STONEHAM – Before the season started, Wilmington High School Boys' Cross-Country coach Brian Schell knew that his team was extremely young and inexperienced, and the thoughts of how many victories the team could get, if any, was on the backburner.
Nearly two months into the season, that youth and experience has quickly matured to experience and yes, wins. Last Wednesday, the Wildcats defeated Stoneham, 20-37, to improve to 2-2 on the season.
“Stoneham this year unfortunately has similar numbers as us and equal inexperience. Running on their course however is a challenge in and of itself and is fairly dangerous,” said Schell.
While unsafe, the course also seemed to be confusing.
“The goal of this meet was to simply get in, get the victory and get out unscathed while still looking strong. Unfortunately there was a mishap before the first mile and a directional sign was pointing the wrong way causing our top five boys to go the wrong way, completely losing sight of first place. We were able to recover and manage second through sixth place,” said Schell.
In the 2.8 mile course, Jameson Burns was the top finisher for the 'Cats as he was second overall at 18:33. He was followed by Roman Moretti (18:56), Jake Cronin (19:01), John Ware (19:06) and Zack Weinstein (19:19) as they finished third, through sixth, respectively.
“Overall, I'm just glad no one got injured and we were able to come away with the win. Pretty much from here on out, things will be pushed a bit more toward individual performances heading into the final dual meets and getting ready for championship season,” said Schell.
On Friday night, the team competed at the annual Bob McIntyre Twilight Meet held in Falmouth at the Barnstable Fairgrounds. The team was split up between four different races, with Jameson Burns as the lone one in the sophomore boys race and he was 17th with a time of 18:40.6.
“On a more legit course than ours, Jameson had another great performance. He ran very similar splits compared to all the previous meets and to do it here in this atmosphere was a great way to get back that momentum. Now to keep this momentum and work on some adjustments especially his last mile and he could look to break 18 minutes which would be huge,” said Schell.
In the Small School JV race, Moretti was 11th at 18:57.6, Zack Weinstein was 21st at 19:36.4, John Ware was 30th at 20:02.8 and Christian Niceforo was 43rd at 20:31.7.
Then in the Freshmen race, Jake Cronin was 25th at 12:48.3, David Dynan was 76th at 14:18.3 and Conor Burns was 110th at 15:03.3.
"Overall this is a very fun meet all around and everyone in every race ran aggressively like I asked them too. The goal from here on out now is not to lose this momentum and keep our racing legs going,” said Schell.
Wilmington will be back in action on Thursday in a home meet with Burlington starting at 4 pm, before ending the regular season on Tuesday at Melrose, also a 4 pm start.