This year, as the Lenox girls’ cross country team were gearing up to clinch their fourth Western Mass title in a row, they had no idea what the Mounties, who had consistently finished second in the county, were up to. This season, each time that the two teams raced, the scoring was tight, but Lenox continued to remain on top. In fact, at the Berkshire County Championships a few weeks ago, the Millionaires won by a margin of just two points, led by underclassmen Ellen Huth. But on Saturday, freshman Jackie Wells and her Mt. Greylock teammates showed that the tables had turned, as she crossed the line in 19 minutes, 31 seconds, leading the Greylock girls to the Western Mass Division 2 title.
After Wells, who finished in first place almost 20 seconds ahead of the field, was Josie Smith, who finished 6th in 20:22, and senior Lily Wells–Jackie Well’s sister–who was 7th and completed the 5-kilometer course 9 seconds later. Hazel Scullin and Kate Swann rounded up Greylock’s top five, finishing 13th and 15th, respectively. These incredible finishes gave the girls a three point win over Lenox, a trophy, and a cause for celebration.
As girls’ coach Larry Bell explained, many of the girls on the team were forced to miss some races this year, and the unity that they were able to have on Saturday made the win possible.
Bell stated that the triumph gave him “partly relief, but also partly excitement that the girls could all get on the course at the same time for the first time in a month and run that hard. I was amazed at how hard they ran that day. Not to be gross, but I think I can say that they almost ran their guts out. Almost literally! I was happy for them… so many of them lost a portion of their season to injury or illness, and their perseverance was just really impressive to me.”
The boys’ team experienced a similar result on Saturday, though not an unusual one considering the history of the program. The team has won the Western Mass. title for the previous seven years, and this race marked number eight. This year they also ran an undefeated season, were Berkshire County champions, and put 6 runners on the All-Berkshire team.
On Saturday, the field was led by junior Jesse Seid, who completed the course with a time of 17:05, an impressively fast one considering that the course at Northfield Mountain is notorious for its hills. In 17:29 was senior Sam Culver in third, and juniors Josh Cheung and Jacob Fink finished 7th in 17:54 and 8th in 17:58, respectively. The fifth man scoring for the team was junior Theo Sandstrom, who finished in 20th place. In other words, the Mounties blew their competition out of the water. The boys took four in the top eight, finishing with a total score of only 38 points, the low score of the day, while second place and Greylock’s top competition, Frontier, earned 63. It was, to say the least, an exciting day for the Mt. Greylock runners.
The season, however, is not finished for the boys or the girls. This Friday, they will both travel to Wrentham to compete in Saturday’s Massachusetts State Championships. Their Western Mass triumphs have given them a confidence that will certainly propel them on the course.