Who made the cut?
Again, we’ve asked for your input in helping us determine our top 10 list for our X-C Previews. This time we’re featuring the teams that should be listed among our best this season.
In this preview, we feature the girls’ squads. Below is our list from No. 6 to No. 10 based on your feedback from emails and Instagram as well as our our own prognosis. We’ve also included our honorable mention choices.
No. 6 – Arlington
Arlington lost two from last year’s team that was third in Division 1B, just three points behind runner-up Marshfield. The Spy Ponders were also eighth at the Meet of Champions. What make this team special is its strength in pack mentality. Just 35 seconds separated the top five at the divisionals and 29 seconds was the difference at the MOC. It doesn’t appear as though that will change much this season. Returning are senior Elise Kempf, senior Safiya Ait Ali, junior Evie Lauzon, junior Sophia Francis and senior Virginia Sanzo. The quintet have all run times in the high 19 minutes and low 20 minutes range at the 2022 championship meets.
No. 7 – Brookline
The Warriors lost top harriers Camille Jordan and Jordan Liss-Riordan to graduation. But there’s plenty of talent coming back from a Brookline squad that swept the team titles at the 1A meet and MOC. Senior Lucia Werner is the top returnee and should hold the No. 1 spot for the Warriors this season. She was tenth at divisionals and 11th at the MOC. Also coming back are senior Dasha Lefaivre, senior Audrey Seeger, junior Anna Goldmuntz. Lefaivre and Seager were 20th and 21st, respectively, in Div. 1A and 34th and 35th ay MOC with times in the 19:20 to 19:40 range. Goldmuntz was just over 20 minutes at MOC.
No. 8 – Needham
While the Rockets saw three of their varsity runner graduate this past June, the good news is underclassmen occupied the remaining four spots on a team that was third in Div. 1A and fifth at the MOC. Sophomore Greta Hammer leads the show. She broke through last season by taking third overall at divisionals and second at the MOC, less than four seconds behind this year’s defending titlist Aoife Shovlin of Cambridge & Latin. At the Div. 1A meet, Hammer clocked a 5K best of 17 minutes, 51.77 seconds at Wrentham. Other top returnees include the junior trio of Taylor Partridge, Eva Adam and Audrey Adam. Partridge nearly broke 19 minutes for 5K at 1A. Eva Adam was a mid-to-high 19-minute runner and Audrey Adam was around 20:20-20:30 last fall.
No. 9 – Holliston
For the last two years, the Panthers have swept the team titles at the Div. 2A meet and MOC. Holliston still appears to be a strong contender at the divisionals, but it will be a bit more difficult to repeat at the MOC. Multiple all-stater Carmen Luisi returns for her final season on the trails where she is the two-time defending champion for Div. 2B and the MOC. An injury in the spring sidelined her somewhat, but we expect she’ll be back with a solid year with times in the low 18-minute range and faster. Junior teammates Maggie Kuchman and Annabelle Lynch, who were third (18:57) and seventh (19:13), respectively, at divisionals and seventh (19:13) and 13th (19:29) at MOC, are coming back. Junior Sarah Kuchman and sophomore Tea Stucci are two more that were among the Panthers’ top seven from 2022.
No. 10 – Weymouth
There will certainly be a lot of familiar faces for the Wildcats this season. Weymouth has six of its runners returning from a squad that was fifth in Div. 1A and ninth at the MOC. Five of Weymouth’s varsity last year were underclassmen with Gracie Richard the top returnee. She as 11th (18:53) at the divisionals and 24th (19:21) at the MOC. We expect she’ll be back at that the No. 1 spot for her team and could experience some solid improvement during the fall. She showcased some speed last year on the track, breaking 60 seconds for 400 meters and 2:20 for the 800m. In the winter, she was fourth in the 1K at the MOC where she ran a best of 2:59.62. Other strong returnees are junior Isabella Galusha, junior Kate Carnes, sophomore Leah Glavin, sophomore Julia Eagan and senior Colleen Glavin.
Honorable Mention: Newton North, Marshfield, Westford Academy, Nashoba Regionals