Taconic Girls, Boys Pick Up Wins at Hoosac Valley
CHESHIRE, Mass. -- For Hoosac Valley junior Justin Levesque, it was a little strange running alone at the head of the field.
But it is a feeling he would not mind getting used to.
"It was definitely a weird feeling because I had nobody there to push me," Levesque said after finishing more than a minute ahead of the field in Saturday's season opening cross country race.
"My sophomore year, last year, when we were running in the fall, I was always in the pack. There were always people in front of me, and if there wasn't there were people right behind me."
Of course, in "normal" times, the Hurricanes would be running in a field of four schools on a weekday afternoon.
But in this "Fall 2" season, Saturday morning dual meets are the order of the day.
And in Week 1, the Taconic boys and girls took home the team W's on Levesque's home course.
In fact, he only had one other teammate on course with him Saturday, so Levesque's first-place showing and a sixth-place finish by seventh-grader Stephen Gage were not nearly enough to compete with Taconic.
Owen McNeil led his team to victory against the non-scoring Hurricanes by placing second overall in a time of 20:55.54.
On the girls side, both schools fielded full teams, and Taconic's was the faster, winning by a score of 19-39 behind a 1-2-3 finish from Lila Robero (27:32.92), Isabella MacDonald and Julia Latura.
Hoosac Valley's Natlie Pompi and Hannah Walsh placed fourth and fifth, respectively, with the freshman Walsh outkicking Taconic's Simira Hanger, who settled for sixth by one second.
Hoosac's Levesque said it felt great to back on course after missing out on the fall season. With just a few weeks of duals and maybe a season-ending meet for the four schools running in Fall 2, the mindset is a little different than it would be in a regular year, when everyone is gunning for sectionals and states.
"This is kind of just getting back to running," Levesque said. "I was on my [Nordic] skis as long I as I could with the snow. And then I got back into running the end of March.
"This is about me getting back into running shape and getting ready for track so I can have a really good track season."
Boys Top 10
1. Justin Levesque (HV) 19:55.52; 2. Owen McNeil (T) 20:55.54; 3. Cameron Bencivenga (T) 22:22.56; 4. Nick Trapani (T) 27:17.15; 5. Anthony Trapani (T) 27:28.61; 6. Stephen Gage (HV) 28:02.18; 7. Connor Sultaire (T) 31:37.28; 8. Joe LaFreniere (T) 32:24.99; 9. Dominik Dubois (T) 32:43.30; 10. Mike Kerwood (T) 33.20.43.
Girls Top 10
1. Lila Robero (T) 27:32.92; 2. Isabella MacDonald (T) 27:57.56; 3. Julia Latura (T) 28:26.96; 4. Natalie Pompi (HV) 28:48.00; 5. Hannah Walsh (HV) 28:51.18; 6. Simira Hanger (T) 28:52.18; 7. Ella Ives (T) 29:31.70; 8. Taylor Garabedian (HV) 29:37.28; 9. Calie Champoux (T) 29:53.54; 10. Alyssa Garabedian (HV) 30:13.88.