Girls XC moves on to Eastern Massachusetts Championship


Kathryn Russo

As the Walpole Girls Cross Country Team positioned themselves at the starting line at Franklin Park on Saturday, November 13, 300 other girls from all across Eastern Massachusetts were right there with the Rebels. Each girl had the same goal, but only four teams would achieve that goal: to make it to states.  3.1 miles of hills, wilderness paths, and open fields make up Franklin Park, a well known cross country course located near the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston where many big meets on the college and high school level take place.

Overall, the girls had a solid record of 8-3 this year losing to some of the strongest teams such as Weymouth, Wellesley, and Needham; however, the Rebels not only wanted a strong season, but a good post season as well. The girls had high hopes to make it to the state competition at Gardner Park, Massachusetts, and they also hoped to travel to Wappinger Falls, New York to compete in the Nike National Cross Country Meet on November 27. Unfortunately the Rebels will not be able to move on to either of these meets as a team like they had once planned.

At the Eastern Massachusetts Division III Meet senior Courtney Shea, Walpole’s top runner, came in 24th out of 146 runners with an individual state qualifying time of 20:56. Just behind her senior Brigette Lawton crossed the finish line at 21:08, then came freshman Rachael Barry and sophomore Megan Peterson (21:17). Senior Captain Kathryn Russo took fifth for the Rebels with a time of 21:57, and seniors Elizabeth Jelloe (22:07) and Jocelyn Lydon (22:54) rounded out the varsity team. Although the girls did not snag a place in the top four they all have something to be proud of.  The 2010 Girls Cross Country Team had their best season in school history. Senior Brigette Lawton said, “Although it was a disappointing ending, I know I can look back at the season and be proud of what we have accomplished.”

The Walpole girls ended the regular season with eight wins and three losses, the best record in school history. With the top varsity runners- Shea, Lawton, Russo, Jelloe, and Lydon- graduating, the 2011 team will have to work hard to replace those seniors and improve on this year’s record. Freshman Rachael Barry and sophomore Megan Peterson will most likely assume places one and two next year, but only time will tell who will make up the top seven next fall.