The entries for the girls’ races at Saturday’s meet didn’t quite match up to the boys, forcing meet officials to narrow this down to two races rather than the three that were scheduled. Again, while a number of top runners have opted out of this weekend’s meet, we still have a few that could make the races interesting (and fast!).
Here’s our list.
GIRLS’ A RACE
Clare Lowther, Hingham
During the last few weeks of the season in 2022, Lowther was a consistent sub 20-minute runner for the 5K distance with a season best of 19:28.95 at the Division 1B Championships and a 19:57.61 effort at the Meet of Champions (MOC) at Fort Devens. This year, her lone sub-20 was a league meet with Whitman-Hanson where she clocked a winning 19:42.16. With the entries that we’ve seen, a time in that low-to-mid 19-minute range could win the race on Saturday.
Alexa Schroeder, Martha’s Vineyard
After a strong junior season last year where she clocked a 5K best of 18:46.8 at the Twilight Invitational and was eighth in the Div. 2C Championships, Schroeder experienced an injury that derailed her entire indoor campaign and most of the outdoor season.
The Vineyarder senior appears as though she’s on the mend, based on her performance at the recent Frank Kelley Invitational where she was timed in 20:19.4 in her first invitational of the season. We know what she’s capable of when she’s healthy. When she’s at her best, Schroeder can’t be counted out when talking about our top finishers this weekend.
Rose Kiley, Andover
The Golden Warrior sophomore is competing in her inaugural cross-country season after enjoying moderate success on the track last year as a ninth-grader. At last month’s Franklin Park Invitational, Kiley showed great promise on the up-and-down terrain by finishing second overall with a time of 20:19.5. Could she be sub-20 on Saturday a few weeks after her runner-up finish? It could happen.
GIRLS’ B RACE
Abby Beggans, Wellesley
Beggans is coming off a freshman season where she was fourth at the Div. 1B Championships and third at the MOC. She’s only competed in a few dual meets this fall with times in the 20-minute range. This will be her first big race of the season. We expect an all-out effort at Fort Devan, a site she ran 18:29.4 at the MOC.
Abigail Kelly, Newburyport
Kelly is a week removed from a season-best time of 19:28.7 at the Frank Kelley Invitational, a meet she placed 17th overall. She was third in the Varsity C Race at Bay State last year where she clocked 20:19. If everything works out as planned, she certainly could be in the mix with some of our top competitors.
Ava Bullock, Barnstable
At her best, Bullock is a runner to take seriously in meets like this weekend. She was eighth at both the Div. 1B Championships and the MOC with times in the 18:40s. Thus far this fall, she’s competed in one invitational meet, placing 34th overall in the Championship race of the Ocean State Invitational with a time of 19:31.9.
Elise Kempf, Arlington
In league action, Kempf has been unbeaten, clocking a season best of 19:21 in a meet versus Lexington in late September. She has the potential for a breakthrough performance on Saturday in her first big meet of the fall season.
Safiya Ait Ali, Arlington
The Spy Ponders senior is another strong runner on a team that ranks No. 9 in the BSR/HOKA Power Rankings. She ran 19:38.1 at the Div. 1x Championships last year and was close to matching that time with a fourth-place finish and time of 19:36 in the dual meet with Lexington.