One last shot to qualify for this weekend’s Meet of Champions, a chance to capture or defend a team title, or an opportunity to finish off the cross-country season on a high note.
Those reason (and more) are why the throngs of participants made their way to one of three divisional state championships that were held Satruday under moderately brisk conditions. Kudos to all who earned the rite to compete at the the championship meets and those who brought home the hardware, both individually and as a team. We had several performances on both sides that gave indication that the upcoming MOC has the potential to be something special this coming weekend at Fort Devens.
Here’s our recap of what happened at the Division 2 meet, held at the Gardner Municipal Golf Course.
Last year at the Meet of Champions, Cambridge Rindge & Latin’s Aoife Shovlin shocked the field in the Division 1 race by winning the individual title as a tenth-grader. It looks like she could peaking at just the right time to possibly do it again at this weekend’s meet. The CB&L standout beat a talented field handily on Saturday, cruising to a time of 18:16.77 on the challenging 5K at Gardner. Shovlin was more than 30 seconds ahead of her closest pursuer, Westford Academy’s Abigail Hennessey, who placed second at 18:49.78. Weymouth’s Gracie Richard (18:49.78) and Acton Boxbrough’s Paige McInerney (18:50.59) were also able to go sub-19 by finishing third and fourth, respectively. Wachusett Regional’s Naomi Witt was fifth at 19:05.61.
Just three points separated the top two teams in this one with Cambridge Rindge & Latin edging Weymouth 111-114. Newton North was third with 123 points. CB&L was represented by Shovlin, Sophia Juance Seto (tenth, 19:33.14), Eliza Dickie (16th, 19:49.04), Audrey Jordano (27th, 20:21.11) and Fiona Litman (21:24.96).
Pre-race favorite Chris Lanard of Boston College High claimed individual honors in the boys’ race with a time of 15:39.88. Not too far behind in second was Newton North’s Ilan Sherman-Kadish at 15:49.68. BC High’s John Wilson (third, 15:55.08), Lexington’s Joseph Ryan (fourth, 15:59.05) and Cambridge Rindge & Latin’s Paulino Guevara Mateo (fifth, 16:00.04) rounded out the top five.
With just over a minute separating its’ one through five, Newton South defeated second-place BC High, 64-95, for the team title. Sherman-Kadis, Alex Friedman (seventh, 16:11.85), Thomas Flaig (11th, 16:18.80), Nathan Hamilton (21st, 16:43.02) and Dashiell Martin (23rd, 16:47.0) scored for the Lions.
Audrey Fitzpatrick picked the opportune time to have the best race of her high school career. The Wellesley senior beat a strong field to take the top prize, crossing the line in a PR of 19:21.42. Arlington’s Elise Kempf was second at 19:28.21. Securing the next three placements were Wellesley’s Bridget Reidy (third, 19:28.42) and North Quincy teammates Salma Boukhtam (fourth, 19:29.04) and Aluna Coogan-Coyne (fifth, 19:30.29).
Arlington, the overwhelming favorite, didn’t disappoint in the team competition. The Spy Ponders bunched all five of their scoring runners in the top 20 to beat a talented Wellesley squad, 47-77. Behind Kempf were Evie Lauzon (sixth, 19:33.57), Sophia Francis (seventh, 19:34.31), Safiya Alt Ali (13th, 19:57.91) and Ellery Klatka (19th, 20:11.41).
One of our nation’s best, Paul Bergeron of Westford Academy, proved a slight injury that sidelined him for a brief time during the season, is behind him in the boys’ race. Bergeron was back to his old form with a winning time of 15:38.4. Junior teammate Jack Graffeo was second at 15:49.78. Rounding out the top five were Wellesley’s Stephen Goehringer (third, 16:10.86), Belmont’s Jared Rife (fourth, 16:15.36) and Lincoln-Sudbury’s Ethan Sholk (fifth, 16:24.43).
Wellesley went home with the team hardware, holding off Westford Academy, 76-87. Natick was third with 89. In addition to Goehringer, the Red Raiders’ Eli Merritt (sixth, 16:28.74), Robert Foster (ninth, 16:37.87), Tyler Lynch (27th, 16:58.50) and Ben Anderson (31st, 17:08.17) scored for the victors.
In what proved to be a close battle for the individual title, Westfield’s Megan Moran came out top. Fresh off her impressive victory last week at the Frank Mooney Coaches Invitational, Moran posted a four-second win over Oliver Ames’ Katie Sobieraj with a time of 18:36.21. Sobieraj secured second at (18:40.67. Bishop Feehan’s Lauren Augustyn also broke 19 minutes, placing third with a time of 18:51.43. Madeline Courtemanche (fourth, 19:13.45) and Hopkinton’s Elyse Srodawa (fifth, 19:27.34) took the next two spots.
In the no-surprise department, Oliver Ames easily won the team title by scoring just 31 points. Central Catholic was second with 88 points. As expected, the Tigers were able to earn the championship banner by bunching it up at the finish. All five scoring runners finished in the top 11 with Sobieraj, Braelyn Graham (sixth, 19:42.89), Hannah Dupill (seventh, 19:49.57), Loie Apostoli (tenth, 19:58.36), and Annie Reilly (11th, 20:02.79) filling those positions.
Billerica’s Ryan Leslie ran away with the title in the boys’ race, clocking 16:13.23. Algonquin’s Steve White was second at 16:24. He was followed by Sharon’s Nicholas Yacoub (third, 16:29.07), Algonquin’s Chris Kardos (fourth, 16:31.10), and Somerville’s Atticus Kaye (fifth, 16:31.21).
White, Kardos and their Titan teammates earned the championship banner with a 40-90 victory over Reading. Aiden Ruiz (seventh, 16:37.08), Joseph Lambum (11th, 16:49.23) and Jonah Gould (16th, 16:55.40) were the remaining scorers for Algonquin.