Pinkerton Astros Boys Cross Country '16

Sat, Oct 29, 2016 12:10 PM @ Londonderry
Team Final
at Londonderry 0
Salem 0
Timberlane 0
Pinkerton 1

N.H. Division 1: Pinkerton boys capture 'epic' title

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Pinkerton cross country coach Mike Clark often likes to talk about "digging deep" when the chips are on the line.

And, after the Astros captured their fourth straight Division 1 title at Derryfield Park Saturday, he'll likely be talking about it much more.

After graduating their top five runners last year, the Astros were considered a huge underdog to Concord and Nashua North this year, but they pulled off the improbable by placing six runners in the top 23 to score 60 points, four fewer than runner-up Concord.

"It was an epic race with historic results," said an elated Clark. "We've won this 10 times and this is one of the most satisfying ones if not the most.

"On paper, Concord is head and shoulders better than we are but emotion is such a big part of athletics and on one day in one race, anything can happen when your kids step up."

Nearly everyone strepped up on this day.

Senior Calvin Garves led the way as he has all year, finishing third in 16:21 with classmate Jonathan L'Abbe right behind in fourth with a 16:25, sprinting past Conciord's No. 1 runner and finishing more than 30 seconds better than his previous best mark on Derryfield's 5K course.

Probably the biggest surprise of the day was No. 3 man Kyle Hajj, a senior 400-meter runner out for cross country for the first time. He finished 14th in 16:50.

"That was truly astounding," said Clark. "In September, he could hardly even finish a 5K."

Pat Bastek, coming back from injury, was 17th with junior Josh Noe and Joe Gagnon finishing 22-23 and sophomore Ethan Desmarais rounding out the magnificent seven by taking 28th.

"It was just a special day," summed up Clark. "Our seventh man was better than the fifth man of every team except Concord. "That tells you something."

The title marked only the third time a school has won four straight Division 1 titles, the last being Pinkerton in 1989. 

Also from the area, Timberlane junior Jacob Huberdeau came in ninth at 16"34 while Chris Zaino led Londonderry, finishing 18th.

Game Statistics:

Division 1 State Meet

at Derryfield Park (3.1 miles)

Team scores (18 teams): 1. Pinkerton 60, 2. Concord 64, 3. Keene 85, 7. Londonderry 202, 15. Timberlane 416, 17. Salem 459

Top 3 and top area finishers (122 finishers): 1. Jonathan Allard (Keene) 16:13.2, 2. Noah Bellamo (Alvirne) 16:16.8, 3. Calvin Graves (Pink) 16:21.0, 4. Jonathan L'Abbe (Pink) 16:25.3, 9. Jacob Huberdeau (Tim) 16:34.3, 14. Kyle Hajj (Pink) 16:50.8, 17. Pat Bastek (Pink) 16:57.4, 18. Chris Zaino (Lon) 16:58.4, 22. Josh Noe (Pink) 17:01.4, 23. Joe Gagnon (Pink) 17:01.8,

28. Ethan Desmarais (Pink) 17:17.9, 33. Jake Donnelly (Lon) 17:26.3, 45. Kyle Freire (Lon) 17:43.4, 52, Declan Hotter (Lon) 17:53.1, 54. Carter L'Italien (Lon) 17:53.9, 60. Sean Holden (Sal) 17:59.4, 61. Brian Metro (Lon) 17:59.5, 69. Kevin L'Italien (Lon) 18:15.9, 71. Mike Everett (Sal) 18:19.6

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