ARLINGTON — Both the Wilmington High School Boys and Girls Cross-Country teams were defeated in their season and league opener against Arlington on Tuesday afternoon. The Boys team was edged out 26-31, and the girls fell 15-50, running without the team's best runner and captain Gianna Misuraca, who was out with a foot injury.
Head Coach Brian Schell knows that the girls program will take some time to build up to get the runners experience, as well we getting some depth within the program, but on the other side with the boys, there's high expectations for this season and he was disappointed with the loss.
"Unfortunately this is not how we envisioned starting off the season. On paper we were the heavy favorite but it is just that, paper. We still needed to compete and like the girls, we allowed the other teams top two runners to dictate the race. We didn't get out strong enough and were unable to challenge their top guys at the second mile mark. If we allow this against Wakefield, the end result could very easily be the same.”
Senior Greg Adamek was the team's top performer as he was third overall at 17:15. He was followed by Owen Surette, who was fourth at 17:44 and Sean Riley, who was fifth at 17:45.
“These three have worked together and looked strong all season during workouts,” said Schell. “Joe Lydon has even been up with them as well in the mix. but for all four of these guys, we again got away from our race and went out a bit too slow. We just need to get back to our race and fix these right away for Wakefield next.”
Lydon finished 7th at 17:57 and was followed by an ill Jake Danieli, who finished tied with Nolan Kennedy with the same 18:39 time, and then Alex Boehm came across at 18:41 with Sean Lydon at 19:20.
The girls team was defeated 15-50.
"Coming into this meet we needed to look strong and show early signs of progress, but unfortunately everything that could go wrong went wrong,” said Schell. “We knew Arlington had the numbers and the talent so winning was not an option. For us, we just seemed to completely forget everything we practiced. No one went out strong and were thirty seconds or more off their pace in the first mile.”
Olivia Erler was the team's top performer as she came in eighth overall with a personal record time of 23:00.
“She has looked strong all season during workouts and built a better base on road runs,” said Schell. “She looked solid throughout the race and despite a personal record I know she can do a lot better. Like everyone else, we just need to work on getting out stronger like we practiced and get tougher that second mile. Her splits were fairly consistent so that is a plus for the first meet.”
Coming in behind her included Evelyn Miller-Nuzzo (10th, 23:16), Carissa Rubin (13th, 24:04), Katie McLaughlin (14th, 24:48), Gianna Spada (15th, 25:54) and Maggie Bourgeois (16th, 26:12).
“Overall for both teams, the course was flat with one very small hill, so it is not much different than ours. It does have a 100-meter stretch you cant pass anyone at all and the footing is tricky to keep proper stride. However, clearly the first meet and mental toughness were the biggest factors.”
Wilmington will be back in action on Tuesday as they host Wakefield for a 4:00 pm start.