TMHS Sophomore Elyse O’Leary

Sophomore Elyse O’Leary competes for the TMHS Girls Cross-Country team during an earlier season meet.

    (photo by Jim Vaiknoras).

TEWKSBURY — It was another strong week of competition for the Tewksbury Memorial High School girls' cross-country team. The Redmen were edged out by a powerful Lowell team, 26-32, last Wednesday, only to come back to sweep a tri-meet with wins over Central Catholic, 21-33 and Andover 25-32.

“We are now 5-3 with two meets remaining on the schedule. Next week we have a big tri-meet against Methuen and Haverhill (on Wednesday),” said head coach Fran Cusick. “I think going 7-3 on the season for this young group would be an amazing accomplishment and we look forward to the challenge of making that happen.

“We should beat Methuen, but Haverhill will be a battle as they are one of the most improved teams in the league this year. We match up with them with our top two runners in Meghan Ostertag and Makayla Paige, but three through five are going to be a battle.”

In Tuesday's home tri-meet that saw the Tewksbury girls wearing their pink jerseys to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Page was again first overall for the eighth time this season, coming in at 16:54 for the 2.75 mile course.

Senior Meghan Ostertag, who continues to strive after a year off from the sport, was third overall coming across at 17:28.

"This was Meghan's second straight excellent dual meet performance and she battled with a talented Andover freshman Molly Kiley. Meghan’s time was 22 seconds than the time she ran earlier in the season on this very course," said Cusick.

Rounding out the top five runners, who all finished in the top ten overall, included junior Izzie Carleton, who was 8th at 18:48 and sophomores Maci Chapman, who was 9th at 18:56 and Elyse O'Leary, who was 10th at 19:00, while another sophomore Molly Cremin was right behind, finishing 12th at 19:11.

"Maci, Elyse and Molly continued their successful seasons and Elyse was especially impressive today. She had an outstanding kick and managed to pass a runner from Central Catholic in the final 200 meters of the race. Her time on this course was an improvement of 42 seconds over her previous time.”

The final three runners were Emma Jensen, who was 20th at 20:29, Jess Satterfield, who was 21st at 20:34 and Erin Sands, who was 23rd at 20:39.

“Emma and Jess are definitely more sprint oriented athletes, so it was nice to see them come out and run well on our home course,” said Cusick. “Jess saw a massive improvement from her first race. She got about 5 minutes faster this time — yes, five minutes. Partly this was a result of her being way too conservative in race one, but she approached this one with a much more competitive mindset and was rewarded with a good time.

“Erin Sands is a great leader and teammate for us who unfortunately has only been able to run once this season due to injuries. She came out, ran hard, and moved up well over the course of the race. I’m really hoping she can continue to race for us as the season progresses.”

In the loss to Lowell, Paige was first at 17:42 as she beat out an excellent runner in Slap Mirambeaux. Ostertag was third overall at 18:39.

“Meghan had an excellent race, losing by just a couple seconds to Slap Mirambeaux of Lowell, one of the best runners in the league who won the two-mile championship in the indoor season,” said Cusick. “Meg had a rough weekend at the Frank Kelly Invite, so this was a superb bounce back race. She kept up with Slap for the entirety of the race and even managed to kick hard the last 200 meters, something Meghan is not traditionally known for.

“And it was also a great meet for Makayla Paige, who similarly had a tough race at Frank Kelly but bounced back to run really well on this course.”

Carleton was sixth overall coming across at 19:24.

“She continues to put together good races for us. She has been our number three consistently for the entire year and that continued today,” said Cusick.

Rounding out the Tewksbury finishers included: Chapman (10th, 20:01), Cremin (12th, 20:04), O'Leary (13th, 20:18), Olivia Millspaugh (14th, 20:32), Jensen (17th, 22:23), Shannon Crowley (17th, 22:23), Sarah Polimeno (18th, 23:10) and Maisen Nguyen (19th, 23:17).

“Overall, we had a good day. Lowell is a good team and we gave them a close meet. If we continue to improve, we can potentially beat this team later in the season,” said Cusick.

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