Middle schoolers shine in state x-country meet

Rose Engler of Oak Bluffs came to the line with a top 30 finish in the girls 8th grade race. — Photo by Sharon Engler

Six Island grammar school athletes competed in the State Middle School Championships held at Ponkapoag Golf Club in Canton on November 2. Overall, 1,746 runners from grades five through eight took part in eight races contested on a challenging 1.7-mile course.

Rose Engler of Oak Bluffs posted the fastest time for a Vineyard runner, clocking in at 11:50 to finish 30th of 197 runners in the 8th grade girls event. Kelly Klaren of West Tisbury placed 25th of 200 in the 7th grade girls race with a time of 11:54. In the 5th/6th grade girls race, Madia Bellebuono of West Tisbury crossed the line in 15:05 to finish 150th of 219.

Three boys from the West Tisbury School ran in the 5th/6th grade race. Dash Christie (13:01) was 118th of 262, followed by Chris Ferry (13:32, 145th) and Kieran Karabees (13:42, 156th).

The hope for next year’s event is to bolster participation and have each Vineyard middle school represented by a full team of girls and boys.