Thrice as Nice for DeBalsi at New England's

For the third straight year, Hannah DeBalsi was a winner at the New England Championship.

The Staples senior's latest conquest occurred on Saturday where she traversed the hilly five-kilometer terrain of Thetford Acadamy in Vermont with a time of 18 minutes, 20.90 seconds. DeBalsi was nearly 12 seconds ahead of her closest pursuer, runner-up Ellie Lawler of South Kingstown. The talented sophomore finished at 18:32.70.

With three of its runners among the top 11 placements, Tolland High placed third overall as a team with 110 points. Rhode Island's La Salle Academy won for the second straight year with 60 points. Junior Katherine Deloreto was the top finisher for Tolland, placing third overall in 19:01.30.

In the boys' competition, Ridgefield's Gabriel Altopp and Brien McMahon's Eric van der Els were second and third, respectively. Altopp crossed the line in 16:09.30, just .10 ahead of van der Ells. La Salle's DJ Principe won the race with a time of 15:48.40.

La Salle also won its third consecutive team title, defeating second-place Pinkerton Academy (N.H.), 76-96. Staples was third with 200 points. Placing fourth was Danbury with 202 points.