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Girls Earn Top Spot, Boys Take Third in Cross Country Invitational

Girls Earn Top Spot, Boys Take Third in Cross Country Invitational
Jim Norman

It has been a great run, and we are still going strong! This weekend, Canterbury hosted its 49th Annual Cross Country Invitational with more than 25 schools in attendance. The final results were great for the Saints—the Girls’ Cross Country team took first place in their division, while the Boys’ team, the defending NEPSTA Division III champions, finished third overall!

The comfortable fall day began with registration and observation of the 5K course before the first race started at noon. Each school’s teams were placed in a division depending upon the school size, with large schools in Division I and small schools—including Canterbury—in Division II. The Boys’ Division I runners kicked off the race schedule, followed by the Boys’ Division II race at 12:30 PM. The Girls’ Division I race started a half-hour later, and the Girls’ Division II runners capped things off at 1:30 PM. More than 340 runners competed in the day’s events.

For the Saints Girls, Chloe Carroll ’25 (22:09) finishing third in the race out of 63 competitors, with Virginia Zapletal ’24 (22:17) placing fourth, Maya Lileika ’25 (24:42) in 20th, Chloe Herr ’24 in 23rd (25:02), Kylee Henderson ’25 in 25th (25:27), Seoin “Eva” Choi ’25 in 26th (25:29), and Juliana Loesche ’25 (26:09) in 35th.

Bradley Bozzuto ’25 (18:14) led the Boys’ team with a second-place finish out of 68 racers, with Thomas Lapham ’23 (18:30) and Ryan Oemcke ’24 (18:31) finishing in third and fourth place, respectively. They were followed by Thomas Prendergast ’23 (19:40) in 15th, Lezhi “Martin” Zhang ’24 (24.12) in 58th, Xian “Clarence” Wu ’26 (25.58) in 66th, and Michael Lynn ’26 (28:57) in 67th.

Girls’ Cross Country coaches Tracy Garcia-LaVigne P ʼ14, ʼ16, ʼ17, ʼ20, ʼ23 and Matt Biggart, along with Boys’ Cross Country coaches Ryan Rebstock and Pres Hagen, have been busy preparing their runners for the race as well as organizing the widely attended event with Associate Director of Athletics Paddy McCarthy ’94. 

"This was my first experience being a part of the Canterbury Invitational, and I am still in awe of how organized and well-run the event is," Ryan said. "The boys had a solid season debut. We have our work cut out for us; our goal of repeating as New England champions is within reach if we continue to improve every day."

The Canterbury Invitational has been an annual tradition since 1972, when Prep Schools across New England and the Mid-Atlantic were invited to bring their Boys’ Cross Country teams to the School to race 2.7 miles across our hilltop. Girls’ teams were invited to join in 1978. The race was increased to 3.1 miles—a true 5K—by 2002.

Congrats to all the competitors, coaches, and organizers for another fantastic invitational!