Young legs conquer Warrior Hill: Greylock's Swabey, PHS' Harrington race to cross-country wins
DALTON — Wednesday was one for the youngsters.
Mount Greylock eighth grader Ollie Swabey and Pittsfield High freshman Kellie Harrington picked up victories at a cross-country meet on the campus at Wahconah.
Swabey put together a wire-to-wire win on just his second trip around the course in Dalton, while Harrington needed to battle throughout to overcome Mount Greylock sophomore Kate Swann during her first trek through the Warriors' home course.
Swabey flew through the course in 17 minutes, 41.11 seconds, beating out Hoosac Valley's Justin Levesque (18:07.41) by 26 seconds. It was a bounce-back win for Swabey, who placed eighth at the season-opening meet last week.
"I was looking to win it, hoping to after taking eighth last week," said Swabey, who raced mostly unencumbered. "I really like this course, because there are a lot of places where you can try to get away."
Harrington, on the other hand, was glued to Swann's back from the time they exited the woods by the Wahconah soccer field, through the final straightaway heading up to Warrior Hill. That's when the newcomer made her move. Harrington overtook the lead and created some separation on the hill, finally toeing the rubber of the track with an insurmountable lead.
The PHS freshman crossed the finish line in 19:35.39, five seconds in front of Swann (19:40.16).
"I wasn't super surprised, to be honest," said Pittsfield coach Theresa Apple of her first-year runner. "That's what she can do, she just has to learn to race cross-country."
While Harrington and Swann were tackling the track, Greylock junior Jackie Wells spied them as she descended the hill. Wells placed third, and fellow Mounties Erin Keating and Grace Malone were fifth and sixth, helping Greylock to a 2-0 day with wins over Pittsfield and Hoosac Valley.
"This meet was just a lot of fun to watch. I'm riding a high from it," said Greylock coach Hilary Greene. "There was a lot of individual competition and girls moving positions."
The Mounties held off PHS 23-35, despite a strong showing from seniors Cami Diehl, who was fourth, and Abby Kittler, who was 10th. Mount Greylock's Lily McDermott and Miriam Bakija landed top-10 spots, forcing the Generals' total up.
Pittsfield scored a win over Wahconah, while the Warriors beat Hoosac Valley. Wahconah was led by junior Haley Crosier, who won the season-opening meet last week at Monument Mountain, but finished seventh on Wednesday. Hoosac Valley's top finisher was Hannah Walsh in 38th.
Things flip-flopped on the boys' side, with Swabey winning individually for Greylock, while the Generals took the team matchup from the Mounties 25-30.
Swabey bolted to an early lead around the first turn, and built it out from there.
"I wanted to immediately put like 10 meters on the Pittsfield kids and Justin. I think I got out to maybe eight meters, though. Then just keep pushing it all the way into the woods to get away," said the Greylock victor.
Levesque kept the pressure on him, with a field of Generals and Mounties hot on his own heels.
Pittsfield placed Emanual Brown fourth, before Greylock's Parker Winters gave the Mounties a lead. The Generals took over from there, running Tony Hunt, Jack Archey and David Babineau in order 6-7-8. Babineau managed to out-kick Greylock's Charlie McWeeny by less than three seconds, forcing the Mounties to a 17-20 deficit through four runners.
Quinten Walton finished off the PHS victory in 10th overall, before Greylock could get Corban Miller in.
The Generals went 2-0 on the day, also topping Wahconah, despite senior Hayden Kendell's impressive run to third place overall in 18:14.83. With Kendell there and Ethan Nesbit 15th, Wahconah earned a win over Hoosac Valley. Greylock also defeated the Hurricanes.
Team Results — Pittsfield def. Mount Greylock 25-30; Pittsfield def. Wahconah 20-35; Wahconah def. Hoosac Valley 20-43; Greylock def. Hoosac 19-44.
Individual Top 25 — 1. Ollie Swabey (MG) 17:41.11; 2. Justin Levesque (HV) 18:07.41; 3. Hayden Kendell (W) 18:14.83; 4. Emanual Brown (P) 18:17.03; 5. Parker Winters (MG) 18:22.15; 6. Tony Hunt (P) 18:27.66; 7. Jack Archey (P) 18:30.96; 8. David Babineau (P) 18:40.43; 9. Charlie McWeeny (MG) 18:43.01; 10. Quinten Walton (P) 18:43.11; 11. Corban Miller (MG) 19:13.15; 12. Brandon Fahlenkamp (MG) 19:20.70; 13. Jude Bakija (MG) 19:27.74; 14. Owen Tucker-Smith (MG) 19:59.42; 15. Ethan Nesbit (W) 20:06.05; 16. Ezra Holzapfel (MG) 20:12.49; 17. Peyton Webb (W) 20:13.73; 18. Lucas Wildrick (W) 20:14.68; 19. Riley Gladu (W) 20:25.35; 20. Patrick Aliberti (MG) 20:27.41; 21. Alexander White (W) 20:31.44; 22. Asa Chard (P) 20:32.95; 23. Finn Ellingwood (MG) 20:40.11; 24. Vincent Welch (MG) 20:45.07; 25. Shaine Dowd Smith (W) 20:47.93.
Team Results — Mount Greylock def. Pittsfield 23-35; Pittsfield def. Wahconah 18-43; Greylock def. Hoosac Valley 15-50.
Individual Top 25 — 1. Kellie Harrington (P) 19:35.39; 2. Kate Swann (MG) 19:40.16; 3. Jackie Wells (MG) 20:28.69; 4. Cami Diehl (P) 20:38.59; 5. Erin Keating (MG) 21:05.01; 6. Grace Malone (MG) 21:08.16; 7. Haley Crosier (W) 21:25.97; 8. Lily McDermott (MG) 21:39.13; 9. Miriam Bakija (MG) 21:52.47; 10. Abby Kittler (P) 21:54.84; 11. Isabella Penna-Ward (P) 21:56.10; 12. Megan Francoeur (P) 21:56.74; 13. Olivia Gamberoni (W) 21:59.37; 14. Emelyn Theriault (P) 21:59.37; 15. Sarah Polumbo (MG) 22:30.90; 16. Cecilia Malone (MG) 22:50.83; 17. Sydney Ferris (P) 22:50.85; 18. Juliet Kornell (MG) 23:09.11; 19. Juliann Lawson (MG) 23:19.82; 20. Fiona Williams (MG) 23:22.97; 21. Elizabeth Dupras (MG) 23:33.03; 22. Sophia Mele (MG) 23:40.20; 23. Jocelyn Sommers (W) 23:50.38; 24. Annabelle Art (MG) 24:08.13; 25. Emily Ouellette (MG) 24:27.82.
Mike Walsh can be reached at email@example.com, at @CLNS_Walsh on Twitter and 413-496-6240.
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