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November 18, 2013

All-State Cross Country: Hamilton-Wenham girls win state title

There was a pretty close finish for the individual state title in the girls Division 2 race at the All-State Cross Country Championships Saturday at Gardner.

For the team title, however, there was hardly any doubt.

Hamilton-Wenham ran away with their first state championship since 2008, placing four runners in the top-30 of a field of 180 qualifiers. The Generals had 56 team points to outpace Manchester Essex’s 115.

“Basically, it was a runaway for my girls,” Hamilton-Wenham coach Steve Sawyer said. “On paper it was really between us and Tyngsboro. I think they went out too fast, we caught them and ended very strong. It was an amazing, amazing performance by our girls.”

Danvers junior Catalina Dominick had a fierce kick, but was edged by Manchester’s Olivia Lantz at the finish line of the D2 girls race. Dominick was the runner-up in 16:58 on the 5K course.

For Sawyer’s Generals, sophomore Jeanine Zheng was seventh overall in 17:18. Freshman Olivia Horgan was 16th in 18:00 followed by senior Emily Horgan (27th, 18:15) and freshman Amanda Burnett (30th, 18:25). Sophomore Megan Stone ran 18:33 to wrap it up for the Generals. Hamilton-Wenham, which has won eight of the last nine divisional titles, was back in the winner’s circle at All-States for the fourth time, joining 2008, 2000 and 1999.

“After 2008, we were runner-ups in ‘09, ‘10, and ‘11. We’ve been at the top for several years, anyway. To go all out like this on a very difficult course, the girls were simply outstanding and they need to be congratulated,” said Sawyer. “You have to be physically ready and emotionally strong. We had no problems with the course and did very well for a team this young.”

Marblehead had a pair of medalists (the top 15 in each division) as senior Lily Roberts was 10th in 17:51 and senior Janaya Randall was 11th in 17:55. The Magician girls finished fourth as a team.

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