Mt. Hope cross country teams battle heat, gnats and teams ·

The Mt. Hope High School boys and girls cross country teams overcame the heat and the gnats during a home meet at Colt State Park on Tuesday to get closer to their goal, the RIIL State Meet.
With the weather humid and 80 degrees, gnats can come out and cloud the field by the Mill Gut where the teams start and finish their races.
“It’s not good to have heat like this this late in the season. Usually we are training in 60-degree weather, not 80-degree weather,” said girls coach Susan Rancourt. “It slows everybody down and fogs up your mind when you are trying to run. It’s just not ideal conditions at all.”
Said senior Meg O’Brien, “It was a little hot out there, but our team ran really well. Usually our team doesn’t fare too well in the heat. The gnats can get really bad. We usually have to run through swarms of them when we are running for the finish line across the field.”
Added Mt. Hope junior Ryder Ferris, “The gnats weren’t that bad today. Usually when they are bad, I’m covered from head to toe.”
Despite the heat and gnats, both teams accomplished their goals to get a step closer to the states.
“We are battling St. Mary’s Bay View Academy, St. Raphael Academy and Wheeler for a spot in the state and class meets. We beat St. Raphael today and go against Wheeler next week,” said girls coach Susan Rancourt.
“Nick Januario, Ryder Ferris, Cam Rancourt, Josh Moore, Hunter Heyden and the rest of the team stepped up big for us today,” said boys coach Dennis Welch. “This was a really important race for us. With a win today we can almost wrap us a spot in the state championship.”
Ryder Ferris got into a sprint for the finish with top Tiverton runner Aidan Cabral. With a spurt, he pulled ahead right at the finish line, good enough for sixth place.
“It felt good. It always feels good. Everybody gave an amazing effort today. We left it all out there,” said Ryder.

The Huskies are 6-3 overall. They beat Tiverton, 25-41, but lost to Portsmouth, 29-26, and St. Raphael Academy, 28-27.
Top runners for the boys were:
• Nick Januario, fourth, (18:08)
• Ryder Ferris, sixth, (18:19)
• Josh Moore, 10th, (18:30)
• Hunter Heyden, 12th (18:35)
• Cam Rancourt, 13th (18:55)
The Lady Huskies are 7-3 overall. They beat St. Raphael Academy, 26-32, but lost to Portsmouth, 44-17.
Top runners for the Huskies were:
• Hope Tyska, sixth (22:43)
• Ella Hanley, seventh (22:59)
• Mackenzie Boucher, 13th (24:24)
• Katherine Barker, 14th (24:34)
• Meg O’Brien, 15th (24:43)


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