Girls Cross Country Wins The Herget For First Time Since 1994

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The girls cross country team after winning the Herget.

Gina Conti

The Girls Cross Country team pose for a picture after defeat over Natick to win the Herget.

 

The Girls Cross Country team had an amazing meet against Natick. The Rebels defeated Natick with a score of 25-35 to win the Bay State Herget, on Tuesday, October 17. The girls’ team has not won the Herget since 1994, being a huge accomplishment for them. The Rebels have improved their record to 7-3. According to Coach Jamie Farrell, “Everyone ran a PR and a really strong and impressive meet. There was a big difference in times compared to the meet against Weymouth.”

At the beginning of the race, the Walpole girls ran together in packs, pushing each other to hold their spots against Natick. Junior Gina Conti broke off from the girls with two Natick runners around a quarter of a mile in. Senior Megan Peterson, Junior Kristen Coyne, and Freshman Alyssa Murphy ran together with a Natick runner. Junior Mackenzie Wilson and Megan Jenkins worked together to form another pack, while at the same time sophomore Emma Campbell and freshman Molly Rockwood formed the threatening third group.

With only a quarter of a mile to go, Natick’s top runner Sarah Lagan and Conti pushed in to finish in first and second with times of 15:28 and 15:34. Both Conti and Lagan set the Walpole High and Natick High School records by over 20 seconds. Natick stole third place, while Murphy had a strong finish to crossing the line as Walpole’s second runner, fourth overall.  Murphy finished with a time of 16:13; a huge PR for both girls by over 45 seconds.  Peterson and Coyne finished third and fourth for the Rebels also running PR’s with times of 16:18 and 16:26.  Jenkins and Wilson finished strong, with Wilson kicking it in to run a 50 second PR, 16:45, and Jenkins with a minute PR, 17:03. Jenkins said “The race went awesome. I tried to stay with Mackenzie as much as I could. She helped push me through the race.” Wilson had one of the strongest finishes for Walpole of the day.  Campbell and Rockwood finished 10th and 12th, with Campbell pushing the last home stretch to the finish and displacing aNatick runner. Campbell finished with a time of 17:13, which is also a PR. Rockwood  finished five seconds behind Campbell,   to cross the line at 17:18, running over a minute PR.  All eight varsity girls ran PR’s by over 40 seconds. Farrell said “Everybody had good races agaisnt Natick. Everybody stood out in their own way. Between our 2-8 runners is only a minute spread. Thats what we need to make it to All-States.”

The junior varsity girls performed exceptionally well with sophomore Kathryn Lawton and freshman Julia Averill leading the Rebel girls. Lawton and Averill formed a “super pack” encouraging each other throughout the race.  Averill had a real strong finish to cross the line with a time of 17:50. Lawton finished not far bhind with a 17:59.  Junior Casey Ganshirt trailed with a PR time of 18:45, improving by over 30 seconds. Senior Katie Heiberger, and sophomore Colleen O’Connor pushed each other to the finish for the entire 2.5 mile race.  O’Connor sprinted ahead of Heiberger to finish ahead to PR with a time of 18:53, meanwhile Heiberger finished with a time of 18:59. To close up the junior varsisty race, senior Danielle Levya had an exceptional race coming off a hip injury. Levya was able to PR for the first time this season with a time of 19:36.

Winning the Bay State Herget is one of the most accomplishing titles the girls have achieved since 1994. After seeing the results of the meet, Coyne said “I was pleasantly surprised because Natick is such a strong team.” With a new roaring varsity squad, the team has been improving, week by week. With Conti and Murphy leading the pack, the girls have a great shot at placing in the Division III Championship. Farrell says “Our next step is to send the team to All-States. We need to come in fourth or better at the Division III meet at Wrentham State Development Center.” The girls current record is 7-3. If the girls win next week, the team will be tied for the best record in Walpole High School history. The team must beat their final opponent, Framingham, in their last dual meet left of the season on Tuesday, October 24 in Walpole.