Nov. 10, 2011
By Mal Boright
With their eighth Vermont Division I title in the past nine years in their 2011 bag of triumphs, coach Scott Bliss and his Champlain Valley Union cross country girls have their sights set this weekend on a second straight New England crown.
The event takes place Saturday in North Scituate, R.I., approximately 10 miles west of Providence.
“We are probably the favorites going in,” Bliss said Monday at the team’s practice session at the CVU track. He said the Redhawks are ranked second in the northeast and in the top 30 nationwide.
A victory Saturday could result in a return to the Nike Nationals in which CVU participated last year.
“We are definitely ready,” said senior runner Adrienne DeVita. “We are stronger than last year.”
The Redhawks won the Vermont crown two weeks ago with a show of great depth, capturing seven of the top 11 positions. Bliss said the 25 points posted by his team was one of the lowest scores ever.
“If we all run as we can, we will do well,” said junior Taylor Spillane, the Redhawks’ top runner.
Spillane, D-I individual champ Markie Palermo of Essex and D-III titleholder Elle Purrier of Richford are expected to contest for top honors over the flat 5-kilometer course.
Bliss said all three runners have exceeded the R.I. course record time of 18 minutes and 15 seconds on a similar layout in Vermont.