Boys Cross Country earn New England Regional Meet bid

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Courtesy Colby Lynch

Boys Cross country prepares to race at the New England meet.

The boys cross country team is headed to Thetford, Vermont, after earning a spot at the New England regional race. Following a sixth place finish at states, the boys qualified for the meet, as the top six teams move on.

This group of runners have turned heads from the start. Not only have they improved in the rankings, but now they are going to a race nobody in the state could’ve predicted they would qualify for. The success is due to great improvements from the team as a whole from the last season. Junior Sean Clegg has made his own personal improvements throughout his time on the team.

“Our team by far surpassed expectations,” Clegg said. “We were predicted to not make it to New England from the start, but now here we are getting ready for it. We shattered our season expectations.”

To make it to this race, the team had to qualify at the “Division One Meet of Champions”. This qualification came down to the wire with Londonderry beating out Windham by just one point.

“When we saw the scores and realized as a team that we were going onto New England’s, it was the best moment of the season,” Clegg said. “The rest of the team and I are super excited to get this opportunity to compete at this meet.”

Not only is this a major race for the team, but Clegg is also eyeing a spot for the All Division One team, which features the states best runners, after a truly remarkable season.

“My expectations for the race is to make a push for the team,” Clegg said. “I need a great performance at New England’s, and that is what I’m planning on doing.”

The speed of the Lancer team is complemented greatly by the seniors who have stepped up to set an example for the young talent of the underclassmen. Of the seven runners competing on Saturday, four are seniors. Senior Colby Lynch has been integral for the development of this team.

“The season so far has been amazing,” Lynch said. “Everyone has been working really hard and it was nice to have a normal season again after what all the fall athletes missed out on last year.”

Now in his final season of high school cross country, Lynch has been accomplishing goals that seemed so out of reach when he began cross country.

“Being able to race in the New England Championship Meet has been a dream of mine since I started cross country so for the team to qualify this year it’s extremely special,” Lynch said.

With a perfect recipe of an underdog mentality and being aware of how little time there was left in his high school career, Lynch and the team did what few thought they would.

“Our own expectations: absolutely we lived up to them; everybody else’s expectations: we crushed them,” Lynch said. “We were ranked 9th in New Hampshire all year and only the top 6 qualify for this race, so when we qualified and proved everyone wrong, it was the best moment I had ever been a part of.”

With the bittersweet feeling of knowing this race marks the end of a legacy, Lynch will keep everything he’s learned from the sport and hone it all in for one last meet.

“Cross Country has made me a tougher person,” Lynch said. “Anytime I face an obstacle in my life I think about all the times I wanted to quit on a run but didn’t, and that motivates me to keep going. Most of all, cross country introduced me to my brothers. I’ve been doing the sport for so long now, it’s going to be a hard pill to swallow when it’s all over.”

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