By Matt Williams
---- — Championships were the theme at the Eastern Mass. Cross Country Championships held in Wrentham on Saturday, with the Marblehead girls winning their first team title and Hamilton-Wenham’s ladies winning their 8th in the last 9 years in Division 5.
Danvers’ Catalina Dominick won the Eastern Mass. title in Division 4 by clearing the 5K course in 17:56. It was the second best time run by any girl across all divisions, and Dominick was one of only two girls to run under 18-minutes all day.
“She’s been training really hard and she’s starting to show what she can do,” said Danvers coach John Norris. “She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, there were a lot of good runners. She executed the strategy to the letter. She broke away about a mile and a quarter in and nobody could stay with her.”
Marblehead’s senior Janaya Randall was the runner-up, and helped her team win its first team state championship. Randall ran 18:33 and followed closely by senior teammate Lily Roberts, who was fifth in 18:56.
“The girls were awesome. They ran great races and everyone had their best times,” said Marblehead coach Jen Rodier. “Lily always exceeds my expectations and her placing really helped us.”
The Magicians finished with 57 teams points, well ahead of Wakefield’s 107 for the D4 title. Sophomore Sarah Oliver was 12th in 19:50, senior Paige Ferrucci 18th in 20:16 and junior Anna Barrell 21st in 20:27 to round out point-getters for Marblehead.
“Sarah was determined to do well and show how hard she’s been working. To see all of our top three get medals was great,” said Rodier. “They’ve been working for this for a long time and I can’t wait to see how they do next weekend.”
In Division 5, H-W had an unprecedented six Eastern Mass. all-stars as six Generals finished in the top 12. Hamilton-Wenham came close to breaking their own record for the lowest team score ever by finishing with 30 points.
Junior Emily Weigand finished third in 18:45 and sophomore Jeannie Zheng was fourth in 18:49. Senior Emily Horgan was fifth in 18:51, freshman Olivia Horgan was seventh in 18:57, freshman Amanda Burnett was 11th in 19:32 and sophomore Meghan Stone was 12th in 19:37.
“It’s been quite a run and Saturday was spectacular for the entire team,” said H-W coach Steve Sawyer. “To be able to put out performances like that with such a young team is quite an accomplishment. They ran so well and with such confidence.”
In Division 1, the Peabody girls and boys are both headed to All-States. The Tanner gents pushed four runners into the top 20 to finish second behind champion Lowell, and the girls had three in the top 13 to make their third straight trip to All-States.
Senior Drew Fossa led the boys in sixth in 15:54 while freshman Marcelo Rocha had an incredible states debut by finishing 15th in 16:15. Alex Greco and Ben Braz both finished in 16:21 and Riley Dowd ran 16:38.
For the girls, Lauren Barrett ran 19:01 and finished sixth while seniors Samantha Allen (19:09, 11th) and Antonia Pagliuca (13th, 19:53) ran well to help Peabody finish third as a team. Sydney May finished 30th in 19:53 and Annie Pollock was the final scorer in 42nd in 20:20.
The H-W boys had five runners in the top-22 and finished second to CAL rival Newburyport in the team portion of D5. Matt Gillis led the pack with a fourth place time of 15:56. Michael Allara (11th, 16:39), Charles Cring (13th, 16:42), John Blatchford (16th, 16:56) and Daniel Allara (22nd, 17:05) also ran well to get the Generals to next week’s D2 All-State meet.
Also in D5, Swampscott’s Matt Mahoney finished third overall with an outstanding time of 15:39.
The Beverly girls advanced to the All-State meet for the first time since 2007 by finishing fourth in Division 2 girls action. Senior Nicole Demars finished seventh in 19:50 to pace a Panther pack that included freshman Abby Walsh (19:15), Julianna Wesley (19:34), Maeve Monahan (20:21) and Keely Higgins (20:23).
Luke Bulger (16:24, 21st) and Liam Dow (16:29, 28th) were the top two runners for St. John’s Prep in D1.
In the boys Division 2 race, Masconomet’s Harry Kent finished seventh in 15:56 and the Chieftains were seventh as a team. Masco’s girls were led by Meghan Collins (14th, 19:05). Beverly’s Cambpell Wood ran 16:28 in the boys D2 race. Danvers’ James Bailey qualified with a career-best 16:51 as well.
Ipswich’s Michael Riddle was 11th in Division 6 in 16:58. In the girls Division 6 race, Bishop Fenwick’s Arianna Maida finished fifth with a time of 19:02.