Seid, Huth claim individual wins and help teams to victory at Berkshire County Individuals
GREAT BARRINGTON — On a crisp fall afternoon at Monument Mountain Regional High School, Lenox's Ellen Huth and Mount Greylock's Jesse Seid took home Berkshire County Individuals individual crowns and helped their respective crews to team titles, as well.
Huth outpaced her competition by over 30 seconds, crossing in 19 minutes, 4.49 seconds to beat out Monument Mountain's Jasmin Johansdottir (19:36.44). Her finish helped the Millionaires to edge out Mount Greylock, 40-42, for the team title.
Seid, meanwhile, held off Taconic's Jake Paris to win in 16:17.83 to Paris' 16:24.66. Seid's Mounties rolled to the team title, beating Pittsfield 42-59.
Both varsity races at the county invitational were filled with surprises, as harriers put forth their best performances of the season.
"It feels really good," Seid said of getting the win, both as an individual and as a team. "We've worked hard to get here. We put a lot of miles in, and we couldn't be happier."
Huth chose a perfect time to get her first career win. Holding up a trophy that was nearly half her size, the diminutive freshman was beaming after the awards ceremony.
"I was very excited and really happy to come in first for the first time," Huth said. "It's really an achievement for me."
The boys race saw some fierce competition for individual places. Seid had to put in a solid kick at the end to hold off Paris. Behind them, the Mounties saw as much competition as they have in a while. Pittsfield's Amin Purry finished third (16:33.23), followed by Mount Greylock's Sam Culver (16:56.05) and Pittsfield's Paul Wales (16:56.19). The top 10 was rounded out by Lenox's Ted Yee, Mount Greylock's Josh Cheung and Jacob Fink, Lenox's Ryan Silverstein and Monument's Peter LaRochelle.
"It was really scary," Seid said of holding on for the win. "I thought Jake Paris was going to catch me, and I don't think I've ever kicked so hard in my life running away from him in the last half mile. I thought he was going to get me. He's a fast kid. The competition was stiff today, and this is a good county."
Paris was pumped with his finish.
"It feels really good, because with the competition between us, PHS and Greylock, it's always really close," Paris said. "I'm happy I could come close to Jesse. It's hard, especially in the other races that I've faced him, I've never come that close, so it feels really good."
The Mounties took home the team title for the fifth straight season. Taconic finished third with 68 points.
PHS coach Mike Ortega was visibly thrilled once he saw his team's score and their individual performances.
"They really ran well today, the entire team from 1 to 7," Ortega said. "We've been having a competition with Taconic all year, just back-and-forth, and today was a good day for us. Amin, obviously, he lost his shoe for of the race and still performed as well as he did. The kid just has the mental attitude and the resilience to just do what he did. The entire team, I'm so proud of them."
All noted how intense the competition was today. And not just from the three "major" teams of Greylock, Taconic and Pittsfield.
"Yeah, this was really surprising to turn around and see so many teams," Paris said. "Usually, its just us top 3 teams, but there was a lot of mixed-in different schools and different kids, it was exciting."
Seid's win was the culmination of a strong season. Starting the year as the No. 2 behind Culver, Seid has grown every week into a better and better runner.
"Well, it took me a while to realize that maybe I could run with Sam, and then after that, I just decided we are going to push each other as much as we can, and see what we have left at the end," Seid said. "That's what it took to realize that maybe I could win some races."
His coach, Scott Burdick, said that Seid brought the right mix of natural ability and positive attitude into the season.
"He's just always trying to improve, he's a student of the sport, he's just great to coach every day, and he's just a talented runner and hard working, which are the perfect ingredients," Burdick said.
Seid also took home another piece of hardware on Saturday, as he was named the Berkshire County MVP for the regular season. His Mounties also were honored for winning the Berkshire North, while the Wahconah boys were Berkshire South champions.
Wahconah's P.J. Pharmer finished 11th to lead his Warriors on Saturday. Mount Everett's Cole Duval was the top Eagle, finishing in 14th. Lee's Sebastian Dowd-Smith finished 32nd to lead his Wildcats, and Hoosac's Justin Levesque finished 50th.
For Huth, the competitors behind her didn't matter much as she approached the finish line.
"I was just focused on what was ahead of me," she said. "I didn't look back, because then I'd get nervous."
Johansdottir and Grace Phair (19:43.85) finished second and third to lead the Spartans on their home course. Both said that racing at home provided them with an edge against the competition.
"It was definitely a great advantage to have it on our home course," Johannsdottir said. "We run this every day, we are familiar with this. I think this was a huge advantage for me and Grace. It felt better to run here than anywhere else. And personally, for me, it felt amazing because it's my senior year, and it's my last home race."
Mount Greylock's Josie Smith (19:53.06) finished in fourth, and Lenox's Maggie Sorrentino (19:53.94) finished in fifth. The top 10 was rounded out by Lenox's Tate Morrison, Mount Greylock's Lilly Wells and Hazel Scullin, Lenox's Alice Najimy and Wahconah's Danielle Orlando. Monument finished third as a team with 75 points.
The Millionaires and Mounties were locked in a tight duel to take home the team title. Greylock actually put all five of its scoring runners ahead of Lenox's fifth runner, but Huth's win proved to be enough.
Greylock's final scoring runners were Helen Greenfield and Miriam Bakija in 11th and 12th. Lenox's Chloe Doyle finished in 19th.
"The girls are thrilled," Lenox coach Jeanne Teasdale said. "We didn't know today what was going to happen, because Greylock is such a tested team, and we know we have to face them in two weeks on the mountain [Western Mass. meet at Northfield Mountain]. Our goal today was to run hard and set some PRs. Sure, we'd love to win today, but we just thought, 'We'll come away with second place if that's the way the cards fall.' The big race is going to be Western Mass."
Greylock coach Larry Bell was happy with how his team ran — especially missing Jackie Wells and Katherine Swann — and how they competed against a Lenox side that won its sixth straight Berkshire County Invitational.
"We were thrilled with how they ran. We had a couple move up; they had one missing. We were both testing our depth today," Bell said, referring to Lenox missing Ava Bachman. "I told the girls, 'We're a little deeper than them, that's what we have going for us. If they have a fall off, we're right there,' so we have to feel good about that, because they are one of the best teams in the state. To be this close to them this year, compared to the last couple of years, we are very happy with where we're at."
Teasdale saw Huth at one point in the race running all alone; she then knew how Huth would finish.
"I think she played it smart today, and she made her move at the right place in the race. I've said she's the bridesmaid, the runner up, but now she's the queen today. It's nice for her ... and it really brought a tear to my eye to see that."
Huth knew she was in business midway through the race.
"Before the race, I believed in myself, and when we came up tot he hill, I started to stride down it, and that's when I got the lead," she said.
The Millionaires also took home the trophy for winning the Berkshire North title. The Taconic girls claimed the Berkshire South crown. Phair earned the county's MVP honors for the regular season.
Pittsfield's Cameron Diehl finished 14th to lead her Generals. Hoosac Valley's Natiya Cilli finished in 25th, Taconic's Aubrey Lazits finished one spot behind Cilli, and Lee's Amber MacDowell finished in 40th. Mount Everett did not enter a girl in the race.
County teams get a two-week break before the Western Massachusetts Division I and Division II races at Northfield Mountain. The break will give county teams a leg up on Pioneer Valley squads, as the PVIAC league meet was pushed back to next weekend.
The Lenox girls and Greylock boys are out to defend their Western Mass. titles in Division II. The Lenox girls are going for four straight, while the Greylock boys are looking to win an eighth-straight sectional crown.
Top 20 — 1. Jesse Seid (MG) 16:17.83; 2. Jake Paris (T) 16:24.66; 3. Amin Purry (P) 16:33.23; 4. Sam Culver (MG) 16:56.05; 5. Paul Wales (P) 16:56.19; 6. Ted Yee (LEN) 16:59.94; 7. Josh Cheung (MG) 17:10.06; 8. Jacob Fink (MG) 17:32.95; 9. Ryan Silverstein (LEN) 17:34.29; 10. Peter LaRochelle (MM) 17:34.63; 11. PJ Pharmer (W) 17:43.78; 12. Mike LaFreniere (T) 17:48.38; 13. Adam Shepardson (P) 17:51.06; 14. Cole Duval (ME) 17:53.36; 15. Steve Taglieri (P) 17:53.89; 16. Grayson Duval (ME) 17:59.09; 17. Sean Cicchetti (T) 18:05.42; 18. Chris Adams (T) 18:13.04; 19. Brandon Pelkey (T) 18:13.6; 20. Maxime Leger (LEN) 18:13.90
Team results — 1. Mount Greylock, 43; 2. Pittsfield, 58; 3. Taconic, 68; 4. Lenox, 82; 5. Monument Mountain, 146; 6. Wahconah, 158, 7. Mount Everett 176; 8. Lee, 211. Incomplete: Hoosac Valley.
Top 20 — 1. Ellen Huth (LEN) 19:04.49; 2. Jasmin Johansdottir (MM) 19:36.44; 3. Grace Phair (MM) 19:43.85; 4. Josie Smith (MG) 19:53.06; 5. Maggie Sorrentino (LEN) 19:53.94; 6. Tate Morrison (LEN) 19:54.19; 7. Lilly Wells (MG) 20:14.42; 8. Hazel Scullin (MG) 20:22.90; 9. Alice Najimy (LEN) 20:27.93; 10. Danielle Orlando (W) 20:45.90; 11. Helen Greenfield (MG) 20:53.83; 12. Miriam Bakija (MG) 20:54.98; 13. Haley Crosier (W) 21:03.46; 14. Cameron Diehl (P) 21:04.15; 15. Gabby Orlando (W) 21:06.24; 16. Margo Smith (MG) 21:09.05; 17. Mackenzie Sheehy (MG) 21:20.45; 18. Hannah Flynn (MM) 21:58.95; 19. Chloe Doyle (LEN) 22:07.37; 20. Ellie Clark (W) 22:10.68.
Team scores — 1. Lenox, 40; 2. Mount Greylock, 42; 3. Monument Mountain, 75; 4. Wahconah, 92; 5. Pittsfield, 110; 6. Hoosac Valley, 158; 7. Taconic, 171. Incomplete: Lee.
Top 5 — 1. Gabe Carrington (T) 18:26; 2. Josh Tayi (T) 18:44; 3. Corban Miller (MG) 18:46; 4. Eamon Hetherington (MG) 18:49; 5. Charles McWeeny (MG) 18:50.
Top 5 — 1. Ainsley Abel (MG) 21:16; 2. Sophia Mele (MG) 21:26; 3. Brooke Phelps (MG) 22:17; 4. Juliet Kornell (MG) 22:20; 5. Fiona Williams (MG) 22:27.
Boys — Jesse Seid (MG), Jake Paris (T), Amin Purry (P), Paul Wales (P), Sam Culver (MG), Ted Yee (LEN), Josh Cheung (MG), Jacob Fink (MG), Ryan Silverstein (LEN), Peter LaRochelle (MM), PJ Pharmer (W), Mike LaFreniere (T), Adam Shepardson (P), Cole Duval (ME), Steve Taglieri (P), Brandon Pelkey (T), Mike Goretti (MM), Jakin Miller (MG).
Girls — Ellen Huth (LEN), Jasmin Johannsdottir (MM), Grace Phair (MM), Josie Smith (MG), Maggie Sorrentino (LEN), Tate Morrison (LEN), Hazel Scullin (MG), Alice Najimy (LEN), Danielle Orlando (W), Haley Crosier (W), Cameron Diehl (P), Gabrielle Orlando (W), Margo Smith (MG), Ava Bachman (LEN), Mary Hayes (T), Katherine Swann (MG), Marion Huth (LEN), Jackie Wells (MG).
League champions — Berkshire North: Mount Greylock boys, Lenox girls. Berkshire South: Wahconah boys, Taconic girls.
League MVPs — Boys: Jesse Seid, Mount Greylock. Girls: Grace Phair, Monument Mountain.
Reach sports editor Geoff Smith at 413-496-6254 or @GSmith_Eagle.
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