Girls XC Rebound to 3-3 With Wins Over Milton, Dedham

Danielle Levya

The lead girls run the last 100 meters racing for the finish line in the pouring rain.
The lead girls run the last 100 meters racing for the finish line in the pouring rain.


After a tough loss to Brookline two weeks ago, the Girls XC has rebounded nicely over the last two weeks by beating both Milton and Dedham and having strong performances in their loss to the formidable Wellesley team.  Spearheading their success, sophomore McKenzie Wilson has emerged in her first season on the team to fill the hole after the top three runners of junior Megan Peterson and sophomores Rachael Barry and Kristen Coyne.  Along with this added depth to the varsity team, many runners also performed well at the Bay State Invitational last weekend, where nine Rebels received medals.

The girls’ busy week started at Elm Bank Reservation in Dover where the girls defeated Dedham with a score of 16-50 and lost against Wellesley with a score of 17-41. “Walpole was at the head of the pack at the start of the race,” said head coach Jamie Farrell, “and the girls showed they meant business.”

The girls started strong by pack running with junior Megan Peterson and sophomore Kristen Coyne in the front, leading sophomores Rachael Barry, Mackenzie Wilson, and Gabbi Petruzziello, and then the rest of the girls in the race. At the mile and a half mark, Coyne and Peterson were right behind Wellesley’s top four runners. A few feet from them were Wilson and Barry, followed by Petruzziello and three Wellesley runners. Dedham’s top runner was a minute behind, but senior Captains Joanna Garry and Paola Yerxa stayed with her. Coyne finished fifth overall and first for Walpole with a time of 17:23. Peterson finished second for Walpole girls with a time of 17:28 and Barry finished right behind her at 17:51.

This season is Wilson’s first year running cross country and in this meet she raced for varsity for the first time. Wilson finished as Walpole’s fourth runner with a time of 18:01. “I was prepared to run in the varsity race because of my teammates support,” Wilson said after the race, “but I was still nervous.”

According to Farrell, “all the girls who ran the JV course showed great spirit and determination”. The freshmen girls had a great day running the JV course especially freshman Emma Campbell, Kathryn Lawton and Michaela Shea. Campbell was the first female finisher in the race with a time of 13:37. Shea and Lawton performed well and showed potential with the times of 14:22 and 15:19. The girls are concentrating this week on getting there number two and three runners with their number one runner and getting their five and six runner with their number four runner.

Several girls competed in the Bay State Invitational on Saturday October 1, at the Wrentham Development Center. The varsity and JV course was a 5K, but the freshmen course was a 3K, both courses were very grassy. Between the three races, Walpole had nine girls medal. In the freshmen race Campbell and Lawton both medaled; Campbell came in 13th with a time of 13:37 and Lawton came in 25th with a time of 14:27.

In the JV race 5 girls medaled with their teammates right behind them coming close to medal. Sophomore Victoria Hayes was the first Walpole girl to finish in the JV race and came in 7th with a time of 24:05. Sophomores Vericonica Hayes and Casey Ganshirt medaled coming in at 24:35 and 25:08, Hayes finished 15th and Ganshirt finished 22nd. Senior Lindsey Wassel finished 27th with a time of 25:15 with junior Katie Heiberger right behind her finishing with a time of 25:16 in 29th place.

In the varsity race two girls medaled: Barry and Peterson. Barry came in with a time of 22:57 finishing 29th with Peterson right behind her finishing in 30th at 23:09.

On Tuesday October 4th, the girls raced against Milton with a victory on their home course with a score of 18 to 41, bringing the girls record to 3-3.  Just when the varsity race was about to go off, the clouds darkened and it began to pour. “Only in Walpole XC is this considered a good omen” said Farrell after the race. Peterson and Coyne worked together to come in first and second with 17:39 and 17:10 as times. Barry not far behind them came in at 17:53 taking third place. All the varsity girls contributed to the win by coming in before Milton’s number four runner and there wasn’t that big of a gap between the top girls.

“[In the JV race] all the girls had great times and quite a few girls had PRs for the season” said Farrell after the meet. If the JV race was scored the JV girls would have beat Milton 15-50, which is a perfect score for a dual meet. The sprinter athletes, senior Erin McCarthy, junior Jacqui Conley, and sophomore Savanna Small-Brown, ran their first race of the season and had great races. Campbell and Lawton took first and second for the females at 12:41 and 13:04, both personal records for the girls. Junior Danielle Levya and sophomore Nicole D’Andrea made a big improvement from their last race at home. Levya finished at 13:45 which was a 45 second PR for her. D’Andrea finished at 14:09, a 53 second PR for her. “The season has gone as I hoped for,” Farrell said, “We had a down week and now we are building back up.”