PITTSFIELD — A pair of Lenox runners crashed Pittsfield High’s Senior Day to win a cross-country race held at Reid Middle School on Wednesday.
The Millionaires got individual wins from junior Dennis Love and senior Grace Elliot. Love’s win led the Lenox boys to a 2-0 day, while the Mount Greylock girls put two runners right behind Elliot and nailed three in the top five to finish 3-0 as a team.
Both the Pittsfield boys and girls finished 2-1 on the day, with seniors Jack Archey and Sydney Ferris their top finishers.
Photos: Cross-Country meet at Pittsfield
On Wednesday, Pittsfield High hosted a cross-country meet against Mount Greylock, Lenox, Mount Everett and Monument Mountain at Reid Middle School.
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Archey put the heat on Love, and almost overcame the Lenox star when Love missed a turn in the woods. The two took a right after traversing the softball field with Archey behind by 2 or 3 seconds, but by the time Love was striding downhill into the final 600 meters, he had built his lead back up.
“I went out pretty slow, wasn’t totally feeling it. I stayed on Jack’s shoulder on the first lollipop in the woods. When we went in the second loop, on a downhill I was able to get ahead,” said Love, who finished in 18 minutes, 2.45 seconds. “Then I just tried to maintain, maybe grow it a little bit so I wouldn’t have to out-kick him.”
Archey, who crossed in 18:23.92, has been battling Lenox seemingly each and every week this season and won a race at Lenox just a week prior.
“I led for the first mile and then just tried to stay as close as possible,” said the PHS senior. “It’s been good to race them. I think I started the year in fourth behind their three guys, and slowly I’ve climbed up. Hopefully I continue to climb, but Lenox, they’ve got a few guys who are just dogs. They go out and compete at a high level every time and it’s good to have those guys. It makes it fun and interesting.”
Lenox senior Harry Touloukian was third, with Greylock’s Andrew Petropulos fourth and Asa Chard giving Pittsfield a second finisher in the top five. The Millionaires wedged two more in the top 10, though, with Renzo Vargas in 10th and Andrew McCormack in eighth. When freshman Samuel Geller crossed in 15th, Lenox had its 2-0 day with wins over Greylock and Monument Mountain.
“We’re feeling pretty good, we’re really focusing on Western Mass. and states,” said Love. “Our state-wide competition is probably going to be at our sectional, so we know that’ll be tight. Right now it’s all about eating healthy, getting to bed early, and Berkshire County, we’re trying to win that too and head into the postseason healthy.”
The Spartans were led by Colby Sweet in ninth, while Mount Everett’s top finisher was Benjamin Vella in 18th.
On the girls side, Swann led the field off the starting line and kept a stride in front of Malone and Elliot for much of the race. It wasn’t until the final mile that Elliot felt up to making her move.
“For the first half of the race I wasn’t feeling great, I was kind of hanging off Kate and Grace, but about halfway through I felt myself warming up,” said Elliot, who won the race in 19:57.52. “I was able to get back to their tails and there was this long, sloping downhill. I just wanted to let myself go and use the downhill stride.”
Malone was just three seconds back in 20;00.74, with Swann nine seconds behind her. Pittsfield’s Kellie Harrington, who typically challenges that grouping, was sidelined for the race. Monument Mountain’s No. 1 Madeline Rocheleau-Holmes also did not race.
“It’s been amazing, that pack of girls is super nice and it’s great to have them to work off of and work with. Being able to train with Kate and run the races together, we can work together. We both have different strengths within the race,” said Malone, a sophomore who ran at states two years ago when Greylock finished runner-up to Lenox. “After running there in eighth grade I feel more confident now knowing the wide field, with more experience in bigger races you just know what to expect. I won’t be as stressed out and nervous, and hopefully I can enjoy it more, go at in a more strategic way and really plan out my race.”
Lenox's Grace Elliot wins the girls race at Reid, with Greylock's Grace Malone and Kate Swann on her heels. pic.twitter.com/t3HNvgQ4YR— Mike Walsh (@WalshWrites89) October 20, 2021
Lenox’s Alice Culver was all alone in fourth place, with Mount Greylock sliding in Josie Smith and Ainsley Abel in fourth and fifth. Lenox’s Elyssa Scrimo and Audrey Touloukian were next before the Pittsfield High duo of Sydney Ferris and Grace Ungewitter wrapped up the top 10.
The Mounties won 25-31 over Lenox on Wednesday, but this is merely a preliminary card for the battles to come this fall at Berkshire County Individuals, Western Mass. and states.
“I think we’re looking really good. We’re coming together as a team more, training has been going well,” said Elliot. “The varsity runners are coming closer and closer together in terms of time, it’s nice running workouts with Alice. We’re all really excited.”
For Monument Mountain, Zoe Holmes was the first finisher in 22nd, crossing in 25:11.29. Mount Everett was led by Lucia Cicerchia in 60th with a time of 33:13.46.
Before each race began, there was a Senior Day ceremony held, with blown-up head posters of each PHS senior lining the first 200 meters of the course.
Ferris led a mammoth Pittsfield Class of 2021 on the girls side. She finished in 22:49.08 with seven other seniors coming in behind her.
“It’s great. We started freshmen year and we all kind of grew into the program together,” said Ferris. “We fell in love with the sport. There’s the social aspect and the running aspect and they blended in together. We kind of use our friendship and bond to push each other in the races and to achieve our goals.
“We kind of thought: last race, leave it all out there. We put four years into this, leave it on the course and enjoy it as much as you can. Be with each other, get to the finish line and do our best.
Joining Ferris in the ceremony were Maddy Malumphy in 17th, Julia Baumann in 20th, Tess McCluskey in 21st, Gianna Maddalena in 25th, Isolina Ungewitter in 38th, Bethany Renaud in 70th and Isabella Ameen in 72nd.
“It’s kind of weird, only been really six months since we were racing in the spring here, but this is the last one,” said Archey. “I want to say I left it all out here. I don’t think I’ll look back and say damn, I wish I had just one more race. It’s a nice way to end it here and head into the postseason. I’m excited for what’s next, individuals, Western Mass. and even college. It doesn’t seem like it’s over yet.”
The Pittsfield senior boys included Johnathan Douhan in 37th, Lucus Benoit in 51st, Zach Pupo 52nd, Calvin Lewis 53rd and Noah Kramer 54th.