LENOX -- When it comes to the treacherous terrain of a cross country course, Lenox's course is at times compared to Hoosac Valley and the treacherous Northfield Recreation Center. Lenox coach Jeanne Teasdale refers to it as "The Beast," because of the steep hill at the end.
The Greylock boys conquered that beast Wednesday. The Mounties placed seven runners in the top 15 and winning both of their team matchups.
Lenox's Tucker McNinch used his familiarity with the course to finish first for the boys with a time of 16 minutes, 57 seconds.
"It's one of the hilliest courses I run all year. Besides Northfield at Western Mass., this is probably my second least favorite course," McNinch said.
Tommy Kirby and Carter Stripp were the top finishers for Greylock, finishing third and fourth with times of 17:33 and 17:38, respectively.
The Mounties held off Lenox 27-30, Hoosac 23-36 and Lee 15-50. Lenox won its matchup against Hoosac 23-34 and also defeated Mount Everett 15-50. Also, Lee pulled out a close victory over Mount Everett, 27-29.
On the girls side, host Lenox placed seven runners in the top 15, sweeping its matchups. Greylock's Emily Kaegi won the girls race in a time of 20:16.
Lenox's Kate McNinch finished second with a time of 22:01. The Lenox girls beat Mount Everett 15-50 and Mount Greylock 24-32. Lee defeated Mount Everett 19-41, but fell to Hoosac 20-41, Greylock beat Hoosac 23-36.
Despite the steep hill at Lenox, Kaegi said she enjoys the parts of the course that are back in the woods, away from the crowd.
"This [course] is nice because you can get into the woods and be by yourself and focus on the race," Kaegi said.
McNinch, Hoosac's Sydnee Gallup, Lenox's Alice Najimy and Hoosac's Hannah Folino rounded out the top five.
Hoosac's Travis Ciempa; Greylock's Kirby and Stripp; and Lenox's Ben Herrick rounded out the boys' top five finishers.
Greylock coach Scott Burdick said he was proud of his team and the training they've put in to this point. He said he wants his team to be at its peak for the Western Mass. race.
"We kind of trained through this race. We always look to the end of the season," Burdick said. "We didn't go light. We've been working very hard to this point. But I give [Lenox] credit. We dodged a bullet today and were able to hold them off."
Teasdale was happy with how her team battled. The girls were missing Liz Jarck, who was on hand for the race but unable to run due to a right hip ailment.
"It was really exciting to see. With our schedule and injuries and colds, I didn't know what to expect," Teasdale said. "Every runner that ran today ran as strong as they possibly could and that produced some good results on the score sheet."
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