) should be solid, but we'll need some other kids to step up."


2007 record: 8-1

Returning runners: Jared Reddy, Jr.; Steve Fitzsimmons, Sr.; Nathan Pinciak, Sr:; Ben Pare, Jr.; Andrew Stamatopulos, Jr.; Brian Clancy, Sr.; Corey Hamel, Jr; Tyler Sullivan, Jr.; Lucas Bergeron, Soph.; Phi Nguyen, Sr.; Oliver Thibault, Soph.; Cam Kelley, Soph.; Casey Barnacle, Soph.; Justin Reddy, Sr.

Promising newcomers: Nick Nieves, Jr.; Kyle Charette, Soph.; Brady McCready, Soph.; Evan Cyr, Soph.; Andrew Norton, Soph.; Adam Bergeron, Frosh.; Conor Clark, Frosh.; Joshua Gangi, Frosh.; Ricky Kendall, Frosh.; Parshwa Khambhoti, Frosh.; Tom Kubiszewski, Frosh.; Yash Patel, Frosh.; Jason Pendergast, Frosh.

Candidates in all grades: 40

Captains: Steve Fitzsimmons

Assistants: Scott Ouellet, Kevin Alliette

Opener: at Clipper Relays Sept. 6

Odds and ends: 2007: Despite fielding its youngest team in years, Methuen came within one point of beating two-year MVC champ Chelmsford. ... The Rangers are 53-6, with three unbeaten seasons, in the last six years. ... Jared Reddy, Andrew Stamatopulos and Brian Clancy were all-conference last year and both Clancy and Stamatopulos were Eagle-Tribune All-Stars. ... Junior Ben Pare is ranked No. 1 in his class.

Coach Bill James (14th year): "We should have a strong year. Overall, we came back in good shape. We're hoping to break Chelmsford's 20-meet undefeated streak and we want to qualify for the All-States again. Last year, was the first time we didn't qualify after five years."

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