Three teams came into this afternoon’s boys/girls cross country meet undefeated.
Now only the Triton girls (7-0) and the Newburyport boys (8-0) are unbeaten.
Both squads dominated the top finishers at Old Town Hill in Newbury on a very hot/sunny Wednesday afternoon.
Ellie Gay-Killeen and Sarah Harrington were 1-2 for Triton while Sam Acquaviva, John Lucey, and Dreese Fadil were 1-2-3 for Newburyport.
The Triton girls won 25-30 while the Newburyport boys won 22-33.
“Our girls were tough in the heat,” said Vikings coach Joe Colbert. “The conditions were brutal. We run this course well. It was a great win for us because Newburyport (7-1) is a very good team.”
The 3.1 mile course gave the Clippers problems. “It was super hilly,” said 4th place finisher Ellie Schulson afterwards. “The sun was in your eyes when you were going up the hill and you couldn’t see your footing. I fell down.”
“They had those two girls up front that are tough to beat,” added NHS coach Don Hennigar. “If you go 1-2 it doesn’t seal it but it’s awfully tough to come back. On another day, at another place, it could all be different since the teams are that close.”
The race winner (Ellie Gay-Killeen) agreed with the consensus about the conditions: “It was a tough, tough race but I have always gained ground on the hills here. I was not on my best pace at all but we’re still undefeated.” Ellie finished nearly a minute ahead of teammate Sarah Harrington.
Coach Colbert said he wasn’t surprised by the 1-2 finish although he said that Newburyport runners (Lindsey Roberts and Ellie Schulson) pushed Sarah Harrington.
Coach Colbert gave credit to Kylie Lorenzo (5th) and Kerry Powers (7th): “Kylie and Kerry had huge days for us. They passed some girls in the end and it really made a difference.”
Senior Sam Acquaviva hasn’t lost a race in Massachusetts in a while and that run of top finishes continued today. “I wanted to get the lead early and keep it,” Sam told me afterwards. “The course was tough. As a team we wanted to win this one badly and we did.”
Sam told me that he had just taken a visit to MIT. “I like the cross country team there,” he said, “but to get into MIT is a task unto itself. I am interested in engineering, so it would be a good fit for me.”
Getting the top three places was key for the Clippers. “They all stepped up,” said Coach Hennigar. “Dreese Fatil getting third was huge for us. To beat Triton on their course was special.”
Keegan Ritchie, Diego Fernandez, and Tyler Stranc finished 4-5-6 for Triton (6-2) but to win this meet they needed someone to break into the top three and that didn’t happen on this afternoon.
All sorts of side things went on during today’s meet. The heat caught up to several participants and several ambulances were put to use. There also was a vehicle accident on Newman Street during the meet.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)