HS cross country: L’Esperance (6th), Yount (8th), Vayda (12th) medal at All-States

  • Northampton senior Tobias L’Esperance heads down the home stretch at Stanley Park in Westfield to win the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships on Oct. 26. L’Esperance placed sixth at the All-State Division 1 boys meet on Saturday. STAFF FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton senior Mary Yount finishes third with a time of 18:56.45 in the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships at Stanley Park in Westfield on Oct. 26. Yount placed eighth at the All-State Division 1 girls meet on Saturday. STAFF FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hampshire Regional senior Christopher Vayda leads the field in the first mile of the PVIAC Cross Country Championships at Stanley Park in Westfield on Oct. 26. Vayda placed 12th at the All-State Division 2 boys meet on Saturday. STAFF FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 11/17/2019 9:47:56 PM

Northampton senior Tobias L’Esperance has high expectations, even if he tells people otherwise.

The plan for Saturday’s All-State Cross Country Championship was for L’Esperance to place in the top 15 and earn a medal at Gardner Municipal Golf Course.

L’Esperance had a different plan – win.

His strategy was working. He let the early lead pack do all the work, picked runners off during the second mile and had the leaders in his sights over the final mile.

The leaders, however, held to the end and left L’Esperance with a sixth-place finish.

“My personal baseline goal was to get a medal, which is 15th place, but what I really didn’t tell anybody was that I was secretly hoping to win. I’m happy that I exceeded anyone’s expectations, but I didn’t meet my own.”

L’Esperance finished the 3.1-mile course in 16 minutes, 28 seconds. He was 22 seconds behind winner Mike Griffin of King Philip. The senior placed first in 16:06, seven seconds in front of William Chaffin of Concord-Carlisle.

Marblehead’s Loeden Rodrigues (third, 16:22), Saint John’s Prep’s Steven Jackson (fourth, 16:24) and KP’s Mike Norberg (fifth, 16:26) rounded out the top five.

L’Esperance’s season is over. He said he is not competing at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional on Nov. 30 at New York’s VanCortlandt Park. He said he wants to rest before turning his attention to the indoor track & field season.

“I’m very satisfied with my cross country season,” the Western Massachusetts Division 1 and PVIAC champion said.

Northampton finished 13th with 296 points and was the top team from western Massachusetts. Saint John’s Prep was first (112).

Fellow Blue Devil Simon LaClair was among four runners with a time of 17:05. He was ruled fourth across the line and finished 50th.

Belchertown senior Evan Dunigan missed the top 50 by two seconds, finishing 52nd in 17:07.

Walter Tebbetts led Amherst Regional, which placed 18th (437) among 20 teams. The senior finished 62nd in 17:15.

South Hadley senior Bradyn Cote (84th, 17:27) and Northampton senior Tim Jacques (87th, 17:30) finished in the top 100.

Northampton senior Mary Yount finished eighth and was the top finisher from western Mass. in the girls Division 1 race.

Yount crossed in 19:34, two seconds ahead of Agawam’s Sarah Ross (12th).

Newton South’s Lucy Jenks was first in 18:53. Concord-Carlisle’s Emma Kerimo (second) and Milton’s Ava Duggan (third) each finished in 19:09.

Amherst Regional junior Vivian Jacobs-Townsley was among three Hurricanes to finish in the top 50.

Jacobs-Townsley was 39th in 20:26. Senior Zada Forde was 45th in 20:37, while freshman Tamar Byl-Brann was 48th in 20:39. Junior Charlotte Staudenmeyer was 60th in 20:48.

The Hurricanes finished 10th (239), the best finish among schools from western Mass. Concord-Carlisle was first (74) in a field of 20. Northampton (419) was 19th.

Hampshire Regional senior Chris Vayda was one second shy of finding the top 10 in the boys Division 2 championship race. Vayda finished 12th in 17:01. Ted Yee, of Lenox, was 10th in 17:00. Alex Craig, of Old Rochester, matched Vayda’s time but was 11th.

Sean Kay, of Arlington Catholic, was first in 16:03, the fastest time among the two divisions.

Hopkins Academy sophomore Johnathon Hanscom was 89th (18:05).

Martha’s Vineyard won the team title (148).

Easthampton freshman Brooke Bongiovanni was the top finisher from Hampshire County in the girls Division 2 race. She finished 68th in 21:54.

Pope Francis sophomore Meghan Sullivan, an Easthampton resident, was 83rd (22:13).

Carmel Fitzgibbon, of Weston, finished first in 18:31.

Western Mass. did well in the team results. Lenox won (98) and Mount Greylock (135) was runner-up.

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