Kirby finishes second in Division II at Mass. cross country state championships


Photo Gallery | Massachusetts All State Cross Country Championships

WESTFIELD >> Whether it was a bit of hyperbole from a coach that was ecstatic with his runner's performance or a statement of true validity, Mount Greylock's Scott Burdick summed up Tommy Kirby's day at the Massachusetts All State Cross Country Championships in two short sentences.

"I think the story of the day is Tommy," Burdick said. "I think he put our school on the map."

The senior saved his best race for last in the D-II championship, running to a second-place finish in a time of 15 minutes, 40 seconds — a full 13 seconds faster than his Western Mass. title-winning run just a week ago on the same course.

Marblehead's Andrew Ernst took the D-II title with a 15:21 finish, but for a lengthy period of the race it was Kirby in the lead.

"At the start I was expecting to kind of settle in behind the leaders, but I felt it was a little slow," Kirby said. "I guess they were hoping to have someone else to draft off of. I took the lead, but I didn't want them to draft off of me so I kind of broke away a little bit."

Ernst eventually caught Kirby, but Kirby didn't mind giving up the lead to the runner he predicted was going to win.

On a stage like this, Kirby was more than happy with the spotlight he got in second.

"It's amazing," Kirby said of his finish. "I've been prepping for this race all year — this has been my focus. To have it go through, it was very satisfactory so I'm very pleased."

Kirby's finish helped the Mounties to a fourth-place finish in the 18-team field. Marblehead finished first with 51 points, Melrose was second with 143, Hamilton-Wenham had 148 and Greylock had 195.

Evan Arthur was Greylock's second finisher, running in 16:30 for a 29th place finish overall. Cameron Castonguay (17:06) finished in 72nd, Owen Brandriss (17:17) finished in 88th, and Jacob Fink (17:20) finished in 95th.

Burdick said it was a great day overall for his team. Coming in, he hoped that if his team ran well, they could finish in the top five overall.

Thanks in part to Kirby, the Mounties got to that goal.

"I'm just really happy because nobody works harder, nobody is more focused," Burdick said. "He did everything right. What a role model, what an ambassador for our sport and for our team and the young kids ... He's just a quality kid."

Elsewhere in Division II, Melrose's Kevin Wheelock, Newburyport's Joseph Molvar and Parker Charter's Nico Agosta rounded out the top five, respectively. For Berkshire runners, Drury's Connor Meehan (16:50) finished in 57th, Hoosac Valley's Jared Haley (17:13) was 84th, Lee's Sam Harding (17:29) finished 112th and Lenox's Connor McNinch (17:40) finished in 128th.

In Division I, Wellesley's Thomas D'Anieri finished first overall in 15:16. Peabody's Marcelo Rocha finished second and Northampton's Liam Sullivan was third. Lowell took home the team title, followed by St. John's and Cambridge Rindge & Latin.

Contact Geoff Smith at 413-496-6254.


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