Cross Country finishes Fourth in State

Chris Lotsbom


Walpole High’s boy’s cross country team is starting to close out what has been truly a historic season.  The harriers closed out their regular season in tremendous fashion, sweeping division foe Framingham, 15-48.  Then, coming off a fifth place finish at the Bay State Conference Meet, the running Rebels earned a trip to the All State Championships for the first time in twelve years.  The Rebels ran extremely well in all of these meets, especially considering one of their top three runners in sophomore Ryan Doherty was unable to compete versus Framingham due to an injury.  

  Leading the charge pack of six through the first mile mark against the Flyers was senior Chris Lotsbom, competing in his final home race as a senior.  Among the mix were sophomore Ben and senior Jared Goula, senior Brendan Corcoran, and freshman Zach Ganshirt, as well as one Framingham runner, Phin McGovern.  About a mile and a half in, Corcoran, Lotsbom, and Ben Goula put on a surge, quickly dropping the lone Flyer.  The three Rebel harriers ran through the two mile mark together, with not a Flyer in sight.  Soon after, Ben picked the pace up.  Despite going out at an extremely fast clip, Goula was able to hold his ground as Lotsbom and Corcoran started to fade.  With about a quarter mile to go, Goula turned onto the Turco Field track with a 15 second lead.  Behind Goula came Lotsbom, who seemed to be feeling the ill affects of the early pace.  Both Corcoran and the elder Goula, Jared, were able to catch Lotsbom with 200 meters remaining.  Ben entered the chutes first in a time of 14:23, tying Lotsbom’s previous course record.  Then came Corcoran (14:30), Jared (14:32) , and Lotsbom (14:38), all within eight seconds of each other.  Freshman Zach Ganshirt, placing fifth in 15:00, stepped up big and continued upon his great season.  

  Coach Tim Giblin said, “[Ganshirt is] the best freshman talent I have seen.”  

  The next challenge Walpole faced was the EMASS Championships on November 8.  Defying the odds, Walpole finished fourth, qualifying for the All State Championships.  This is the first time a Walpole team has made it to the State Championships in 12 years, and the first time in Coach Giblin’s tenure.

  “It’s good that we’ve qualified, but now we have to prove we belong there” said Coach Giblin.

The Rebels put six guys under 18 minutes, an extremely hard task to complete.  They finished with a team score of 189, good enough to beat 32 of the 36 teams entered. 

 On November 15, the Rebels went where very few Walpole teams had ever gone.  Toeing the line at All States, the Rebels showed why they had been training for the past five and a half months.  Going in with a rank of seventh in the state, Walpole ended up surprising many of the competing teams, finishing fourth.  The 2008 Rebels had truly a great season.