Mount Greylock Girls Dominant at Mohawk Trail
BUCKLAND, Mass. -- No one in the Berkshire Cross Country Ski League has been able to catch the Mount Greylock boys or girls this winter.
But Saturday morning at Mohawk Trail Regional High School, the Mounties girls were especially dominant.
Besides scoring a perfect 10 by scoring the top four finishers in the field of 56, Mount Greylock took the top six spots and placed all eight of its varsity racers in the top 11.
That top six, led by winner Brandi Gill in a time of 16 minutes, 47 seconds? The No. 6 racer in Mount Greylock’s lineup, Miriam Bakija, crossed the finish line 19 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
“We’re definitely a very deep team, which is very exciting to see all these younger girls coming up and competing so well,” Gill said. “We’re definitely looking forward to states this year with that depth on our team.”
Gill and some of her teammates will have a better idea how they stand going into next month’s state championships after Sunday, when they compete in an Eastern High School Qualifier at the Weston Ski Track, site of the 2016 state meet.
In the meantime, the Mounties are pushing one another on the local Nordic circuit.
“We’ve definitely pushed each other a lot in practice,” Gill said. “We’ve been challenging ourselves for races, trying to get all eight in the top 15 to start and then moving it up a place each time.
“It’s been really fun.”
It also has been fun for the Mount Greylock boys, who, like the girls, will be looking to defend their state title at Notchview Reservation in a couple of weeks.
On Saturday, the Mounties compiled 20 team points to beat second-place Lenox, who amassed 26.
But Mount Greylock did not have the top overall boys finisher. That title went to Amherst’s Willy Wright, who finished in 14:09 to edge Northfield Mount Hermon’s Adam Carlisle (14:10) in a very competitive boys field.
Mount Greylock’s Jakin Miller (14:13) and Ric Donati were third and fourth, respectively as the top five racers all finished within seven seconds of one another.
Sixth-place Jacob Adams and seventh-place Corban Miller rounded out the scoring for the Mount Greylock boys.
Lenox’s top finisher was Herkus Rudzinskas in eighth place with a time of 15:09. The Millionaires’ scorers finished in a pack with Harry Burns (11th), Ryan Silverstein (13th) and Noah Kalischer-Coggins coming home within five seconds of one another.
Fifth-place Hoosac Valley was led by Corben Craig, who finished 16th with a time of 15:59. Wahconah’s boys were right behind in sixth, led by Shea McIlquham; he just missed the top 20, coming in 21st with a time of 16:44. Taconic did not have enough boys for a team score, but Thomas Rabasco was 37th in 18:56.
Behind Mount Greylock’s girls, Lenox was second with 40 points thanks to four top-20 finishes. Maggie Sorrentino (17:25) led the way in seventh place. Mary Elliot, Marion Huth and Aidan Burns were 12th, 13th and 14th, respectively.
Wahconah’s girls were third behind an eighth-place showing from Gabby Orlando (17:26).
The day’s closest team race was for fifth place in the eight-team field. Hoosac Valley edged Amherst by one point. Mia Gale tied for 15th place to lead the Hurricanes in 18:23. The difference in the team standings was down in 33rd place, where Hoosac Valley’s Jenna Levesque beat out Amherst’s Hurricane for the position by eight seconds.
There was another one-point battle for seventh place, and Taconic’s girls edged out Simsbury, Conn. Mary Hayes led Taconic, finishing 30th in 20:08. Further in the pack, Taconic’s Isabella Penna-Ward was eight seconds faster than the next racer, from Simsbury, to lock up 44th place and the point her team needed to finish ahead of the Connecticut squad.
Saturday’s race originally was scheduled to be run at Notchview, but rain earlier in the week forced the teams to Mohawk, where the team and volunteers were able to get the course in good shape for the competition.
“I was expecting it to be pretty icy, but it ended up a little soft on the corners,” Gill said. “It was very nice on the flats. But the corners ended up being a little trickier than I expected going in.”
The Berkshire County League is scheduled to compete at Notchview next Saturday.
Boys Team Scores: 1. Mount Greylock, 20 points; 2. Lenox 46; 3. Amherst 49; 4. Northfield Mount Hermon, 62; 5. Hoosac Valley, 96; 6. Wahconah, 107; 7. Simsbury, Conn., 131; 8. Mohawk, 148.
Boys Top 20: 1. Willy Wright, Amherst, 14 minutes, 9 seconds; 2. Adam Carlisle, NMH, 14:10; 3. Jakin Miller, MG, 14:13; 4. Ric Donati, MG, 14:16; 5. Luke Sedor Protti, Amherst, 14:16; 6. Jacob Adams, MG, 14:25; 7. Corban Miller, 15:03; 8. Herkus Rudzinskas, Lenox, 15:09; 9. Col McDermott, MG, 15:10; 10. Louis Salz, NMH, 15:19; 11. Harry Burns, Lenox, 15:20; 12. Aidan Duncan, MG, 15:21; 13. Ryan Silverstein, Lenox, 15:24; 14. Noah Kalischer-Coggins, Lenox, 15:25; 15. Sam Edge, MG, 15:56; 16. Corben Craig, HV, 15:59; 17. Justin King, Lenox, 16:11; 18. Ted Yee, Lenox, 16:17; t-19. Ethan Schoorlemmer, MG, 16:18; t-19. Maxime Leger, Lenox, 16:18.
Girls Team Scores: 1. Mount Greylock, 10; 2. Lenox, 40; 3. Wahconah, 66; 4. Mohawk, 81; 5. Hoosac Valley, 98; 6. Amherst, 99; 7. Taconic, 160; 8. Simsbury, Conn., 161.
Girls Top 20: 1. Brandi Gill, MG, 16 minutes, 47 seconds; 2. Jackie Wells, MG, 16:57; 3. Hazel Scullin, MG, 16:58; 4. Margo Smith, MG, 17:01; 5. Helen Greenfield, MG, 17:04; 6. Miriam Bakija, MG, 17:06; 7. Maggie Sorrentino, Lenox, 17:25; 8. Gabby Orlando, Wahconah, 17:26; 9. Sage Michel, NMH, 17:30; 10. Lilliana Wells, MG, 17:43; 11. Ariel Dupras, MG, 17:58; 12. Mary Elliot, Lenox, 17:59; 13. Marion Huth, Lenox, 18:02; 14. Aidan Burns, Lenox, 18:19; t-15. Mia Gale, HV, 18:23; t-15. Grace Elliot, Lenox, 18:23; 17. Solia Herndon-Schmid, Lenox, 18:39; 18. Erika Looman, Mohawk, 18:40; 19. Isabelle Viner, Wahconah, 18:48; 20. Hollin Keyser-Parker, Mohawk, 18:49.