SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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November 1, 2013

Jean DePlacido column: St. Mary's XC teams enjoy success

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Smith missed his freshman year after ACL surgery and most of last season after breaking his leg during tryouts. He has come back stronger and better than ever.

“He was able to play most of his sophomore season, but last year that injury during tryouts kept him out,” said Tanner coach Stan McKeen. “Knock on wood, he’s fine now and doing an outstanding job. He was able to come back to play in the last two games of his junior season including the tournament loss to Acton-Boxborough. We lost, 2-1 in spite of a strong performance by him.

“Smith is a huge weapon because he’s a very quick for a big guy. He’s our QB in the rear and can punt the ball a mile. He sees the whole field well and communicates well with his defense. It’s been great having him back healthy all season, and we’re going to count heavily on him in the tournament.”

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The stars of the future competed in the NEC Middle School cross country championship at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester recently, and three girls from Briscoe in Beverly took top honors. Julia Curtin (9:47), Anna Edson, and Ashley Foley grabbed the top spots followed by Grace McGuire of Marblehead with Alexandra Barrett of Peabody’s Higgins taking sixth. The course and meet record belongs to Catarina Rocha of Peabody, who ran a very fast 9:33 in 2008.

For the boys, Connor Ohlson of Marblehead was the winner in 9:30 followed by Marc Alperen of Peabody, Kai Marcos (Briscoe), Jack Laganas (Briscoe), and Foster Smallman (Briscoe). The girls and boys from Beverly won the team titles.

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What better way to improve those skills needed for success in a tough obstacle course race than to learn from the best in the world? CoachUp winner Matt Shahzade, whose father Ed won the Ambassador prize package that included a private coaching session with two time World Tough Mudder champ Junyong Pak of Beverly, will be well prepared for his next obstacle course adventure.

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