Lenox Boys Win State Title; Mount Greylock Boys Second
DEVENS, Mass. -- For many people, a 5-kilometer run would feel like an eternity.
For the Lenox boys cross country team on Saturday, it was merely the final step in a much longer journey.
"It's surreal," Lenox senior Maxwell Adam said after the Millionaires won the Division 3 State Championship at Willard Park. "I can't really describe it.
"We've been working towards this for like six years. We've been at the bottom of the barrel back in eighth grade. And now, being on top, I can't describe it."
Adam covered the 5K course in 16 minutes, 19.77 seconds to place fourth in the state.
His teammate and classmate, Dennis Love, joined Adam on the podium, earning a medal for his 10th place finish.
Lenox's triumph capped a successful cross country career for the two of them and a strong day for Berkshire County teams at the state championships.
Mount Greylock's boys placed second in Division 3 with 124 points, 42 points behind the Millionaires and tied with Weston. Wahconah's boys checked in with a 11th-place finish in the 23-team field.
In the girls D3 race, Mount Greylock finished in third, just six points out of the runner-up position, and Lenox was not far behind in fifth.
And the only Berkshire County representative in the Division 2 race, Pittsfield senior Kellie Harrington, placed fourth.
Mount Greylock's boys took home the runner-up trophy thanks to the performance of their sixth runner, Jude Bakija, who placed 64th (in the team standings, after individuals were removed) to finish ahead of Weston's No. 6, who finished in 78th place.
The Mounties were led led by a strong pack of runners who finished between 25th and 33rd in the 183 runner field.
Junior Oliver Swabey led Mount Greylock with a 25th-place finish. Andrew Petropulos and Ezra Holzapfel were right behind him in 27th and 28th, respectively, and the Mounties' Ryan Keating placed 33rd.
Swabey said the Mounties were happy with the second-place showing.
"It was a great result," he said. "It was an awesome race for us. I was injured last year, but I believe we were 16th in the this race.
"We were gunning for the podium today. We were second to Lenox, which was huge. It's good to see Berkshire County getting some good representation out here because it seems like we kind of go under the radar."
Rounding out the scoring for the state champs from Lenox were Cormac Mathews, Andy McCormack and Benjamin Harwood. Samuel Geller and Owen Ames also competed for the Millionaires on Saturday.
Mount Greylock's fifth scorer was Rafael Mellow-Bartels, who gave the squad 40 team points to finish 11 places ahead of Weston's No. 5 runner.
Wahconah got a strong showing from sophomore Cadighan Gladu, who clocked a time of 17:52.55 to place 45th.
The first Berkshire County boy not from Lenox across the finish line on Saturday was Monument Mountain ninth-grader Everett Pacheco, who placed 23rd in 17:14.12 running as an individual.
Lee's Jacob Bianco (18:20.00) and Mount Everett's Ben Vella (19:17.80) also ran as individuals, placing 74th and 119th, respectively.
Running away with the D3 individual gold medal was senior Aidan Ross of Uxbridge, who finished 34 seconds ahead of the field in 15:06.45.
The fastest D3 girl was Alessandra Gavris of Weston, who finished in 18:47.71, seven seconds ahead of runner-up Madelyn Germain of Norfolk Aggie.
Gavris led her team to a dominating first-place finish. Weston placed four runners in the top 15 and finished with 59 points, well ahead of runner-up Sutton (163)).
Mount Greylock's girls finished with 169 points thanks in large part to the lead trio of Vera de Jong, Ainsley Abel and Adriana Carasone.
De Jong led the Mounties with a time of 21:12.71 and a 31st-place finish. Abel was right behind her in 32nd, and ninth-grader Carasone was 44th
Mount Greylock's scoring was rounded out by Katherine Goss (65th) and Chase Hoey (68th).
Those performances allowed the Mounties to win the "game within the game" and finish ahead of rival Lenox after the teams traded wins at the last two post-season meets leading into Saturday's championships.
Alice Culver again led Lenox with a time of 19:27.54 and a fifth-place showing.
The Millionaires also scored times from Genevieve Collins, Elyssa Scrimo, Nora Schoeny and Jesse Scrimo.
The county's lone individual in the D3 girls field was Monument Mountain sophomore Rae Geddes, who placed 48th with a time of 21:36.92.
Pittsfield's Harrington surprised no one by earning a medal in the day's first race, the Division 2 girls championship.
Her time of 19:01.72 was about a half minute behind individual champ Carmen Luisi of Holliston, which also won the team title.
Harrington said she felt good about how the race unfolded over the three circuits round the park.
"I think the goal was to just to go out as fast as I could and really find my zone and stay with the leaders as much as much as possible," she said.
Harrington said one of the challenges on Saturday was to stay focused on the repetitive course comprised of three identical loops and just one gently sloping hill.
"The hill was just sort of a bump," she said. "I like hills a lot. I think they would have helped really separate the field, which would have given me an advantage.
"Planning it out, usually you find a spot like that on the course where you're going to make your move. But it's a flat three laps. So it's a little mentally tougher."
One challenge for the Lenox boys on Saturday was avoiding over-confidence.
"With sectionals and what the coaches polls said, we were feeling pretty confident," Adam said. "But you can never be too confident. Somebody could have a bad day. Another team could really have a good day.
"We just wanted to come out here and run the best races we could. With the kind of team we have, I knew everybody was going to put in their best effort, pick off those jerseys, and it just came together today.”