NORTHFIELD -- Scott Carpenter didn't hold anything back this time at Northfield Recreation Center.
The Lenox High School senior ran to the MIAA Division II boys state cross country championship Saturday, finishing the hilly course in 15 minutes, 55.75 seconds. He held off Burlington's Paul Hogan, who was second in 16:03.34.
Carpenter has yet to lose a race he's entered this fall, having gone undefeated in Berkshire County, winning the Brown Invitational, and taking another Western Mass. D-II championship last weekend.
At that meet, though, also in Northfield, Carpenter coasted as much as he could, with states and next weekend's Foot Locker Northeast Regional in New York in mind. Carpenter won Western Mass. in 16:31.44, with teammate Tucker McNinch taking second place 53 seconds later.
At Saturday's 1-mile and 2-mile marks, however, Carpenter hadn't shaken his closest followers.
"I could hear them the whole way," he said, "and I could hear people cheering for them, so I knew they were there.
"It helped me try to run as fast as I could. Other than that, I tried to run my own race."
After Hogan, Weston's Matt Herzig was the third-place runner in 16:11.78.
Carpenter may have said he didn't hold anything back, but his coach since seventh grade, Jeanne Teasdale, wasn't so sure about that.
"I still think we're going to see some amazing things [next weekend]," she said.
Carpenter didn't alter his approach to the course-opening uphill climb, and said the race went as he expected.
"Last week, I knew I wasn't going to have anyone near me. So this weekend, I threw in a couple of surges to try and break away," he said. "The end result was a victory, so I'm happy with it."
Last year, Carpenter finished third in the state Division II meet.
"I thought, ‘This is the moment we've been waiting for. He's doing it,' " Teasdale said. "It was fantastic.
"I have to say, I had some tears in my eyes when he did cross the finish line."
Carpenter plans to rest as much as he can this week in preparation for the Northeast Regional race, being held Saturday at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Even with his first state championship secure, the Millionaires' top runner found some post-race motivation to run harder at regionals.
He knew, after all, that the first three boys across the finish line in the Division I race had better times than his.
"I didn't necessarily beat everyone," Carpenter said.
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