Girls XC Team Shows Promising Season Ahead

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Walpole girls cross country team competes against Brookline.

Gina Conti

Walpole Girls Cross Country competes against Brookline.

 

The Walpole Girls Cross Country season is officially underway with the Rebel’s first meet against Brookline and Norwood.  Both the varsity race of 5,000 meters and the junior varsity race of 2,500 meters at Norwood High School are two of the most grueling courses in the Bay State League.  The team started the season with a solid win against Norwood, but a difficult loss against Brookline.  The girls beat Norwood with a score of 43-15 and lost to Brookline 33-26.

Senior Captain Megan Peterson is entering her third season of cross country and has had the most experience as an athlete on the team.  Peterson said, “It’s been great, I’m motivated to do well because it is my last season and I feel like I have improved so much over the years.  I think our team this year has the ability to do very well, so it should be an exciting year for everybody.”

At the start of the meet, the top six varsity girls fought for the lead positions with junior Gina Conti taking the early lead with the top two Brookline girls, while Peterson, and junior Captain Kristen Coyne formed a threatening first pack.  Juniors Mackenzie Wilson and Megan Jenkins, along with sophomore Kathryn Lawton, started the second pack closing the gaps between the Brookline and Norwood runners.  After the first mile and a half, the Rebels trailed the top two Brookline runners. Conti, Peterson, and Coyne tried to close the gap, but the Brookline runners were out of reach.

Peterson eventually stepped up to break from the pack of Walpole girls towards the end of the race to catch the Brookline Warriors but could not.  Conti pushed through to finish first for the team and third overall, with a time of 20:15.  Peterson trailed with 20:23, while Coyne lunged herself to the finish line to take third for Walpole, and fifth overall, with a PR time of 20:26.  Wilson and Jenkins stuck together as a team to finish 10 and 11 with 21:44 and 21:53.  This season is Jenkins’ first year running cross country, and in this meet she raced for varsity for the very first time.  Jenkins finished as Walpole’s fifth runner.  She said, ” I had alot of confidence going into the race, even though I was really nervous because it was my first but I was really happy coming out because I had a big PR.”  Lawton was the last Rebel to cross the finish with the second PR of the day with a 23:17.

The junior varsity girls performed exceptionally well with freshman Alyssa Murphy to finish first with a time of 10:43.  Taking third was junior newcomer Jackie Applin who strove to earn an 11:07.  Murphy and Applin worked together for most of the 2,500 meter race, but Murphy sprinted in the last 200 meters.  The young Rebels also stole fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh place.  Coach Jamie Farrell kept a positive outlook towards the meet. She said, ” A lot of new girls are showing promising times and a lot of effort, and will be running varsity in a few weeks.”

With Brookline being one of their most challenging meets, the Rebels were proud of their performances.  As Wellesley and Dedham are approaching on Thursday, September 20, the team is preparing physically and mentally for yet another challenging meet.