A perfect afternoon at Bradley Palmer State Park on Saturday afternoon for the Cape Ann League cross country championships. Perfect, that is, for the spectators. I doubt that the runners were thrilled with the mid-60s, sun, and gusty winds they encountered.
The regular season champions both delivered as the Hamilton-Wenham girls swept both JV and varsity events while the Newburyport boys also had a pair of team championships.
Neither team had the winner in the varsity events but that fact didn’t keep the winners from posting convincing victory margins.
The Clipper depth carried them to the CAL championship. Sean Hickman finished seventh and was followed in short order by Chris Suprin (9th), Greg Englehart (10th), Keith Conway (11th) and Brian Morse (12th).
The next cross country event is the state championships on November 14th at Franklin Park. Class enrollment becomes a factor in this one, and Newburyport will move away from some of it’s CAL competitors and drop to Division 4. Two NHS teams won state championships last school year – girls’ soccer and boys’ hockey. Maybe it’s the cross country boys’ turn? Their depth might be the ticket to the title.
Rachel Rikeman got 10th in the JV meet to pace Newburyport girls while John Stancel and Matt Getz finishing one-two in the JV race. The other top-five members for the winning Clipper’s JV team were Owen Williams, Ian Wood, and Ryan Kell from right to left.
Alanna Poretta of Pentucket owned the varsity race. No one was near her when she came past the starting line and at the finish; she was nearly a minute better than the second place HW girl was.
In the boys varsity meet, Ipswich’s Greg Krathwohl trailed a North Andover runner on the trip past the starting line but later was the first to come out of the woods. Greg had plenty left at the end and ended up 30 seconds ahead.
Steve Sawyer was named coach-of-the-year for both of his HW teams. My wife and I traveled with him in Europe in 1968 and he will not deny it.