Promising Start for Girls XC, Poised for Herget Title

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Walpole Girls Cross Country Team after winning the Herget Title in 2012.

Gina Conti

Walpole Girls Cross Country Team after winning the Herget Title in 2012.
Walpole Girls Cross Country Team after winning the Herget Title in 2012.

After a successful season last year, The Girls Cross Country team hopes to defend their Bay State Herget Title.  Last year, there were a lot of firsts for the team: winning the Herget, beating Weymouth, having one of their all time best records of 7-3, and breaking a school record on the home course.  The last time the Girls won the Herget Title was nearly 20 years ago (1994).  All of these accomplishments did not go unnoticed because of the great coaching staff consisting of  Head Coach Jamie Farrell and Assistant Coach Gillian Hogan.

Unfortunately, the team will be losing their top two runners, alumnus Megan Peterson and senior Gina Conti. Both girls were huge contributors to the team’s success.  On the flip side, returning sophomore Alyssa Murphy will make her way to the top this season. She was Walpole’s third best runner last year.  Junior Allie Morris will be added to the mix this year running a top time in the recent Labor Day Road Race 5k (3.1 miles).  Morris ran a time of 19:52, making her the second runner in the past year to run under 20:00 for a 5k.  Then at the first meet against Dedham and Wellesley, Morris dominated the field, finishing first with a time of 16:35.

Senior Captains Kristen Coyne and Mackenzie Wilson find that this year will be difficult because of the loss of Peterson and Conti; however, there are many freshman from last season that are coming back stronger this season as sophomores.

Wilson said, “although we did lose two of our top runners this year, we have a lot of strong underclassmen and also upperclassmen who are ready to step up and help us win. I feel like we have a really strong chance of being Herget Champs again and maybe even reaching All States, one of our goals since last year.”

On Wednesday, September 11, the Rebels, led by Morris, won their first meet against Dedham and Wellesley, in a close score of 28-29. Now, in order to win the Herget, the Girls Cross Country team just has to take care of business against Norwood, and defeat a very formidable Natick team on October 9.

Coach Farrell agrees that this year will be one of the more difficult years, but the team can have successful results. She believes that everyone will have to step up and fill in the missing shoes of the graduated athletes.  Coach Farrell said, “one of our next goals is to beat Brookline and to also be the first girl’s team to qualify for All States.”