Panther Cross Country Teams Capture State Titles

(L-R): Claire Gomba and Brian Rich picked up individual titles during Saturday's Vermont State Meet.
(L-R): Claire Gomba and Brian Rich picked up individual titles during Saturday's Vermont State Meet.

The Middlebury cross country teams swept the Vermont State Championship meets hosted by Johnson State College on Saturday afternoon. The fifth-ranked women earned a perfect 15 points in the six-team meet, 53 points better than second-place Norwich. The men concluded the meet with 21 points, besting second-place Norwich by 41. The teams return to action next Saturday at the Open New England Championships.

The women's team secured the top-six spots during the 5K event. Claire Gombaled the group by taking home the individual title, covering the course with a time of 20:52.3. Right behind her in the runner-up spot was Caroline Guiot in 20:54.7, while Olivia Artaiz crossed the line third in 21:02.1. Read Allen was just eight seconds behind Artaiz in fourth 21:10.3, while Isabella Alfaro was the team's final scorer, crossing the line with a fifth-place finish in 21:15.

Brian Rich brought home the title for the men's squad, covering the 8K course in 26:12.4. Connor Evans crossed the finish line with a runner-up effort of 26:20.6), while Ethan Realander stopped the clock in fourth place (26:42.2). Jonathan Perlman was sixth in 27:01, while Matt Sjogren rounded out the team's scorers in eighth (27:06.8).