This article consisted of several hours and hours of research to identify the proper people to watch out for in the region. On the day of, I spent the whole day tracking day appropriate athletes and coaches making sure I was able to talk to the appropriate sources.
WEB SUM: Milton stole the show while Cohasset and West Bridgewater also won EMass crowns.
Wrentham – Saturday was nearly perfect for the Milton High boys and girls cross country teams at the Eastern Massachusetts Championships.
The Wildcats took home the boys and girls Division 3 EMass titles. Bobby Carew (15:55.23) finished first, holding off Marblehead’s Loeden Rodrigues. Ava Duggan (19:01.35) finished second in her meet for the second year in a row sprinting by Walpole’s Mia Costa at the last second. Four other Wildcat runners placed in the top 10.
“We both come in here with high goals and to see the guys do what they did,” said Duggan, “we were just even more motivated.”
The girls won last year’s meet. For the boys, the success is something new.
“The girls have been really strong for a while and there has been a big upswing for the boys so it is really exciting,” said Milton boys coach Kate Tenforde. “At the beginning of the year, it was definitely a goal to qualify for the state meet and then throughout the season when we realized how much people had improved throughout the season, we started to reach higher and talked about winning this. We are so excited.”
For Carew, his third-place finish last year sent him to the All-States but now he gets to go with his team. Tenforde said that it has been a while since the boys team qualified for All-States and they have not had a top finish since 2003.
“I am looking to win, hopefully, nothing less,” said Carew.
Carew crossed the finish line first after running in a small pack late in the race.
“It only broke into a small pack with half a mile to go,” said Carew. “I just decided to stay with that. I felt like I could push at the end. Kind of knew I had it at that point. It felt good and I broke away at the stretch from the last kid.”
“He always has a really good read on the situation,” said Tenforde. “He knows what he needs to do and exactly how to do it. He did that perfectly today.”
On the girls side, the Wildcats repeat came after seeing the boys come away with the victory.
“We have been getting hungry awhile now for this meet,” said Milton girls coach Jen Meunier. “I think seeing the boys really made the girls proud and excited to follow in their footsteps.”
Duggan repeated as runner up despite battling illness all year. She used a last-minute to sprint to finish second.
“I really did not know how this race was going to go because I am coming back from anemia and iron deficiency,” said Duggan. “I have not really been racing all this season. But I have been on my supplements and recovering. I knew coming around that third lap with Mia (Costa), who is a great athlete, that if I just stay on her and let myself kick at the end I knew I had her.”
“I am so proud of her,” said Meunier. “We all knew she had it in her. It’s really nice to have her back. To see her pushing it and being in a place she should be.”
For the boys, Ross Tejada finished in fourth (16:11.73) and Christopher Sullivan placed ninth (16:22.99). Milton finished with 82 points, 38 ahead of second-place Walpole.
For the girls, Ana Cakourus placed seventh (19:52.05) and Norah Affanato (19:53.00) finished eighth. Milton finished with 68 points, 27 ahead of second-place Walpole.
“We are just really excited. We really appreciate our program and the support we get from parents and the kids are always committed and upbeat,” said Meunier. “All their hard work and dedication is really paying off. It is something all the kids can be really proud of.”
In other Div. 3 action:
In the boys race, Kyle Sarney of Oliver Ames finished 11th (16:28.78) and the Tigers finished sixth with 162 points. Theo Kamperides finished 16th for Whitman-Hanson. Both of them will qualify for All-States thanks to their individual finishes.
On the girls side, Daphane Theiler of Sharon finished fifth (19.27.17) and Juliana Dudziak of Sharon (20:06.22) finished 14th to qualify for All-States. Samantha Flaherty of Silver Lake placed 18th (20:14.82) and Pria Parker of Hingham finished 19th (20:16.54). Meghan Reardon of Oliver Ames (20:22.52) rounded out the top 20.
Duxbury girls finished fifth as a team but did earn a wildcard bid. Pembroke finished sixth and Hingham finished seventh followed by Sharon in eighth.
Two area teams took home crowns. For the boys, it was Cohasset earning the victory with 104 points. The Skippers edged second-place Ipswich by five points. The Skippers were led by second-place finisher Ned Farrington, who improved upon his 14th-place finish from last year. He could not catch up to Taban Manyok of Saint Mary’s
“It was a tough day, it was pretty cold out I got some mud. Still thought I ran a good race,” said Farrington. “The winner (Taban) and I have been battling all season. He had a really good race today.”
Farrington said he actually fell during his first lap. Coach Ron Ford said he fell twice
“He works so hard. He has had such a great year,” said Ford. “He has made a huge jump, last year he was our number 2-3 runner and now he is a legitimate one.”
According to Ford, last year’s second-place finish as a team was Cohasset’s highest before Saturday.
“These kids have been working for a year and I am so proud of them,” said Ford. “As far as a team, this was our best chance to win a championship and we did so I am so proud of them all.”
In the girls race, it was West Bridgewater claiming the title with 71 points over second-place Bishop Fenwick. Caitlin Kaprelian of West Bridgewater could not repeat as champion, but finished as runner up to Bishop Fenwick’s Ava Mahoney.
“My goal was top three,” said Kaprelian. “I am more interested in helping my team win this year.”
And that she did.
“The girls are absolutely beside themselves,” said coach Robert Ruel. “They trained very hard. From the get-go, this was their goal and they came out and performed at a top level. I am super proud of them.”
For the Cohasset boys, Joe Carroll (17.27.34) finished 11th and Jimmy Grech (17:47.11) finished 14th to help the winning cause. The West Bridgewater boys finished fifth.
For the girls, Adison Hohengasser (21:06.61) finished 10th for West Bridgewater and Dorothea McGrath (21.56.92) finished 18th. Jackie Earner (21:47.35) placed 15th for Abington to qualify for All-States.
Hanover saw both of its teams pick up automatic bids to All-States. The boys side saw a seventh-place finish from Christopher Pacino (16:46.05) and a ninth-place finish from Ethan Bush (16:57.23) to help them earn 135 points and finish fourth. Tomas McDonough (17:10:13) placed 13th.
Plymouth South finished third with 112 points and also qualified for All-States. Strickland Davis (16:26.85) led that charge with a third-place finish. Pat Clarke (16:53.39) helped the cause with an eighth-place finish.
“It was cold day obviously, but for the most part I think it went like my plan was going to be,” said Davis.
The senior improved from his fourth-place performance last year.
“It is nice to end on a good note for the last time on this course before I head to college,” said Davis.
In the girls meet, Hanover earned the third spot with 126 points. Jill Farrell (20:38.00) finished 14th and Caroline Burreau (20:38:00) finished 15th.
In Division 2, it was Marshfield who led the way. The boys earned their way to a third-place finish (163 points). The girls earned their way to a sixth-place finish (157 points) and earned a wild card berth to All-States.
The boys finished ninth last season and have made it to All-States three out of four years after missing last year.
“It was about getting back there,” said Dennis Sheppard, who coaches both Marshfield teams. “We were a real young team and we kind of knew what we had coming back.
“We knew that Concord-Carlisle and Wellesley were a little bit out of our zone. The goal today was to get third.”
For the boys, it was Nick Valianti (16:09.5) leading the way with a fifth-place finish.
“He has cold-induced asthma, so he has to deal with a couple things to make sure he prepares completely,” said Sheppard. “Last year he had a tough day (37th) so to respond today and to run this well, we know he has a better race in him, but to do it today when the team needed him was huge.”
Drew Pesko (16:27.12) helped the cause for the boys with a 20th place finish.
Sofia LoVuolo (19:45.05) finished 16th for the girls.
The Norwell boys team snuck into All-States with a wild card berth after a sixth-place finish. Augustine Smith (17:04.00) finished 16th and Graham White (17:06.05) finished 18th.
In the girls race, Cardinal Spellman’s Emma Grzybinski (20:20.00) finished 16th. Middleboro’s Shaelyn Gallagher (20:25.55} finished 18th. Cardinal’s Spellman finished 7th in the team competition with 198 points.
In the girls race, Brockton’s Olivia Rateau (19:38.58) earned herself a top-10 spot finishing ninth to earn a spot in All-States.
Last year Rateau finished 10th
“It feels good,” said Rateau. “It is great to be in the top 10 I am really excited, and I am really happy.”
Rateau now heads to All-States.
“I want to stay focused. I want to make sure I prep my body as much as possible,” said Rateau. “This race I was really good at making sure I was warm and staying comfortable. Next week I am sure is going to be colder.”
Sarah Bullock from Brockton (19:56.26) finished 17th. The Brockton girls finished ninth and Weymouth finished 10th.
On the boys side, John Gallager from BC High (16:39.54) finished 30th and helped the Eagles to an eighth-place finish.