Girls Cross Country Starts With a Bang of 3-0


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

Gina Conti

The leaves changing, the crisp cool morning air, and the sun setting sooner, is the sign of autumn in the New England region; but, also the sign of cross country season.  Walpole Cross County season is officially underway as they had their first meet on September 11th against Dedham and Wellesley and  had their second meet a week later against Milton.  Unlike a typical fall day, the afternoon days approached with 90 degree heat and humidity.
The top 7 varsity athletes are a unique bunch of girls with different goals for the upcoming season.  Junior new comer Allie Morris is Walpole’s top runner, and seniors Kristen Coyne and Jackie Applin also lead the team up top.  In the first meet, the girls dominated against Dedham and had all of their runners finish before one Dedham runner.  However, Wellesley was no piece of cake.  Walpole finished first, fourth, and fifth; while Wellesley finished second, third, and sixth.  This close finish only made the Rebels win by 1 point, 28-29. This was the second time Walpole has ever defeated Wellesley in the past ten years.
At the start of the gun, Morris and Coyne took to the front of the pack with two other Wellesley runners.  Sophomore Alyssa Murphy and Applin formed a strong second pack.  By the half way point, Morris broke from the pack and began searching for the win.  “Well it was a really new experience for me and the heat definitely made it very challenging but I think it went well and I am excited to run against Milton.”  Murphy and Applin began pushing forward to catch Coyne in the last mile.  In the final 300 meters of the 2.57 mile race,  Morris sprinted in to the line to take first with a time of 16:33, Coyne finished 30 seconds after with 17:03, while Murphy and Applin chomped at Coynes heals in the last 50 meters with 17:04.
A week later on September 18, the girls beat Milton’s team with a score of 22 to 33 bringing their record to 3-0 in the Herget division.  Morris opened alot of eyes and is well on her way to breaking the course record with a PR of over 20 seconds, and a first place time of 16:05.  Murphy stepped to take a third place finish and a PR of 16:30, while seniors Coyne and Applin worked together to achieve fourth and fifth finishes. Senior Captain Mackenzie Wilson rounded out the top five by passing two Milton girls on the track.
With only three meets into the season, the Rebels have already proved to be a threat with the step of Morris, Murphy, Applin, and Coyne the girls should have a great shot at winning the Herget title for the second year in a row.  With Newton North and Needham in one week, the girls will have their work cut out for them to compete against two powerhouse towns.   Newton North and Needham qualified for the MIAA All State Cross Country Championships last fall; a goal Walpole has had since last year.