Submitted by Swampscott cross country coach Jeffrey Bartlett
The Big Bue Cross-Country squads traveled to Peabody High School on Tuesday to take on the undefeated Peabody Tanners.
Although this was a cross-over meet with Peabody in the NEC North and Swampscott in the NEC South, the Big Blue knew they had a great opportunity to race against two of the top teams in the conference and in Massachusetts. The weather was perfect for fall racing, with the course traversing through scenic Brooksby Farm.
The Big Blue boys knew they needed to place highly up front to allow some space for their depth runners, who would have to attempt to split up Peabody's pack.
Senior captain Peter Hale continued his string of first place finishes by crossing the finish line first over the 2.8 mile course with a time of 14:20. Sophomore Matt Mahoney placed third overall, running 14:40 and closing the gap to Hale from the last race. Senior captain Sam Crimmins placed 8th overall with a time of 15:56 to round out the top three for the Blue.
The top five Big Blue runners were rounded out by sophomore Bennett Smith (14th, 16:54) and junior Marco Scibelli (16th, 17:07). The Big Blue fell to Peabody with a score of 23-35, but gained valuable racing experience over a tough course.
Other Big Blue athletes who have been improving consistently include Noah Conti, Coleman Pinkerton, Sam Carmosino, and Ethan Smith.
The Big Blue girls were focused on running their own race and packing it up like in previous races. The girls picked it up over the second half of the race course after a slow first half, but it wasn't enough to defeat a deep Peabody squad. Freshman Isabella Kornitsky continued to show she has a bright future by placing first for the Big Blue with a time of 18:49 (6th place overall).
Junior Allison Carr (9th, 19:15) and junior Sarah Kelley (11th, 19:47) rounded out the top three for the Big Blue; depth was provided from sophomore Alyssa Mauriello (13th, 20:33) and junior Abigail O'Connor (14th, 21:20).
The Big Blue fell 15-48. Other Big Blue athletes who have been having great races and improving for the girls include Miranda Nocera, Meg Mahoney, Emily Russo, and Abby Ryan.
Both teams are now 3-1 overall with a 3-0 record in the NEC South. The Big Blue will next bring the entire squad to the Frank Kelley Invite this Saturday at the Wrentham Development Center.
With a freshman race, a JV race, and a varsity race, there are plenty of opportunities for the Big Blue to achieve personal bests on the same course where the EMASS Championships will be held.