Shamrocks shine at Vineyard Invitational

Martha's Vineyard girls varsity runners Julia Neville (number 302), Willow Wunsch (309), and Lilly Neville (303) run up at the front after the race start. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School girls and boys cross-country teams hosted the seventh annual Vineyard Invitational meet on Saturday. Harriers from 17 schools, 460 in all, competed in two varsity and two junior varsity 5K races on a beautiful, mild day in Oak Bluffs. Abington, Advanced Math and Science Academy (Marlboro), Barnstable, Belmont Hill, Bishop Feehan (Attleboro), Cherokee (Marlton, New Jersey), Durfee (Fall River), Fairhaven, Falmouth, Milton Academy, New Bedford, Notre Dame Academy (Hingham), Plymouth North, Shepherd Hill (Dudley), Sturgis East and Sturgis West (Hyannis) all joined MVRHS in the popular event.

The locals ran well, but Eastern Athletic Conference rival Bishop Feehan topped the field in both varsity events and in the girls jayvee race. The Shamrock’s Abbie McNulty, state Division II champ, stole the show, shattering her own girls varsity course record by nearly 60 seconds. Her time of 17:32.14 was better than all but 10 of the 97 boys varsity runners. Feehan had a total time of 1:37:06.30 in the girls varsity race. The Vineyarders were seventh of 11 schools, with a team time of 1:59:23.18. Junior Julia Neville had the best Vineyard time, finishing 29th of 85 in 21:47.09. Her older sister Lilly was 45th in 23:13.31. Next were Willow Wunsch, 49th, 24:03.98; Lucy Norris, 50th, 24:22.90; and Willoe Maynard, 63rd, 25:55.90.

In the boys varsity race, Connor James of Milton Academy won with a time of 16:33.47. Bishop Feehan placed first of the 13 schools overall with a team time of 1:26:51.09. Martha’s Vineyard took fifth in 1:31:12.38. Jeremy Alley-Tarter led the Purple harriers, placing 12th in 17:37. Isaiah Maynard was 14th, 17:43.74, followed by Patrick Best, 20th, 17:52.46, George Sykes, 34th, 18:24.70; Thorpe Karabees, 56th, 19:34.98; Silas Berlin, 62nd, 20:00.23; and Galen Mayhew, 64th, 20:09.23.

The Vineyard jayvee boys had a particularly strong showing, placing five runners in the top 50 behind race winner Christopher Folsom of Belmont Hill (18:31.54). Nate D’Angelo was swiftest in the Vineyard contingent of 10, placing eighth of 151 in 19:01.73. Tully McDonough was 44th in 20:48.34. Kevin Montambault, Nick Fecitt, and Tucker McNeely were 48-50 in 20:59.13, 20:59.36, and 20:59.58. Daniel Gaines placed 57th, 21:10.38, followed by Ry Brodsky, 77th, 21:57.68; Chase Sylvia, 79th, 22:15.82; Ethan Lefebvre, 88th, 22:36.81; and Chris Serpa, 108th, 23:12.21.

Megan Carmody of Bishop Feehan led the way in the girls jayvee race with a winning time of 20:29.87. Ava Thors was the first of four Vineyarders, placing 50th of 127 in 25:23.14. Katherine Reid was 90th, 28:14.36; Maisie Jarrell, 116th, 31:31.09; and Kate Hansen, 120th, 33:06.07.

Vineyard coach Joe Schroeder was pleased with the event and his team’s effort in the first big meet of the season. “I was really happy with the turnout and with the competition,” he said. “We had some impressive early season times.

“The boys had some great performances from Isaiah Maynard and freshman Patrick Best. Nate D’ Angelo ran a great race in jayvee. The girls were steady. I think there is room for them to grow.”

Coach Schroeder wished to thank the parents and the MVRHS transportation department for their substantial efforts in getting 16 cross-country teams, plus the Bedford varsity and jayvee football teams, to and from the ferry.

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