Stride for stride

It’s anyone’s race as Keene High’s Amelia Opsahl, center, and Hannah Shepard vie with Monadnock’s Delaney Swanson Wednesday in Keene.

Keene cross country hosted Monadnock Wednesday and swept past the Huskies.

For the girls, while the overall score was easily in Keene’s favor, 20-39, the race for the top was much closer.

Leading from the gun was Delaney Swanson of Monadnock, with Amelia Opsahl and Hannah Shepard of Keene in close pursuit. About 2.5 miles into the 3.1-mile course, Opsahl and Shepard passed Swanson, who hung on tenaciously, not letting the Keene runners get far ahead. In the final 400 meters, Shepard almost pulled even to Opsahl, who just managed to hold her off, with Swanson close behind in third. Opsahl finished in 20:10, Shepard in 20:11, and Swanson in 20:23.

Reagan Hoy was a strong third for Keene and fourth overall in 20:40. Finishing fifth through 10th were Sofia Guardiano of Keene (21:36), Anna Bentley (22:10) and Alyssa Hall (22:35) of Monadnock, and Sydney Fugere (22:37), Kelly Ranta (22:46), and Sophie Dean (22:58) of Keene.

Meanwhile, the Blackbird boys ran away with their meet.

Keene runners took the top three finishes in a 19-40 win on the Keene XC course around the Alumni field and Wildwood Park.

Torin Kindopp led fellow juniors Jonathan Hills and Silas Johnson to the first three spots. Kindopp placed first in 17:12 with Hills finishing close behind at 17:18 and Johnson third at 17:29.

Monadnock runners took the next two places, with Harry Ryan finishing fourth in 18:00 and Tyler Hebert fifth in 18:28.

Senior Marty Nelligan and Freshman Ian Cardinale rounded out Keene’s scoring, with Nelligan finishing sixth in 18:28 and Cardinale placing seventh in 18:32.

Keene will host Hanover, Conant and Hinsdale next Wednesday.