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. 5 to No. 1 based on your feedback from emails and Instagram as well as our our own prognosis.
No. 5 – Hopkinton
The Hillers were third at the Division 1B Championships and tenth overall at the Meet of Champions. Here’s the thing. Hopkinton had four tenth-graders on that squad and six total are expected to be coming back. Leading the charge is junior Elyse Srodawa, who was a runner-up to Wellesley’s Charlotte Tuxbury at the 1B meet where she was timed in 18 minutes, 24.95 seconds at the Wrentham Development Center. Other key returnees include senior Bethel Flanagan,, junior Avery Sawyer, junior Bridgid Cavanaugh, junior Malia Grant and senior Sophia Weeden.
No. 4 – Oliver Ames
The Tigers went home with the team plaque in Div. 1C in 2022 and were fourth overall at the MOC. Similar to Hopkinton, Oliver Ames loses just one runner to graduation and had three underclassmen on last year’s squad. At the top of the list is senior Katie Sobieraj, who was eighth (18:49.60) at the divisional meet and tenth (19:18.53) at the MOC. Sobieraj, who was fourth in the Championship race of the Ocean State Invitational last September, should pick up where she left off last year. She’ll have some strong teammates behind her this season, too. Among them are junior Hannah Dupill, junior Braelyn Graham, sophomore Ashley Powers, senior Hailey Goldman and senior Annie Reilly. Graham was 12th at the MOC with a time of 19:33.32. Dupill was right behind in 13th with a 5K best of 19:33.49.
No. 3 – Acton-Boxborough
All five scoring runners from last year’s team that was fourth in Div. 1A and sixth at the MOC are back this fall and a total of six will be returning. A-B has a strength up front with the junior trio of Catherine Callahan, Elizabeth Latham and Paige McInerney. All three broke 20 minutes at the MOC with Callahan clocking 19:03.25, Latham at 19:11.05 and McInerney in 19:45.53. Other top returnees include junior Clementine Garro. senior Olivia Pignato and sophomore Maddie Dean. Garro and Piganto hovered in the low-to-mid 20 minute range for the 5K distance.
No. 2 – Cambridge Rindge & Latin
Look out for CB&L. This is a team that will have everyone back this year and nearly everyone coming back in 2024. Among the seven varsity runners from last year, five were underclassmen, four of which were freshman. With that young squad, the Falcons finished second in Div. 1A and were third at the MOC in 2023. Junior Aoife Shovlin, who was the individual champion at the MOC after placing fifth at the divisionals a week earlier, returns at the top position. She went sub-18 at divisionals where she was timed in 17:58.84 and was 18:12.97 at MOC. After a successful track season that was highlighted by a runner-up finish in the two mile (PR, 10:40.02) at the Div. 1 meet in outdoor, we expect she’ll be contending for both championship titles this fall. Eliza Dickie appears to be a solid No. 2 for the Falcons. She was 14th at the divisionals with a PR of 18:59.30. Other top returnees are sophomore Sophia Juanes-Seto, sophomore Eleanor Allan, junior Audrey Jordano, sophomore Hazel McDonald and sophomore Theia Lund. Juanes-Seto and Allan both went under 20 minutes at the divisionals last fall.
No. 1 – Wellesley
The Red Raiders had youth up front last year with Charlotte and Emma Tuxbury and Abby Beggans producing the strongest trio in the state, one that led the team to a convincing 48-point victory at the Div. 1B meet and runner-up finish at the MOC. As a sophomore in 2022, Charlotte Tuxbury (18:17.91) was a victor at the divisionals with ninth-graders Beggan (18:29.26) and Emma Tuxbury (18:36.67) placing third and sixth, respectively. The three teammates went 3-7-19 at the MOC with Beggans and Emma Tuxbury cracking the top 10. A year later, the Red Raiders have the potential to have nearly all of their scoring runners in that 18-to-19 minute range this season with the chance for some to get in the high 17s with the right kind of conditions. Also coming back are junior Bridget Reidy and junior Audrey Fitzpatrck, both sub-20 performers.