The St. Mary’s boys and girls cross country teams had a very successful season led by former Swampscott High coach Dom Finelli. The boys posted a perfect 10-0 record overall, 8-0 in the league) and won the CCL championship meet last week while the girls were 7-3 overall and 5-3 in the league.
This is the third year of the program after an eight or nine year hiatus, and both squads are loaded with young talent from across the North Shore.
“I expected it to take about five years to turn the program around, but this surprised me,” said Finelli. “They trained hard over the summer and had an excellent year. We have 41 kids out between the girls and the boys.”
The Spartans won the league meet by two points ahead of runner up Cardinal Spellman and had three runners named all-stars (top 14). Senior co-captain Thomas Macklin (Lynn) was the top finisher, taking 3rd in 18:02 while Sophomore Cody Murtagh of Peabody placed 6th in 18:38, and sophomore Liam Foley of Salem ran a strong race to finish 14th (19:11).
Other contributors to the team’s success were Matt McManus (8th), Mike Cerulli (9th), Malek Colayat (30th), and Cullen Coyle, a junior from Swampscott 31st. Dmietri Finelli and Jackson Porter are both from Swampscott while sixth grader Finn Lacey lives in Salem.
Freshman Sarah Ryan of Nahant was the top runner for the girls all year and 19th at the league meet while senior Melissa LeFave of Peabody was 25th. Both received medals. Other local girls include senior Elizabeth Weisse (Swampscott), senior co-captain Jen Grimes (Swampscott), freshman Hannah Walker (Marblehead), freshman Kelli Powers (Peabody) , sixth grader Erin Powers (Peabody), and senior Stephanie Skouras (Peabody).
Robert Smith has been sidelined with some serious injuries throughout his soccer career at Peabody High, but the senior goalie is healthy now and on top of his game. Smith has a 0.88 goals against average which is lowest in the NEC and eight shutouts. The league champion Tanners were unbeaten in NEC play.