WRENTHAM – All season long, the Wilmington High School boys cross-country team has been waiting and talking about the Eastern Mass Championship Meet. The team has felt throughout this fall season that they have a chance to overtake meet favorite Newburyport and come home with the school's first ever championship.
Back on October 28th, the post-season meets started and the Wildcats performed extremely well at the Middlesex League Championship Meet, finishing with a program best fourth place.
Just five days later, this past Saturday, the team was in Wrentham and participated in the Frank Mooney Coaches Invitational Meet. Again the Wildcats had a superb day finishing first as a team in the Division 2 Jr/Sr race, well ahead of second place finisher Martha's Vineyard. A total of 30 teams participated in the race.
"The Coaches Invitational is a big meet for us in preparation for the following state meet,” said head coach Brian Schell, knowing that this Saturday's Eastern Mass Meet is back at the same Wrentham Development Center course. “For some, it is the last meet of the season while others use it as a measure of where we are heading into the biggest race. It is a great meet to find those last minute mental and physical aspects of our race we need to work on.”
Senior Greg Adamek continued his incredible season as he finished second in the Jr/Sr Division 2 race with a time of 16:08.1 for 5,000 meters. He finished behind Joseph Thumann of Whitinsville Christian, who came in at 15:51.9.
“Greg had a great battle with third place and took him with just under a half mile to go. He will need to push earlier if he wants to pass Newburyport's John Lucy (on Saturday),” said Schell.
Finishing behind Adamek included Owen Surrette (12th at 16:50.0), Nolan Kennedy (20th, 17:07.2), Sean Riley (24th, 17:09.8), Joe Lydon (28th, 17:17.8), Sean Lydon (43rd, 17:37.6) and Alexander Boehm (44th, 17:39.4).
“Both Sean and Alexander worked great off each other and ran consistent splits the entire time,” said Schell.
Also competing, included Jake Danieli (57th, 18:07.9), Daniel Maienza (79th, 18:41.6), Brian Elderd (145th, 20:03.4), Joseph Hartzell (237th, 22:23.0) and John Ware (23:44).
“The boys crushed it today with everyone running a personal record for the course,” he said. “The biggest thing for us to take away was how our times on this course match up against Newburyport from their league meet. Right now we are all averaging roughly five seconds behind each of their guys so we know we are in the mix. If we can be as tough as we were today and work harder that last half mile or so, it could come down to a photo finish.”
Turning to the girls team, the Wildcats finished third as a team in the Division 2 Jr/Sr race, finishing behind league rival Melrose and then Cardinal Spellman. A total of nine teams competed in the race.
“The girls also crushed it in all aspects of their race,” said Schell. “Everyone ran their best time and had personal records for this course. I can't say that any one girl had the best day, that is how well they all ran. We even managed to have three girls under 22 minutes and a couple others close. This is huge progress and momentum we need to keep heading into states.”
Senior Gianna Misuraca was the team's top performer as she came in 18th overall with a time of 20:54.
“After a tough dual meet season (coming back from an injury), she looked strong and where she should be heading into next week,” said Schell.
Finishing behind her included Evelyn Miller-Nuzzo (30th, 21:35.2), Carissa Rubin (45th, 22:19.50), Katie McLaughlin (48th, 22:28.9), Maggie Bourgeois (85th, 24:06.3) and Gianna Spada (129th, 26:08.4).
“Both Carissa and Katie worked off each other especially Carissa who looked great the last half mile,” said Schell.
In the Division 2 Sophomore race, Olivia Erler was 13th at 21:28.6 and Talina Khalil, a freshman who stepped up to compete in the tenth grade race, was 40th at 23:24.0.
“Olivia also ran solid and managed a two and half minute personal record for the course and looked really strong on her finish,” said Schell.
Schell said this meet was a big step in the right direction for both programs.
“Overall, it was a great day for both teams,” he said. “We have one more week to fix any part of our race and keep this momentum moving forward. We have a tough task at states but I know we can pull it off if everyone stays focused and continues to bring their 'A' game. It currently looks to be a really cold day for states, so the warm up is going to be an even bigger factor in preparation.”
The schedule for Saturday will have the Wilmington Boys part of the Division 4 race which will start at 1:45 pm and the Girls will be the final race of the day going off at 3:10 pm.