Tucker McNinch

Junior, Lenox

The MVP was always at the front of the pack. He fought through a muscle pull and claimed the Berkshire County championship, then followed with a Western Mass. Division II title and an eighth-place finish at the state meet.

The coach's take: He's a really smart runner in terms of his training. His intentions are to do even better than he did, being that it's his senior year.

- Jeanne Teasdale, Lenox coach

Ben Herrick

Junior, Lenox

Herrick is one of a number of Millionaire runners who will keep Lenox as a force both in the Berkshires and Western Mass. He finished eighth at the Western Mass. D-II meet, and was Lenox's second scorer at the state meet.

Teammate's take: Ben has a great mentality. He pushes himself to his limits. We always put in the extra mile or two. We really compete in practices a lot.

- McNinch

Sam Darbey

Junior, Lenox

Darbey completes Lenox's strong senior-to-be trio. He was 11th in Western Mass. and was Lenox's third scorer on a team that took second in the section in Division II and advanced to the state meet.

Teammate's take: He's a heavy mileage guy. He does great work. He's more of a natural than both me and Ben. ... Just a year ago, he was running 8-minute miles at the beginning of the year, and now he's breaking sixes.


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- McNinch

Carter Stripp

Junior, Mount Greylock

Stripp led the way for the Mounties all season, culminating in a second-place individual finish at the Western Mass. Division II meet. His time led Greylock to a team championship. He was also the top scorer for Greylock at the D-II state meet.

The coach's take: He's the straw that stirs the drink, like the Reggie Jackson [quote] for the Yankees. He sets the tone. He's the man on a star-studded team.

- Scott Burdick, Greylock coach

Tommy Kirby

Sophomore, Greylock

Saying a Berkshire County runner "runs like an underclassman" is a compliment, not an insult. Kirby leads the way for the Class of 2016 so far. He took fourth at the Western Mass. D-II meet. He was Greylock's second scorer at the state meet. He even finished ahead of Stripp in a few county meets.

The coach's take: We always focus on the end, and it usually works out for us. Tommy was a big part of it. He ran so well at the end.

- Burdick

Will Nolan

Junior, Greylock

Nolan is a key part of Greylock's very strong Class of 2015. A regular presence in the top 10 of a county race, Nolan took seventh at the Western Mass. Division II meet, helping Greylock claim the team championship.

The coach's take: Will, just Mr. Steady. Look at Western Mass. He was our third man. He's just a talent, too.

- Burdick

Sam Kobrin

Junior, Greylock

Kobrin was the fourth top-10 runner for Greylock in the Western Mass. Division II race, taking ninth overall in the race. He'll be back in the fall, along with brother Jake and the rest of the Mounties' strong senior class, looking for more top-10 finishes both inside and outside of the Berkshires.

The coach's take: The mental toughness in him, I rarely see in a runner. He gets the most out of himself.

- Burdick

Eric Klem

Junior, Wahconah

Pittsfield wasn't the only county school that had to run in Division I in the postseason. The Warriors were also in the D-I field, which didn't keep Klem from earning a 20th-place finish in the Western Mass. meet. Oh, and this was also Klem's first season of cross country.

The coach's take: Being his first year of running, he didn't have a lot of miles under his belt. I know he's raced 5-Ks and 10-Ks before, but it was a different workload for him. ... He's one to really watch for next year.

- Tom Keefe, Wahconah coach

Marcus Duncan

Senior, Wahconah

Duncan's 10th-place finish in the Western Mass. Division I meet led the Warriors to a fourth-place team finish in a tough field. In his senior season, Duncan was Wahconah's lone state qualifier in a solid county season for the Warriors.

The coach's take: I've only coached Marcus two years, and he's one of those guys I wish I had before. He really came into his own this year. He's really talented.

- Keefe

Jackson Alberti

Senior, Wahconah

Alberti was the 34th-place finisher in the Western Mass. Division I meet, and picked up regular-season top-10 finishes at Wahconah, Hoosac and Greylock this season.

The coach's take: Jackson's a workhorse. He just gets after it. I think he ran faster than he's ever run this year.

- Keefe

Travis Ciempa

Junior, Hoosac Valley

Ciempa was the third of a three-headed Berkshire County monster at the Western Mass. D-II meet, so to speak. He, Stripp and McNinch led a Berkshires sweep of the top three spots. He was the second-fastest county runner at the state meet, taking 10th overall.

The coach's take: Coming back for his senior year, and he said to me that he wants to make next year special. I don't know how you step up from where he finished and what he did, except to win.

- Ron Namislo, Hoosac coach

Jared Haley

Sophomore, Hoosac

Haley had a breakthrough season for the Hurricanes, building on 2012's strong postseason finish. Haley took 13th at the Western Mass. meet, qualifying for states. He was also capable of taking a top-five spot in a county race, doing so on courses like Hoosac and Monument.

The coach's take: I could see it coming through track, and then he just did an awful lot of work during the summer. Probably one of the hardest-working kids I've ever had. If anything, I have to slow him down on occasions.

- Namislo

Trevor Ciempa

Junior, Hoosac

Trevor was 15th at the Western Mass. meet, qualifying for states again and being able to avoid injuries that had plagued the early part of his 2012 season.

The coach's take: We're going to work on his consistency and that will help him. He's got the talent. Sometimes, he feels he can run good and sometimes he can't.

- Namislo

Mike Kotleski

Senior, Monument Mountain

Kotleski's running was a big part of Monument Mountain's run to the Division II state meet. He was the Spartans' second scorer at Western Mass., taking 14th overall. He then placed in the top 75 at states.

The coach's take: He definitely was our leader during the regular season. I look at [him and Dominic Roy] as being equals. Definitely a guy who made a ton of progress from his freshman to his senior year. All of that is a testament to his work ethic.

- Ted Collins, Monument coach

Dominic Roy

Senior, Monument

Roy led Monument's scorers at the Western Mass. meet. His 14th-place finish was Monument's best, as the Spartans took third as a team and returned to states.

The coach's take: He just had one of those nice runs during the postseason where everything hit at the right time. His fitness level, his mentality and his work ethic coincided. Certainly a big jump from where he was even a couple of weeks prior to that.

- Collins

Matt Rabasco

Junior, Taconic

Rabasco continued to be the Braves' top runner in 2013. He took 16th in the Western Mass. Division I meet, improving 11 spots from his 2012 finish at Northfield.

The coach's take: He puts in the work over the summer, and he comes into the season knowing what he wants to do.

- Paul Phelps, Taconic coach

Brendan Leary

Junior, Pittsfield

Leary faced a tough task -- become Pittsfield's top runner a year after graduation took away a strong class of runners. He stepped up to the challenge, though, keeping a regular spot in county top-10s and earning a 25th-place finish at the Western Mass. Division I meet.

The coach's take: He was going to be the No. 1 runner on our team, and he took it. I think he used that as his motivation, and it really panned out, actually.

- Mike Ortega, Pittsfield coach