Girls XC Prepares for EMASS Division III Champsionship


Gina Conti

Cross Country Team poses for a picture after winning the Bay State Herget.
  The Walpole Girl’s Cross Country team has had a successful season and hopes to continue their success in Divisionals and All-States. The girls cross country team is preparing for the MIAA Eastern Mass Divisional Meet on Saturday November 10 at Wrentham Development Center.  The top four teams with the lowest scores advance to All-States as well as the next top 10 individuals. Typically 45 teams run in the meet, but only four teams advance to All-States. 
  Last year, Walpole’s top runner at Divisionals was junior Kristen Coyne finishing at 35th with a time of 21:19. Her PR in a 5K now is 20:26. Coyne has improved since last year and will help contribute to the team to place for All-States. Behind Coyne was senior Megan Peterson running a time of 21:41. Peterson’s PR for 5,000 meters is 20:11. Last year at Divisionals sophomore Emma Campbell stepped up and ran with Peterson running her PR of 21:42. With these three girls running in Divisionals again this year, the rebels will have experience on their side. 
  With new comers, juniors Gina Conti, Megan Jenkins, and Jackie Applin, and freshmen Alyssa Murphy, Julia Averill, and Molly Rockwood the girls have a lot of potential to place at the Divisional Meet. “Everyone has to do well if we want to go to All-States. Everyone has to step up especially our 4-7 runners” said Farrell.  Conti recently ran a PR, running a time of 19:37 to be the top runner for the Rebels. The Rebels have tough competition ahead of them to try to be in the top 4, but with a handful of girls running sub 21:00 it is possible. Luckily, with the addition of freshman Alyssa Murphy bouncing back from an injury, Murphy will be ready to medal and place with the team. Murphy is currently the second top runner for Walpole, running a time of 16:13, for a 2.5 mile race. “I’m excited and nervous but I think as a team we are going to do great” said Murphy. Despite the past injuries the girls have had this season, the girls are putting it behind them and are going to perform to the best of their ability. “To place in the top four teams everyone will need to perform at a high level despite past injuries” said Peterson.

 Jenkins, Applin, Rockwood and Averill have the chance to be the top seventh runner for the Rebels. Jenkins currently holds a PR of 21:58 but has not improved since September. Applin recently ran the teams seventh fastest time at the MSTCA Coaches Invitational with a time of 22:10.  Campbell, Averill, and Rockwood have consistently pushed each other to run well every meet this past season. These three girls will represent the teams seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth runners.  The eighth, ninth and tenth runners represent Walpole’s alternates for Saturday’s meet. “I think that we will perform well, but in order to make it to All-States we will need to have several PRs. Also the girls are going to have to come ready to perform as an individual and as a team,” said Coach Gillian Quann.

 In the 2011 Divisional meet, the Whitman Hanson Girls’ team destroyed the field with 48 points. The girls finished with an average time of 20:07, and only a 1:40.31 spread between their first place finisher and their seventh place finisher. Oliver Ames has been a power house since the team originated with an average time of 20:48. Concord Carlisle is a strong team, with their top runner running a time of 19:32, last year. The 2011 Wellesley team has proved to be stronger than the 2012 team. The Rebels destroyed the Raiders earlier this season, and hopes to do so again.

 This year the predictions have changed with hypothetical times with runners PR’s throughout the season so far.  Whitman Hanson leads again, with their top 6 runners all running sub 20:00 minutes.  Concord-Carlisle trails in second, while Notre Dame Academy is seeded third.  Oliver Ames, again, still makes the board in fourth.  Walpole is seeded for fifth for Saturday’s race.

 The girls are prepared to run against last year’s top 4 teams, Whitman Hanson, Oliver Ames, Concord Carlisle and Wellesley. With only the top 4 teams advancing to the All State meet, many individuals will advance as well. Last year, freshman Lauren O’Neil, from Falmouth, finished second with a time of 19:27. This season her PR for 5,000 meters is 18:39. In the Bay State League, Natick has always been an underdog team, but not for sophomore Sarah Lagan. Lagan recently placed second at the Bay State Conference meet with a time of 18:54. Whitman Hanson returns with full force with senior Gianna Cacciatore running an 18:56. With three girls running sub 19:00, the stakes are high for the Rebels advancing to Northfield Mountain, Saturday November 17.