Lenox Boys, Girls Win Western Mass Titles

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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NORTHFIELD, Mass. — On a day that was anything but tropical, a taste of the tropics fueled the Lenox boys cross country team to a Western Massachusetts championship.
Ted Yee finished second overall, and Colin Young placed fourth as the Millionaires ran away with a 43-point victory in the Division 2 sectional, joining the Lenox girls atop the podium.
In the first race of the day at the Northfield Mountain Recreation Center, Lenox sophomore Grace Elliot placed third to lead Lenox to a four-point win over Berkshire County rival Mount Greylock.
For Yee and the boys, the key to victory was hard work and fresh fruit.
“Our training has helped us to get here,” Yee said. “We do things like lunges before to try to get our thighs and legs stronger. And we decided if we were asked what we did, we’d say it was the papaya.
“That’s what we attribute it to: lunges and papaya. I think Max Adam brought the papaya. He’s  been bringing it to practices. And our coach brings us chocolate milk after workouts. We get all the training in and get incentives for it.”
Other incentives, like a trip to next week’s state championships in Gardner, come with the territory.
The Berkshires will send four teams to the state meet.
Monument Mountain’s boys placed third in Division 2 with three runners leading the way in the top 10: third-place Diego Salinetti (17:23.60), fifth-place Keegan Leach and seventh-place Peter LaRochelle.
In addition to the runner-up Mount Greylock girls, Pittsfield’s girls placed third in Division 1 behind a second-place finish by Kelly Harrington and an eighth-place showing by senior Cami Diehl.
Agawam’s Sarah Ross won the D1 girls race, covering the 5-kilometer course in 19 minutes, 32.42 seconds. And the Amherst-Pelham girls won the team title with 44 points, 21 ahead of runner-up Northampton.
In D1 boys, Northampton took the title with three runners in the top four places, led by Tobias L’Esperance, who finished in 16:46.71.
The top individual among the D2 boys was Hampshire’s Chris Vayda (16:43.15), who was about 11 seconds ahead of Yee (16:54.11).
Lenox scored times from Adam in 10th, Dennis Love in 15th and Harry Touloukian in 21st.
The fastest D2 girl on Saturday was Pope Francis senior Emily Boutin, who crossed the line in 19:02.20, 22 seconds ahead of Swann (19:24.89).
Lenox’s Elliot was joined in the top 10 by teammates Ellen Huth, Alice Culver and Ava Bachman in fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively. Sydney Wilk rounded out the scoring for the Millionaires with a 17th-place finish, coming home just two seconds ahead of teammate Audrey Touloukian in 18th place.
All seven Lenox girls finished 28th or better in a 119-runner D2 field.
All seven Mount Greylock girls finished 16th or better. Grace Malone, Jacqueline Wells, Hazel Scullin and Miriam Bakija joined Swann in the scoring column. Bakija, Lily McDermott and Ainsley Abel finished 14th, 15 and 16th, respectively, for the Mounties.
The Berkshire rivals swapped positions in the girls team standings two weeks after Mount Greylock topped Lenox at the county championship meet at Notchview. Last November at Stanley Park, Mount Greylock won the sectional title with by a two-point margin over Lenox.
Elliot, who had to pull out of the county championship race, said Lenox was not sure where it stood going into Saturday.
“This week I was definitely going in trying to make sure I didn’t give myself an asthma attack,” Elliot said. “That’s why, up the hills, I wanted to hang back. I didn’t want to not be able to breathe through the rest of this. My goal was just to finish, so I’m happy I got third.
“We did not expect this win today. Everything just came together today. The rest of the season, we were starting to lose hope, but we pushed through and were able to do it.”
In addition to the three teams making plans to go to the state meet, several Berkshire County runners will be heading east as individuals based on their performances Saturday, including Wahconah’s Haley Crosier (ninth) and Olivia Gamberoni (18th) and Taconic’s Ahliya Phillips (22nd) on the girls side and Pittsfield’s Emanuel Brown (17th), Wahconah’s Hayden Kendall (18th) and Taconic’s Jacob Paris (21st) on the boys side.
The strong county showing — four teams and six individuals — comes as no surprise in the year the sectional race returns to Northfield after a couple of years at Westfield’s Stanley Park.
“I do like [the course],” Elliot said. “I like how you get the hill over with at the beginning and you can just zoom down the rest of them.”
“We have the advantage with the hills,” Yee agreed. “Because we run so many hills at Lenox.”
Division 2 Girls
Lenox 39; 2. Mount Greylock 43; 3. Mohawk Trail 97; 4. Hampshire 129; 5. Pope Francis 169; 6. Frontier 195; 7. Monument Mountain 195; 8. Southwick-Tolland 230; 9. Lee 241; 10. Easthampton 295; 11. Monson 312; 12. Hoosac Valley 323; 13. Gateway 343; 14. Hopkins 407; 15. Palmer 414; 16. Sabis 469.
Division 1 Girls
Amherst 44; 2. Northampton 65; 3. Pittsfield 77; 4. Ludlow 130; 5. Wahconah 184; 6. Minnechaug 197; 7. Chicopee 213; 8. Taconic 234; 9. Belchertown 244; 10. Central 256; 11. Westfield 291; 12. Longmeadow 311; 13. East Longmeadow 365; 14. Agawam 378; 15. Chicopee Comp 402; 16. West Springfield 405.
Division 2 Boys
Lenox 52; 2. Monson 95; 3. Monument Mountain 103; 4. Pope Francis 104; 5. Hampshire 130; 6. Mount Greylock 150; 7. Palmer 244; 8. Frontier 248; 9. Lee 299; 10. Greenfield 344; 11. Mohawk 352; 12. Granby 385; 13. Mahar 398; 14. Hopkins 414; 15. Gateway 416; 16. Putnam 418; 17. Mount Everett 470; 18 Westfield Tech 508; 19. Easthampton 527; 20. Sabis 530; 21. Hoosac Valley 531; 22. Hampden Charter 570; 23. Duggan 576.
Division 1 Boys
Northampton 41; 2. Amherst 63; 3. Longmeadow 120; 4. Belchertown 151; 5. West Springfield 173; 6. Taconic 189; 7. Westfield 211; 8. Chicopee Comp 222; 9. Pittsfield 222; 10. Wahconah 265; 11. Ludlow 275; 12. Minnechaug 290; 13. South Hadley 333; 14. East Longmeadow 356; 15. Agawam 399; 16. Central 438.
Division 2 Girls Top 10
Emily Boutin, Pope Francis, 19:02.20; 2. Kate Swann, Mount Greylock, 19:24.89; 3. Grace Elliot, Lenox, 20:21.90; 4. Grace Malone, MG, 20:47.91; 5. Ellen Huth, Lenox, 20:53.00; 6. Alice Culver, Lenox, 21:01.12; 7. Grace Poplawksi, Mohawk, 21:30.20; 8. Ava Bachman, Lenox, 21:31.92; 9. Meghan Sullivan, Pope Francis, 21:34.23; 10. Sylvie Mahon-Moore, Hampshire, 21:44.95.
Division 1 Girls Top 10
Sarah Ross, Agawam, 19:32.42; 2. Kelly Harrington, Pittsfield, 19:49.21; 3. Mary Yount, Northampton, 20:23.64; 4. Zada Forde, Amherst, 20:25.26; 5. Tamar Byl-Brann, Amherst, 20:25.82; 6. Kendyl Vermett, Ludlow, 20:31.20; 7. Sofia Tulik, Ludlow, 20:34.55; 8. Cami Diehl, Pittsfield, 20:48.10; 9. Haley Crosier, Wahconah 20:51.82; 10. Vivian Jacobs-Towns, Amherst, 21:06.45.
Division 2 Boys Top 10
Chris Vayda, Hampshire, 16:43.15; 2. Ted Yee, Lenox, 16:54.11; 3. Diego Salinetti, Monument Mountain, 17:23;60; 4. Colin Young, Lenox, 17:25.49; 5. Keegan Leach, MM, 17:26.99; 6. Daniel Markey, Pope Francis, 17:29.16; 7. Peter LaRochelle, MM, 17:29.71; 8. Cotton Hewes, Palmer, 17:32.46; 9. Daniel Fiester, Monson, 17:38.82; 10. Maxwell Adam, Lenox, 17:45.15.
Division 1 Boys Top 10
Tobias L’Esperance, Northampton, 16:46.71; 2. Evan Dunigan, Belchertown, 17:03.07; 3. Simon LaClair, Northampton, 17:10.01;4. Tim Jacques, Northampton, 17:12.11; 5. Bradyn Cote, South Hadley, 17:14.31; 6. Walter Tebbetts, Amherst, 17:27.05; 7. Tommy Li, Longmeadow, 17:29.13; 8. Kaleb Cree, Westfield, 17:33.68; 9. Noah Johansson, Amherst, 17:34.07; 10. Christian Fuehr, Minnechaug, 17:34.26.
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