The state cross country format underwent big changes this year with the All-State Meets now being called the Divisional State Championship Meets.
As a result, the divisional meets were re-aligned and Gloucester now competes in Division 2B and Manchester Essex in Division 3B. After Saturday’s Divisional Meets, both the Fishermen and Hornets proved to fit just fine in their new aligned Divisions. Both the Gloucester and Manchester Essex boys qualified for the Divisional State Championship as a team while the Manchester Essex girls also had an individual qualifier.
The top seven finishers in Division 2B qualified for the Division 2 Meet, and the Fishermen boys got in with a fifth place finish at Gardner Golf Course. Gloucester had an overall team score of 253 and had three runners place in the top 32 to help them get into the top five. Newburyport won the meet with 66 points thanks to four runners placing in the top 20, Danvers was second with 84, Northhampton third with 93 and Pembroke fourth with 208.
Senior Nick Poulin, a first team All Northeastern Conference runner during the dual meet season, was Gloucester’s top finisher and the best local finisher of the day, placing fourth with a time of 17:01. The Fishermen also got points from Colby Rochford (29th, 18:10), Max Littman (32nd, 18:18), Michael Francis (90th, 19:40) and Kyle Clifford (98th, 19:50).
In Division 3B, the top eight teams reached the All-State Meet with Manchester Essex coming in at No. 8 to take the final spot at Stanley Park in Wesfield. The Hornets finished with 228 team points, Littleton won the race with 88.
Finn O’Hara, the Cape Ann League Baker Division’s Runner of the Year, finished on the medal stand with a ninth place finish (17:10). Manchester Essex also got points from Colin Harrison (39th, 18:28), Logan Cooper (48th, 18:49), Charlie Lations (55th, 19:08), Nate Gardner (87th, 20:18) and Max Kirk (96th, 20:52).
The Manchester Essex girls did not reach the All-State Meet as a team, finishing 11th, but freshman Whitney Turner qualified for the All-State Meet as an individual with a 31st place finish and a time of 21:48. Lassen Ando also turned in a top-40 finish, coming in 39th with a time of 22:18.
Freshman Clara Emerson was the top finisher for the Gloucester girls, placing 39th with a time of 21:50.
The qualifiers will be back in action on Saturday at the Division 2 and 3 Meets at Wrentham Development Center.