(Topsfield) In a world with few certainties, the Hamilton-Wenham girls cross country team is the exception……..they show up and they win. They have now put in seven consecutive unbeaten Cape Ann League seasons after winning the Cape Ann League Cross Country Championships at chilly/rainy Bradley Palmer State Park on Saturday afternoon.
The undefeated Newburyport boys saved their best race of the season for this race as they placed four runners in the top six finishers and handily dispatched second-place Masconomet by 26 points.
Individually, the girls race for the top spot looked a lot like last year minus Alison Lanois (she’s now a freshman at Dartmouth). Rebecca Morse (2nd last year), Sarah Kiernan (3rd last year), and Kerry Phelan (4th last year) ran together ahead of the field with the final outcome in serious doubt.
You get four looks at the runners. Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th look, Kerry made her move to finish first at 18:46. Kerry was 15th in 2010 and improved her time by nearly 1 ½ minutes.
The race for second was settled on the mini-Heartbreak Hill just before the finish line as Mackenzie Shelgren ran down Sarah Keiran. Mackenzie was well off the three leaders for much of the race.
Rebecca Morse struggled in at 4th after losing only one race (to Sarah Kieran) all season.
Freshman Emily Weigand of HW rounded out the top five.
The HW girls winning total was 34 with finishes of 1st (Kerry Phelan), 5th (Emily Weigand), 7th (Claire Pacione), 10th (Meg Blatchford), and 11th (Emily Horgan).
The Masco girls ended up 2nd with 76 points while Pentucket was 3rd with 97 points.
Individually on the boys side, it was Alex Sullivan, of North Andover, and the battle for second. Undefeated all season, Alex took the lead early and won by fifteen seconds (16:23). Alex improved twelve spots over his 13th place finish in 2010.
The Newburyport trio of Keith Conway, Chris Suprin, and Nick Carleo battled among themselves for second and in the process put a damper on any thought 9-1 Masconomet might have had of a team upset. The Clipper threesome finished in that order in front of 5th place Marco Caserta of Masco.
Another Clipper, Joe Santo (6th) outran two other Masco runners (James Polakiewicz – 7th & Jake Moorman – 8th). When Chris Orlando arrived in 12th the deal was settled for Newburyport with 27 points.
Max Vye led Newburyport to victory in the the JV boys event.
Hamilton-Wenham took home first in the JV girls division.
The next two weekends have high school cross country events at Franklin Park including the state meet in two weeks. I might have to go to the state meet to see if the HW girls can collect a title.
This site has complete results from the 2011 Cape Ann League cross country championship.
(I collect my own stats and take my own pictures. I own any mistakes on this entry.) Clicking on the pictures enlarges them to normal size.