Courtesy of Swampscott Cross-Country Coach Jeffrey Bartlett
The Swampscott High School cross-country teams headed over to Marblehead to face their friendly rivals in the last dual meet of the regular season on Tuesday.
Marblehead, who is always well coached and loaded with excellent runners, provides a challenge for the Big Blue every year; a challenge that the student-athletes look forward to. Both races had meaning: for the boys, it would determine the second place team in the NEC South.
On the girls' side, the victor would emerge as the NEC South Champions. Both teams took a "business as usual" approach to the meet and were focused on simply putting forth their best efforts.
The boys started things off, and the 1-2 duo of Peter Hale and Matt Mahoney wasted no time going to the front. Mahoney helped push the pace through the middle of the race, but Hale emerged victorious with a time of 16:15 over the 2.91 mile course. Mahoney (2nd, 16:20) cruised it in behind Hale to complete the 1-2 finish.
A very strong pack of Marblehead runners filled in the next eight spots. Sophomore Robert McLaughlin (12th, 18:23) placed third for Swampscott. Bennett Smith (14th, 18:28) and Marco Scibelli (15th, 18:28) rounded out the scoring for the Big Blue, who fell to Marblehead 25-36. Overall, the Swampscott Boys' team finished the season with a 4-3 overall record, going 3-2 in the NEC South.
The Swampscott girls went to the starting line focused, knowing Marblehead is always a tough team to beat. Freshman Isabella Kornitsky continued to lead the Big Blue over the race course just like she has throughout the season.
With growing confidence, Kornitsky placed second overall (20:25) for the Big Blue. Junior Allison Carr, finishing with a hard kick over the last 600 meters, placed 5th overall (21:22). From there Marblehead packed it in, and freshman Miranda Nocera (10th, 21:48), junior Abby O'Connor (21:58), and sophomore Meg Mahoney (22:46) rounded out the scoring for Swampscott. The girls finish the season with a record of 5-2 (4-1 NEC South) and return six out of their top seven runners next fall.
Both teams will next compete in the Northeast Conference Championships, held at Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield, on Saturday, October 27th at 9AM. The top seven runners from each team will compete in a varsity race, with remaining runners competing in a junior varsity race.