The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School cross-country teams had a good tuneup run at the Coaches Invitational, held at the Wrentham Development Complex on Saturday, the site of 2018 glory and where they will run in the state divisional matchups next Saturday.
Wren (20:01.42) and Eloise Christy (20:33.12) ran second and third in the girls sophomore race, Borja Tolay (16:53.20) took third in the boys sophomore event, and Peter Burke (16:13.5) ran third in boys varsity.
Amber Cuthbert (22:50.59) finished 56th to lead Vineyarder runners in girls varsity, followed by Margaret Sykes (65th) and Ashley Biggs (84th) in a field of 136 runners.
The Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association (MSTCA) race drew more than 4,000 runners from dozens of Massachusetts’ high school programs to get ready for state divisional championships on the course next week.
So it’s a big deal. Brookline brought 104 runners, and Franklin had 97 entrants, though most of the nearly 100 schools were more in line with the Purple’s 33 listed contestants. Harriers were running for tuneup and course knowledge rather than time, but eighth grader Erin Moran of Arlington Catholic didn’t get that memo, and torched the sophomore race, winning it by more than 20 seconds, in 19:40.98.
Island runners to watch next week, in addition to those named above, include sophomore boys Daniel daSilva (14th), Sam Fetters (39th), Duncan Brown (46th), Henry D’Andrea (51st), and Calvin Brook (65th), among 148 runners on Saturday. Kaitlyn Freeman’s constant performance improvement over this season took her to 37th place among 89 sophomore girl runners, followed by Sarah Creto in 51st.
The Purple are hoping to catch “lightning in a bottle again” at the divisionals, as Coach Joe Schroeder recently put it, when the 2018 girls stunned the XC world (and themselves) by winning it all in their division for the first time in MVRHS history, and placing in the top 10 in the state the following week.
The women have been plagued by injury and illness this year. Vineyarder boys are looking to improve on a fifth-place divisional finish in 2018, and have the legs to do it, Schroeder and his squad believe.