PITTSFIELD >> Throughout the first half of the cross-country season, Mount Greylock's Evan Arthur and Drury's Connor Meehan had been eyeing each other from afar.
Wednesday, the two finally squared off in a race. Arthur emerged as the winner this time, besting Meehan at Reid Middle School to finish first overall in a race hosted by Pittsfield.
The seniors were the top two runners throughout the race, with Arthur holding a slight lead over Meehan throughout. But then, inside of the last mile, Arthur kicked it up a gear to finish in 17 minutes, 15 seconds while Meehan finished in 17:43.2.
"I felt good," Arthur said after. "I didn't want to leave it to a kick because I know he's a fast 800, so I just pushed throughout the race, put on a bunch of little surges, and eventually [he] faded and I just continued."
Arthur was one of six Mounties in the top 10 for the race, helping Greylock (9-0) to three team wins. Greylock beat Mount Everett and Taconic 15-50, and won over Pittsfield 18-44.
"Evan just ran his race," Greylock coach Scott Burdick said. "We are fortunate to have him, he is just good. He's been fighting a real bad cold for about a week. He was all stuffed up. I was a little concerned when he got out there, but he did his thing that only Evan can do. Connor is a good runner, and I thought Connor ran a smart race."
Greylock's Cameron Castonguay (17:58.6) came in third, Pittsfield Greg Fournier (18:01.3) came in fourth and Mountie Owen Brandriss (18:10.4) came in fifth.
The boys race was a heavyweight one at Reid. With Arthur and Meehan there as the top two runners in the county, the top three boys teams in the Berkshire North — Greylock, Pittsfield (7-2) and Taconic (6-3) — led to a crowded field.
"We were really excited to race against Connor, we've been looking forward to it the last couple of weeks," Castonguay said. "It's always good to have competition like that. Then, with Pittsfield, being senior night and everything, they really seemed like they were ready to race with us, and they raced really smart."
Meehan was disappointed to not come out on top in the race, but quickly brought the bigger picture into perspective.
"I ran OK. Evan ran a great race, was able to beat me today," Meehan said. "We race a couple times the next few weeks. Hopefully I can work hard, surprise him over the next few weeks. As far as today goes, it's a tough course, but he just ran faster, I guess."
For the girls, Greylock's Emily Lescarbeau capitalized on teammate Margo Smith resting for the race, finishing first ahead of teammate Niku Darafshi. Lescarbeau ran in 21:49.8, while Darafshi finished in 22:10.4. It was Lescarbeau's first career win.
"It was quite exciting, being a senior and getting to win my first race," she said. "Even though we didn't have our top girls on the course, it was a fun one."
Pittsfield's Lessley Columna (22:10.8), and Greylock duo Emma Polumbo (22:37.5) and Josie Smith (22:41.1) rounded out the top 5. In team scores, Greylock beat Pittsfield 18-41 and Mount Everett 15-50, Pittsfield beat Drury 15-50, and Taconic beat Drury 23-38 and Mount Everett 15-50.
Greylock girls coach Larry Bell said that he decided to rest a group of runners today, partly to conserve energy for the rapidly-approaching postseason, and also to let some of his older runners get a little bit of spotlight.
"I think that's the first race she won in her life," Bell said of Lescarbeau. "It was really fun to see the seniors that have been out there and battling for years get their moment in the sun. Sometimes when you are on a strong team you have some great runners that never get noticed because a teammate is always pounding on them every week."
Greylock will host a meet next Tuesday that sees Drury and Taconic come to town. Mount Everett and Pittsfield, meanwhile, head to Monument Mountain next Thursday.
Team scores — Pittsfield def. Drury 15-50, Mount Greylock def. Mount Everett 15-50, Mount Greylock def. Pittsfield 18-44, Mount Greylock def. Taconic 15-50.
Top 20 — 1. Evan Arthur (MG), 17:15.3. 2. Connor Meehan (D), 17:43.2. 3. Cameron Castonguay (MG), 17:58.6. 4. Greg Fournier (PHS), 18:01.3. 5. Sam Culver (MG), 18:07.7. 6. Owen Brandriss (MG), 18:10.4. 7. Josh Cheung (MG), 18:11. 8. Jacob Fink (MG), 18:11.4. 9. Ryan Serre (T), 18:24.8. 10. Lucas Godwin (PHS), 18:30.1. 11. Jesse Seid (MG), 18:37.8. 12. Paul Wales (PHS), 18:48.5. 13. Trevor Pelkey (T), 19:02. 14. Jake Paris (T), 19:13.2. 15. Noah Shepardson (PHS), 19:14.1. 16. Brandon Pelkey (T), 19:24.5. 17. Steve Taglieri (PHS), 19:28. 18. Zabion Powell (T), 19:32.7. 19. Jakin Miller (MG), 19:37.6. 20. Adam Shepardson (PHS), 19:46.1.
Team scores — Pittsfield def. Drury 15-50, Mount Greylock def. Mount Everett 15-50, Taconic def. Mount Everett 15-50, Mount Greylock def. Pittsfield 18-41, Taconic def. Drury 23-38.
Top 20 — 1. Emily Lescarbeau (MG), 21:49.8. 2. Niku Darafshi (MG), 22:10.4. 3. Lessley Columna (PHS), 22:10.8. 4. Emma Polumbo (MG), 22:37.5. 5. Josie Smith (MG), 22:41.1. 6. Hannah Locklear (MG), 22:46.2. 7. Miriam Bakija (MG), 22:48.7. 8. Julia Jacobsson (PHS), 24:45.7. 9. Cassidy Sandy (PHS), 24:46.1. 10. Kendra Castagna (PHS), 24:47.7. 11. Olivia Douhan (PHS), 25:11.5. 12. Abby Kittler (PHS), 25:13.3. 13. Ariel Dupras (MG), 25:15.9. 14. Sierra Murray (PHS), 25:26. 15. Cameron Diehl (PHS), 25:28.3. 16. Hailey Kirchner (PHS), 25:43.2. 17. Mackenzie Sheehy (MG), 25:49.8. 18. Emma Paul (MG), 25:50.8. 19. Carly Decelles (T), 25:57. 20. Megan Francoeur (PHS), 26:33.8.