By Swampscott Cross Country Coach Jeff Bartlett
The Swampscott High School Cross-Country teams returned to Bradley Palmer State Park on Saturday to compete in the Northeast Conference Championships.
The Big Blue ended up with 39 runners emerging with their best time on the Bradley Palmer course this year, a testament to their hard work throughout the season.
Senior captain Peter Hale continued to prove that he is the best in the conference by running to a first place finish with a time of 16:06 over the 5k course. Hale, who has just started easing up on training ever so slightly, went undefeated in the Northeast Conference this year. Junior Matt Mahoney, running one of his best races ever, placed third overall with a time of 16:16.
With the second and fourth place runners (Alex Greco of Beverly and Drew Fossa of Peabody) also returning next year, the 2013 NEC Meet is looking to be a battle! Senior co-captain Sam Crimmins ran a tough race to finish with a time of 18:01 (24th place), his first full race back after being cleared from a concussion. Sophomores Robert McLaughlin (31st) and Bennett Smith (34th) stepped up into depth roles for the Big Blue, finishing with times of 18:27 and 18:36, both running their best races of the season.
Rounding out the scoring for the Big Blue were Marco Scibelli (47th, 19:18) and John King (53rd, 20:10). All seven varsity runners ran personal bests on the Bradley Palmer course. The boys team ended up in 4th place overall in the 11 team field with a score of 94 points. In the JV race, junior Noah Conti was the top finisher for Swampscott with a time of 19:27 (15th overall).
The girls race followed the boys, and was one for the record books. With Peabody runner Catarina Rocha scorching a course record time, the Big Blue girls ran smartly in the pack and worked together throughout the race. Freshman Isabella Kornitsky continues to run with the maturity of an upperclassman, and her 7th place finish (20:16) was the best of any freshman in the conference.
Juniors Sarah Kelley (27th, 22:33) and Alison Carr (28th, 22:39) packed up to work together over the race course. Slightly further back, another Big Blue duo of Abby O'Connor (30th, 23:14) and Michelle LaConte (31st, 23:15) also ran together in depth roles, displacing runners from other teams. Miranda Nocera (34th, 23:41) and Megan Mahoney (38th, 23:54) rounded out the scoring for the Big Blue.
The Swampscott girls in the varsity race did not have a senior among them; they all will return next year, in addition to a few injured/sick runners. The strength of the team, running in packs, will be a great asset to the team in upcoming championship meets and in the future.
The girls team placed 4th place with a score of 123 points. In the JV race, Caitlin Ludke was the top finisher for Swampscott with a time of 24:21 (14th place).
By finishing in the top sixteen runners from the NEC South Division, Peter Hale, Matt Mahoney, Sam Crimmins, Isabella Kornitsky, Sarah Kelley, and Alison Carr all earned the recognition of NEC South All-Star. The Big Blue will return to action at the MSTCA Coaches Invitational on Saturday, Nov. 3rd at the Wrentham Development Center.
This will be the last race for many runners; only the top seven will continue onwards. Some varsity runners will rest and take the meet off while others will run one last tune-up race.