Joshua Spaulding, sports editor for the Record Enterprise, wrote:
Local high school cross country runners will see a new meet on their schedule this fall. Plymouth Regional High School cross country and track coach Dave Robinson is the president of the new Waterville Valley XC League, with Inter-Lakes coach Steve Olafsen serving as vice president. The league will be hosting its first ever meet on Friday, Sept. 27.
“This is an alternative to the Manchester Invitational (which takes place the next day),” Robinson stated. When the league was formed, Waterville Valley signed on as the prime sponsor and has been an incredible partner, according to Robinson.
“Waterville Valley Resort stepped up and provided an incredible site and amenities we couldn’t pass up,” Robinson said. “And we are hopeful of adding middle school races and summer camps.”
For Robinson and the fellow coaches in the area, the Manchester Invitational didn’t seem to be doing much for local runners, with racers coming in from all over the eastern part of the United States to compete. The new league was looked at as an opportunity for all the local cross country athletes to get the recognition they deserve.
“This league offers a respectful alternative and will spotlight every athlete that chooses to toe the line at a reasonable cost,” Robinson said.
Teams that have registered in the new league are as far south as Kearsarge and Prospect Mountain to the northern teams of Berlin, Gorham and White Mountains. Also included on the list are Belmont, Gilford, Inter-Lakes, Kennett, Kingswood, Laconia, LinWood, Moultonborough, Newfound, Plymouth, Sant Bani and Winnisquam.
“This league developed from the passionate cross country coaches,” Robinson said. “By cross country people for cross country student-athletes.”
The inaugural race will be called the Finale in the Valley and will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 in Waterville Valley.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 603-569-3126 or [email protected].