Girls cross country: Meet the six nominees for Seacoast High School Sports Awards
Jay Pinsonnault – Portsmouth Herald
Six high school girl cross country runners are in the mix to be named best on the Seacoast.
The nominees have been chosen and one winner will be be named at the Seacoast High School Sports Awards, a virtual event to be held this year on Tuesday, July 6.
The celebrity guest presenters for the 2021 show are scheduled to be announced on Sunday. Last year’s show featured Bill Belichick, Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, Steph Curry, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Phelps, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Keli Smith-Puzo, Gary Woodland, Rose Lavelle, Misty May-Treanor and Jordan Burroughs.
Athletes will be honored from fall, winter and spring sports again in 2021.
Honorees should register at sportsawards.usatoday.com/seacoast to reserve their complimentary athlete gift box, which is scheduled to arrive approximately one week prior to the show. Registrations are also used to send out awards for winners following the show. Visit the same website to sign up for updates to keep up with show information, honoree selections, presenter announcements and more.
The Seacoast High School Sports Awards, formerly known as Seacoast All Stars Sports Awards, is part of the USA TODAY High School Sports Awards, the largest high school sports recognition program in the country.
The nominees for high school girls cross country include Exeter-s Meadow Gregory, Anna Madden, and Ali McFarland, Portsmouth Christian Academy’s Liza Corso and Brianna Malone, and Dover’s Isabel McIntyre.
Here’s a look at each of their accomplishments:
Portsmouth Christian Academy, senior
Corso, who was PCA’s leading runner in all of her four years at the school, was undefeated in all regular season meets and broke PCA’s home course record three times this past season.
Corso, who served as team captain this past season, placed second at the Division III state meet at Derryfield Park in Manchester in a time of 19 minutes, 24.1 seconds.
“Some girls just plateau, but Liza was still hitting (personal records) this year,” PCA coach Mike Shevenell said. “She continues to improve.”
Corso, who holds 11 school track records, will compete for Lipscomb University in the fall.
The Exeter sophomore, who was named the team’s Most Improved Runner after last season, placed eighth overall at the Division I meet in a time of 20:54.9, and was 34th at the Meet of Champions with a time of 20:18.9.
“(Gregory) is a very hard worker, and is very committed,” Exeter coach Joe Scasitelli said. “She is a fierce competitor.”
Madden placed fourth in the Division I cross country meet in a time of 20 minutes, 25.6 seconds and was sixth (19:18.3) in the subsequent Meet of Champions.
Madden, who will run for the University of New Hampshire in the fall, was named Exeter’s MVP and was selected as a Division I all-state runner.
“While only racing in her second year, Anna has proven herself to be amongst the best runners in the state of New Hampshire,” Exeter coach Joe Scasitelli said. “She is very dedicated, and also highly competitive. She has a lot of upside, and has caught the attention of many coaches at both the high school and college levels.”
McFarland covered the Derryfield Park in Manchester in 21:05.8 and placed 11th at the Division I state meet.
McFarland, who is being recruited by several colleges, followed her Division I performance by placing 21st at the Meet of Champions in a time of 19:52.8 on the Mines Falls Park course in Nashua.
“(McFarland) is a seasoned veteran and also one of the best runners in the state,” Exeter coach Joe Scasitelli said. “She trains very hard, and takes running very seriously.”
The freshman placed 12th (21:06.6) at the Division I state meet, and then was 17th (19:44.4) at the Meet of Champions.
McIntyre ran in Dover’s No. 2 spot for the majority of the season, but turned things on at the end of the season.
“She is super motivated,” Dover head coach Nick Piatti said. “She bought into the system and believed in the training plan. We emphasized speed over mileage, and I think that really paid off in the long run. The fun part is she is just getting started and has an amazing team behind her; the next three years are going to be very exciting.”
Portsmouth Christian Academy, sophomore
The sophomore won the Division III state championship, covering the the Derryfield Park in Manchester in 19 minutes, 22.7 seconds.
Malone is just the second girl from PCA to win the cross country state title.
Malone went on and placed ninth at the Meet of Champions at Mines Falls in Nashua in a time of 19:31.
“Being a sophomore, she has many great seasons ahead of her,” PCA coach Mike Shevenell said.
Read the Seacoastonline.com original story from May 20, 2021.