Lenox girls cross country finishes second in Division II at Mass. state championships
Photo Gallery | Massachusetts All State Cross Country Championships
WESTFIELD >> The result wasn't exactly what the Lenox girls cross country team was looking for.
But then again, finishing second at a state championship meet is nothing to scoff at.
The Millionaires repeated as runners-up in Division II at the Massachusetts All State Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Stanley Park. While Lenox was ultimately aiming to take home the top honors, no one was complaining about the performances turned in.
"You know what, second place, it's really an honor to get this and it's exciting to be up here," Lenox coach Jeanne Teasdale said. "We tell the girls, no matter what happens today, you ran the best races you could possibly run on this given day, and that's great. We are happy, we are happy with this. We'll move on from it and celebrate this, celebrate this moment."
The Millionaires finished with 104 team points to champion Milton's 58. Tewksbury finished third with 145 points in the 18-team field.
"I think we are all very proud of how we ran today," Lenox's Emma Jourdain, the top Millionaire finisher in eighth place overall, said. "We all worked very hard. I know a couple girls didn't race how they wanted to, they weren't feeling right, but we did the best we could do and I think we are all happy with the result."
Jourdain finished in 18 minutes, 31 seconds to lead Lenox. Maggie Sorrentino (18:52) finished in 17th, Emily Tibbetts (19:16) finished in 27th, Tate Morrison (19:54) finished in 54th and Marion Huth (20:02) was the fifth Lenox placer in 62nd position overall.
Milton's championship day was aided by strong finishes from its top three runners. Bridget Mitchell finished third overall, Colette O'Leary was fourth, and Elise O'Leary finished 16th. When racers that were not competing on full teams were removed from the scoring equation, those three runners finished second, third and 10th.
"Milton had a great race, and they've got a very strong team," Teasdale said. "They had three girls that finished right up there, and I think that makes a difference. Our girls, right there, but they just ran — their top three, our top three — they ran a little better race than we did."
The race marks the end of glittering careers for Tibbetts and fellow seniors Grace Ellrodt and Liz Jarck. Teasdale, while holding back her emotions as best she could, described the impact the three had on her program.
"They are leaving a legacy," Teasdale said. "It's a rich one and the fact that they started so young and never got bored with running [is important], and each year they have been an inspiration to our younger kids coming up. We had our biggest team ever this year, 35 runners, so that group is leaving over 30 girls and they have just helped grow that program because of their sincere sweetness and kindness to all team members and the spirit of team."
Jourdain also touched on the seniors' roles.
"Well, it's definitely going to be very different without them next year, and I don't know what I'm going to do without them," she said. "Even though I've only been on the team for two years, they've pushed me so much ... It's going to be a really different dynamic without them next year."
The Millionaires weren't the only team to compete from the Berskhires in D-II, as the Mount Greylock girls also competed as a full team.
Margo Smith led the way, finished in 24th in a time of 19:12. Emily Lescarbeau (20:58), Ellie Williams (21:01), Anya Sheldon (21:20) and Helen Greenfield (21:26) rounded out the five placers The Mounties finished 18th as a team.
Monument Mountain also had a pair of runners in the race, and the sister duo of Grace Phair (20:40) and Meryl Phair (20:40) finished back-to-back in 118th and 119th to end their seasons.
The overall winner in D-II was Bellingham's Sarah Edwards (18:12), and Parker Charter's Phoebe von Conta finished second. Wayland's Sarah Tully rounded out the top five.
In Division I, Wahconah pair Gabby Orlando (146th) and Kat Bruce (159th) competed for the Warriors. Needham team took the team title, Lincoln-Sudbury finished second and Newton South was third. L-S senior Ariel Keklak was the overall winner.
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