Farrell Leads Girls XC Team To Best Record In History


Coach giving advice to an athlete.

Danielle Levya


Coach Jamie Farrell gives advice to an athlete.


Most teachers are able to leave school at 2:30 on any ordinary day, but not history teacher and Girls Cross Country Head Coach Jamie Farrell.  Once her school day is over, she is outside working with the girls at practice or at a meet, whether it is raining, 90 degrees and humid, or 20 degrees in a snowstorm.

On October 23, the Girls Cross Country competed against Framingham for their last dual meet at home. The girls defeated Framingham with a perfect score of 15-50 to make their final record 8-3. The girls are the best Cross Country team in Walpole High School history.  The 2010 team previously held the position of the best team in Walpole High history with a record of 8-3 as well but they did not win the Bay State Herget or win against Weymouth or Wellesley unlike this year’s team.

Against Framingham, the girls put 9 runners ahead of Framingham’s number one runner. Junior Gina Conti set the new course record finishing in first with a time of 16:09. Previous record holder was Courtney Shea with a time of 16:24. Behind Conti, senior Megan Peterson took second place finishing at 17:09 to PR for her last time on the home course. Junior Kristen Coyne, finished seconds behind Peterson with a time of 17:17. Junior Mackenzie Wilson toook fourth place with a time of 18:04. Sophomore Emma Campbell and junior Megan Jenkins ran together to finish with a time of 18:13. Freshmen Molly Rockwood ran a huge PR by finishing four seconds after Campbell and Jenkins crossing the line at 18:17. Sophomore Kathryn Lawton PR’d by 47 seconds with a time of 19:03.

In the JV race, a lot of girls PR’d as well. Junior Jackie Applin runs her first meet, returning from an injury. Applin took first place for the girls with a time of 12:55. Taking second place behind Applin, freshmen Kyra Arenault running a 50 second PR with a time of 13:02. Junior Casey Ganshirt seconds behind Arsenault finished at a time of 13:17.

Ms. Farrell has been coaching for seven years now. After four years the Walpole Public School Program offered a head coach position. After working with Coach Tim Giblin she was ready to make the transition from assistant coach to head coach and take the responsibility of more work.

“I like coaching because I enjoy helping other people be successful and achieve their goals,” said Coach Farrell.

Her inspiration for coaching is Mr. Giblin. Ms. Farrell has worked with Giblin for many years now. “Since my first year of coaching, both teams have changed,” said Ms. Farrell. When she started coaching, the team was a lot smaller: there were about ten girls, compared to a team of 39 girls now.

“We are seeing the program grow. It is great just to see siblings joining the team and kids who have worked with Coach Conor Cashman and Fiona Murphy in the middle school program,” said Ms. Farrell.

Girls Cross Country experienced more success this season than previous years. The girls defeated Wellesley for the first time in over a decade and also defeated Weymouth for the first time ever.  According to Ms. Farrell, “Success breeds from success, but also having a successful team helps achieve goals.” Farrell and the girls team hopes that the accomplishments they have achieved this year will carry over to the postseason and next year. But to do that Farrell hopes for athletes to return next year and train over the summer.

Assistant Coach Gillian Quann has had the opportunity to work with Ms. Farrell. Ms. Quann is a graduate from Walpole High and has experience from running for Walpole in high school.  “It is great to have someone on staff who deals with the girls the way she does; she is great with everyone,” said Ms. Quann.

When it comes to running a meet or practice, Miss Farrell is very good at managing and delegating responsibilities. According to Quann, “I have learned a lot from working with Miss Farrell. She creates a positive atmosphere and motivates runners.” All the girls on the team appreciate Ms.Farrell’s coaching, support at meets and at practice.

“It’s always nice to have a strong, positive and supportive coach at practice. She’s always been an awesome listener and she takes the time to learn everyone’s individual running style to make everyone a successful runner,” said junior Casey Ganshirt. Besides coaching and teaching, Ms. Farrell enjoys going on bike rides, cooking, and painting.

For a season with many firsts for the team (first time beating Weymouth ever, first time winning the Herget since 1994), Ms. Farrell is making sure that her team does not forget about their most important goal: making All States for the first time in team history.