Mount Greylock Girls Second, Boys Third at State Meet
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- For some people, a 5-kilometer run through ice and snow and mud would be a frigid, treacherous ordeal.
For Mount Greylock Regional School senior Jesse Seid, it was a cool new experience.
“It was a lot of fun,” Seid said after placing 11th in Division 2 and leading the Mounties to third place in the team competition. “It was something different. We’ve been racing on dry land for six years -- or I have.
“This was nice change of pace.”
What did not change was Mount Greylock’s presence at the top of the leaderboard. In addition to the boys’ bronze, the Mounties girls, who won it all a year ago, finished second on Sunday behind Jackie Wells, who placed 17th overall and 11th out of runners from point-scoring teams.
Mount Greylock’s boys moved up four spots in the standings from their 2017 finish in Wrentham. Familiarity with Stanley Park may have been a factor, but Seid had a different explanation.
“Really, we did well today, and I think one of the only reasons is our coach,” Seid said. “He knew what he was doing. He had us do exactly the right preparation for the snow today. We had longer spikes today, which was a big, big help.”
Mount Greylock coach Scott Burdick, who last week guided his program to a ninth straight Western Massachusetts title, on Sunday saw the Mounties finish behind Eastern Mass foes Newburyport and Seekonk. Seekonk’s boys won D2 with 61 points and an individual title from Sam Acquaviva, who finished in 16 minutes, 33.89 seconds.
Seid was 47 seconds back, crossing the line in 17:20.98. His teammate Josh Cheung placed 19th in 17:37.92. Also scoring for the Mounties were Jacob Fink (18:17.39), Oliver Swabey (18:24.53) and Theo Sandstrom (19:03.95).
On the girls side, Littleton won the D2 crown with 81 points. Mount Greylock finished with 119, outdueling third-place Lenox (149 points) for the second straight week. Eight days earlier, the Mounties edged the Millionaires on the same course for the sectional title.
This week, it came down to the fifth-place position, where Mount Greylock seventh-grader Lily McDermott placed 54th overall in 21:50.12 and 28 points ahead of Lenox’s No. 5.
Backing up Wells (20:27.10) were Josie Smith (20:29.75), Ainsley Abel (21:17.61) and Hazel Scullin (21:46.29).
Lenox’s Ellen Huth (20:30.08) placed 20th overall, and Ava Bachman (20:57.18) was not far behind in 27th. Freshman Grace Elliot (21:12.34) was 33rd for the Millionaires.
As a testament to the depth of both the Lenox and Mount Greylock girls, there were four races on Sunday -- D1 and D2 in boys and girls. The top 15 individuals got medals. And in three of the races, the top three teams had at least one runner in that top 15 group. The exception: D2 girls, where Wells was the top finisher from either the Mounties or Millionaires and yet those teams beat out eight schools with runners finishing higher than her 17th place.
“We had fun,” Lenox coach Jeanne Teasdale said. “The season’s been fun. We have two seniors leaving, so we’re rebuilding our team for next year. And of course we have the track season in the spring.
“We said if we finish in the top five, we’ll be happy today, so if we finish third place, that’s fine with us today. Would have liked to take that second, but, hey, it’s timing.”
Teasdale said that early snow was a challenge, but her runners were ready.
“We’ve been preparing them for different situations,” she said, adding with a laugh, “We could have had them run in the sand. … It’s the same condition for everybody, and we can just prepare, put in the right spikes.
“We told them: You just have to be careful, going around turns and so forth, but everyone is in the same boat. They did their very best. … But we’re happy no one got injured.”
Lenox’s girls and the Mount Greylock teams were the only local teams to qualify for the all-state meet, but there were plenty of Berkshire County harriers representing their schools as individuals, starting in the day’s first race, the Division 1 boys.
Taconic junior Jacob Paris ran a time of 19:04.22 in a field won by Arlington’s Ryan Oosting (15:52.75).
The D1 girls race was won by Natick’s Grace Connolly (18:14.28), who helped her team place first overall. The first county runner across the line was Wahconah’s Haley Crosier (21:46.12). Right behind her was Pittsfield’s Cami Diehl (21:56.78).
Wahconah twin seniors Gabrielle and Danielle Orlando capped their careers by finishing side-by-side, in 22:56.61 and 22:56.70, respectively. And Wahconah eighth-grader Alexis Henderson finished in 23:21.20.
The top Berkshire County finisher not from Lenox or Mount Greylock was Monument Mountain senior Grace Phair (20:50.01), who finished 25th overall as an individual in the D2 race. Lee freshman Brianna Kelly finished in 23:59.82.
In D2 boys, Lenox’s Colin Young (18:23.39) and Monument Mountain’s Peter LaRochelle (18:37.30) each finished in the top half of the field. Lenox eighth-grader Maxwell Adam broke 19 minutes, finishing in 18:56.89. Mount Everett’s Grayson Duval finished in 19:08.65.