ADAMS, Mass. -- North County's newest secondary school has some new athletic "RiVALs."
And the cross country team started the academic year by showing that the Wolf Pack has some bite.
The Berkshire Arts and Techolnology Charter Public School this fall joined the River Valley Athletic League, which includes schools like Williamstown's Buxton School, Charlemont's Charlemont Academy and the Putney School in Vermont.
BArT officials hope the new affiliation will allow the school's sports program to grow to include soccer, basketball and ultimate frisbee.
BArT's cross country running program has been growing for years.
"During my time, I have watched the team grow from just seven runners to more than 35 associated with the team," head coach Bennjamin Griffin said in an e-mail about BArT's harriers. "Of these, the majority are middle schoolers, and our 'varsity squad,' generally has consisted of more middle schoolers than high schoolers."
Griffin has been at BArT for five years, the last four as the head coach.
His boys team this fall went 29-22 in dual meets. His girls went a whopping 43-7 and finished second at last month's league championships at the Dublin School in Dublin, N.H.
"We saw teams from across Western Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire," Griffin said. "Both our teams did the best they had in school history."
BArT freshman Heather Perkins finished third with a time of 23 minutes, 10 seconds, and seventh-grader Kyle Taylor finished ninth. Perkins, though in ninth grade, was the oldest student-athlete competing for BArT.
They were followed across the finish line by teammates Jessica Doubiago, Molly DiCarlo and Ana Ward.
BArT's boys finished fourth out of eight teams schools entered at the league championships.
BArT senior Dylan Quinn took individual honors with a time of 18:03. Other members of the Pack runnin with Quinn included Thomas Cook, Ethan Beach, Mark Borelli, Jonah Alemany and Josh Doubiago.
Three of the schools competing at the league meet did not have enough finishers to post a team score in either the boys or girls race or both. That is a problem BArT does not have.
"When I started coaching in 2010 with the team, we had two bos competing in races and just four showing to practice, with three girls showing to practice and one competing," Giffin said. "At the time, it was all we could do to get runners to complete 5K races.
"We moved the program from three 1-hour practices a week to five 2-hour practics two years ago, after the team started to grow. Most of the runners running for me have been running since sixth or seventh grade. We may still be the smallest and youngest team, but the kids run with guts, determination and the heart of the strongest runner.
"Many of our runners make up for physical limitations with the mentality that they are winners and bred from warriors."