This article was submitted by Swampscott cross country coach Jeffrey Bartlett
The name "Northfield Mountain" leaves no guesses as to the terrain and technicality of a cross-country course. After starting the race with a half mile uphill, the course goes up and down like a roller coaster en-route to the finish line.
On Saturday, three Big Blue runners headed to the mountain to participate in the Massachusetts All-State Cross-Country Championships, held at picturesque Northfield Mountain in Northfield, Massachusetts.Freshman Isabella Kornitsky, junior Matt Mahoney, and senior Peter Hale all qualified individually for this meet based off of their performances at the Eastern Massachusetts Divisional Championships last week. All runners would be competing in the Division II race among other small schools; smaller divisions were combined into one for this race.
The runners familiarized themselves with the course on their pre-race walkthrough. Kornitsky started things off for the Big Blue with the Division II Girls Race. Kornitsky ran a smart race; never one to back down from a challenge, Kornitsky stayed strong throughout the challenging course, especially the rolling hills in the second half of the race. Kornitsky rolled through the finish line with a time of 21:04 to place 68th in the 178 runner field, capping of her successful first year running cross-country.
In the Division II Boys Race, Hale and Mahoney went our smartly up the half mile hill, waiting to move until the hill was over. Throughout the race, both found themselves near the front of the field. Hale, the Eastern Massachusetts Division V Champion, battled it out among his usual competitors. Always one to finish strong, Hale held off some of his rivals near the finish as he raced to a 6th place finish overall. Mahoney, consistently only 20-30 seconds behind Hale in every race all season, placed 15th overall.
Both earned medals with their performances. Swampscott was one of only three schools to place two runners in the top 15 in the Division II race.
This was the last meet on the schedule for Big Blue XC, and many runners are now preparing for the indoor track seasons.