By SULLY CUMMINS
FALMOUTH – The second night of the Bob Glennon Twilight Invitational did not disappoint.
Storming down the finish of the boys Large School varsity race in the rain at Saturday’s meet was Jack Graffeo, a junior from Westford Academy, throwing down a time of 14:57.7 to win by nearly 30 seconds and set the fastest mark this season. Graffeo was able to hold off Pablo Tejedor Meyers from Brookline
in 15:26.6 for second, and Jared Rife from Belmont in 15:28 for third.
“I wanted to dominate from the beginning,” Graffeo said. “I think I executed that perfectly.”
He most certainly did.
Taking the lead early, nobody touched Graffeo for the rest of the race. With his sub-15 clocking, he improved his PR for this course by over three minutes. Two years ago, he took a nasty spill 200 meters into that race, Graffeo said. He lost his shoe and ran 18:07.2.
On the team side, the race went in a similar fashion. With their top six all under 16 minutes, and
their top five runners in the top 11, Brookline left no doubt. The Warriors further cement their number one ranking heading into the championship season. They won with 24 points. Trailing Brookline was Algonquin Regional in second with 94 points. Natick with 101, Westford Academy with 132, and Barrington (RI) with 139 rounded out the top five.
By the time the girls’ Large School varsity race had started, the rain picked up. But it didn’t
stop Lucia Werner of Brookline, who was able to dip under 18 minutes for the first time with a triumphant
17:55.2 in her last invitational of her high school cross country career.
“I’m sad,” Werner said. “It’s my last invitational of high school. I’m just thankful to run and be pushed by such great competition.”
The Brookline harrier was followed by Abigail Hennessy of Westford Academy in 18:14.4 for second, and Evelyn Wool of Bromfield in 18:27 for third.
Werner continued her streak of winning this weekend and is still undefeated this fall on the trails.
She looked smooth and comfortable, and is poised to have a strong championship season.
Strong pack running is what won the team battle in this race as well, with Oliver Ames’ top three
girls all finishing within a second of each other, all under 19 minutes. With their top five all in the
top 30 finishers, they won with 40 points. They look to retain their first-place ranking in Division 1.
The win was pretty close with Weymouth right behind, tallying for 57 points. Brookline was third with
143, then Wachusett Regional was fourth with 146 points. Rounding out the top five teams was
Longmeadow with 167 points.
As for the junior varsity, Brookline boys had an even more dominant performance than their
varsity squad. They swept the first five finishers, and had all eight of their runners in the top 13.
Leading this crew was junior Theo Kessler, winning in 16:37.3.
Taking the JV girls’ title was Emma Squire, a junior from Bromfield, who won by over 20 seconds in a
time of 20:21.7, a season best for her.
The underclassmen put on a show as well.
For the sophomore races, John Bianchi of Natick took the boys crown in 15:59.6 for 5k, winning
by a large margin of 40 seconds. The girls sophomore champion won by even more – It took
over a minute for anyone to finish after Sara Balnco from City of Boston, who finished in
Owen Lacaillade of Attleboro led nearly all of the 2.1 mile freshmen boys race and won with a
time of 10:58.6. Lacaillade is their top runner this season and has a lot of positive momentum.
Freshmen girls champion Tanvi Mehta won by 30 seconds, covering the 2.1-mile course in
13:15.4. As for the novice race, Joseph Federline Jr of Mansfield won the boys race in 12:02.2
and Jessica Harding of Weymouth won on the girls side in 15:01.1.