Culver Leads Lenox to Second Place at State Meet
DEVENS, Mass. – Second in the Berkshire County dual meet standings, second at the divisional state qualifier and second at Saturday’s Division 3 State Championship race.
It all adds up to a first-rate season for the Lenox girls cross country team.
Alice Culver placed sixth in the state on Saturday at Fort Devens to lead the Millionaires to a runner-up showing in the team standings – the best individual and team finishes by the county contingent at the meet.
Culver covered the 5-kilometer course in 19 minutes, 16.27 seconds, just 19 seconds behind winner Kaylie Dalgar of Pentucket.
Bromfield, which beat Lenox by 52 points at last week’s state qualifier in Northfield, edged the Millionaires by 13 points on Saturday, taking first place with 125 points behind a fifth-place finish by Evelyn Wool.
In the boys D3 race, Monument Mountain’s Everett Pacheco was the fastest Berkshire County boy, placing 10th in a time of 16:34.68 in a race won by Littleton’s Timothy Rank (15:44.63).
The boys team from Parker Charter Essential took first place in Division 3 with 63 points, placing five runners in the top 30 to run away with a 53-point win over state runner-up Weston.
Lenox’s boys were the top Berkshire County team, placing sixth in the boys standings.
Mount Greylock’s boys were eighth. The Mounties’ girls were fourth after taking two dual meet wins against Lenox in the regular season to win the league title.
“You know, the regular season was a little tough,” Culver said. “We were kind of, like, getting into our groove a little. We were all kind of just trying to get through things.
“And it was really nice that everything was able to come together for Western Mass and divisionals.”
Both Lenox’s boys and girls placed first in the PVIAC Class B regional championships on Oct. 28 at Stanley Park in Westfield.
Even before the Millionaires knew what – if any – hardware they would be bringing home from the state meet on Saturday, Culver said she was proud of all her teammates and the hard work they put in this fall.
“They’re all really happy with their races,” she said as the team scores were being finalized. “They all came in pretty high. We don’t know how we placed as a team yet. … But everyone’s really happy right now. No one’s sad, no one’s upset. Everyone really had great races.”
Joining Culver, a senior, on the individual medal stand on Saturday afternoon was Monument Mountain sophomore Amelia Desilets, who took home an individual medal for her 14th-place finish.
As a team, the Spartans placed 15th out of 22 squads who qualified last week at Northfield.
The fourth-place Mount Greylock girls were led by sophomore Adriana Carasone, who placed 30th overall (24th for team-scoring purposes). A trio of Mounties – Katherine Goss, Riley Dickinson and Vera de Jong – finished in a pack at places 58 through 60.
Culver was backed up by eighth-grader Nora Shoeny, who placed 37th, and Elyssa Scrimo (43rd), Lila Kousch (45th) and Gianna Love (52nd) – all of whom return next fall for the Millionaires.
Running as an individual, Pittsfield junior Yasmine Oubtrou just missed the podium, placing 17th in a time of 20:22.70.
Lenox’s boys, who won the state title in 2022, got a podium finish on Saturday from ninth-grader Benjamin Harwood, who finished 14th with a time of 16:43.17.
He was chased across the finish line by teammates Cormac Mathews (25th), Samel Geller (36th), Owen Ames (64th) and Connor McCormack (111th)..
Their county rivals from Mount Greylock got a 20th place finish from Oliver Swabey (16:57.25) and a 35th-place finish from Andrew Petropulos.
The third county team in the D3 boys race, Wahconah, placed 15th in a 23-team field. Ninth-grader Noah Wesley led the way with a 49th-place finish (17:45.22). Fritz Sanders was 85th in a 188-runner field for Wahconah.
Two Berkshire County runners ran as individuals at the state D3 boys meet. Pittsfield’s Seth Aitken was 46th (17:36.55). Taconic’s Noah Krantz placed 128th (18:56.05).
Lenox’s silver medal in the girls team competition marked the second straight year the Millionaires had the top-finishing county team at the state meet in Devins.
This time around, they did it on a course that Culver said favored Western Mass teams.
“That was good for the Western Mass teams,” she said of a wooded stretch added to the layout this fall. “Because we’re used to doing hills, and a lot of the Eastern Mass teams just aren’t. I think that was a little bit of an advantage for us. It was nice to kind of break up the flat.”
Pacheco had a different perspective.
“There was a little bit more of a hill, which kind of sucks,” he said with a laugh. “No, it’s good. But I loved the flat course.”
That said, Pacheco was happy with his 10th-place finish and the fact that he was the first runner across the finish line who was not a senior or junior.
“It does feel pretty good,” he said. “It’s where I wanted to be at the start of the season, so I’m happy to be here now.”