Boys cross country MVP: Mount Greylock's Kirby in a league of his own
From the first meet of the season, Mount Greylock senior Tommy Kirby ran away with the All-Berkshire MVP honors. Untouched in Western Mass. this season, Kirby won all seven league races he participated in, took first at the Berkshire County Championships, then finished first at the Western Mass. Division II meet and second at the state championships in D-II.
"He just had a great season," his coach, Scott Burdick, said. "He works really hard. What I like is that he just got better as the season went on.
"Also, if you look at him over the years, he got better every year, too. This year, he was much better than last year. And he got better and better as the season went on. Can't get much better than that."
Burdick also noted that much of Kirby's success this year can be traced back to his junior season, where the top of the Berkshire County races were dominated by then-seniors.
"They made him tougher," Burdick said. "He had to butt heads with them last year. He was the only one left. Last year was very instrumental in that he had to be fast last year against those kids. He mixed it up with those seniors really well."
Kirby's closest competitor throughout the season was his teammate, Evan Arthur, but going into every race it seemed as though the pack knew it was just chasing for second.
"He was so in a field of his own," Lenox coach Jeanne Teasdale said of Kirby. "I think he set the bar high. It was something that he worked hard for over the years. It was good to see him consistently and do well at the state meet."
At the county race, Kirby ran the Reid Middle School course in 16 minutes, 36.66 seconds – besting Arthur by 29 seconds in the process. At the Western Mass. meet, Kirby got even better as he ran a 15:53, beating Drury's Connor Meehan by 35 seconds for his first sectional title.
In states is where Kirby cemented himself as one of the best in the state for the year. Kirby trimmed 13 seconds off his Western Mass. time to finish second in D-II, running the Stanley Park course in 15:40. The next closest Berkshire County finisher that day was Arthur – a full 50 seconds behind.
"At Western Mass. and states, [Kirby] just showed that he had everything going for him," Pittsfield boys coach Mike Ortega said. "You can see the time and effort he put in. Just a phenomenal runner. Whatever challenges came against him, he just went out and performed."
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