Girls XC Beats Wellesley For First Time In A Decade


A runner passes Dedham in the last 300 meters of the race.

Danielle Levya

A runner passes Dedham in the last 300 meters of the race.

The Walpole Girls Cross Country team recently had their first home meet of the season. The girls went up against Dedham and Wellesley, Wellesley being one of the girls’ biggest competitors in the Herget division, on Thursday September 20th. For the first time in over a decade, the Rebels beat Wellesley with a final score of 17-55. The Rebels also beat Dedham with a final score of 15-48. It was a huge day for the girls on their home course, especially having 17 returning runners and 9 of them PR’d.

The junior varsity girls set the tone for the varsity meet by having new comers win the JV race. The JV course consists of 1.78 miles. Coach Jamie Farrell’s goal for the JV squad is “to break the course record” said Farrell. Leading the girls, junior Jackie Applin finished in first with a time of 12:20. Freshman Jenna Swanson took second place for the girls at 12:47. Junior Nicole D’Andre ran a PR breaking 14 minutes for the first time with a time of 13:34.

Due to an injury, the varsity girls went into the race without one of their top runners, senior Megan Peterson. Because of this, three freshmen stepped up to run varsity for the first time. Freshmen Julia Averill, Alyssa Murphy and Molly Rockwood “did an awesome job keeping up with the varsity squad” said Farrell. The support of the upperclassmen helped calm the nerves for the freshmen and they felt prepared to run at the varsity level.

The varsity girls had a strong lead with junior captain Kristen Coyne and sophomore Emma Campbell leading the path from the lower field into the woods. Junior Gina Conti was right behind two Wellesley girls after a mile. Coyne was not far behind them with junior Mackenzie Wilson. Sophomore Kathryn Lawton, and freshmen Molly Rockwood and Julia Averill lead a pack of Wellesley and Dedham runners going into the remains of the race. Conti had a minute gap at the top of Porker Hill between her and Coyne. Another gap between Coyne and the rest of the girls was made. Wilson led Murphy and Jenkins up Porker Hill on to the track to help clinch the win. The Lawton, Rockwood, and Averill pack ran up Porker Hill and on to the track for the final 400 meters of the race. Averill broke off the pack on the track to pass two girls and make the win final. All the girls stepped up to help seal the win.

To win the race, Conti took first place finishing at16:40. Coyne finished behind Conti with a PR on the course with a time of 16:53. The fifth, sixth and seventh girls, Wilson, Jenkins and Murphy, finished all one second after each other. Wilson PR’d with a time of 17:39. Campbell and Averill made a huge difference to the win by stepping up and passing people on the track to finish at 18:28 and 19:02.

As for the Rebels, they still have big competition ahead of them, but the win against Wellesley puts them in a better position going against them and with the possibility to win the Herget title. “We’re a different team than we were last year. We’re a lot stronger and more rounded” said Coyne.  The girls’ goal for the season is to beat the record of 8-3 of 2010. The girls show a great future and potential to be successful throughout the rest of the season.