Advance to All-State Meet for first time since 2011
Published in the November 17, 2015 edition.
WRENTHAM — The wind on Saturday was over 20 miles per hour but that didn’t stop the Wakefield Memorial High boys’ cross country team from running a strong race to punch its ticket to All-States being held next weekend at Stanley Park in Westfield.
The Warriors had a fine showing in the Div. 4 Eastern Mass. Championship race on Saturday at the Wrentham Developmental Center as they placed third overall securing their first trip to All-States since 2011. Four teams qualify for All-States from each division.
Twenty-four teams and 166 individuals competed on Saturday.
Marblehead won the meet with a score of 34 points while Middlesex League Freedom division rival Melrose was second with a score of 94. Wakefield was third with 120 points and Pembroke was fourth with a score of 153.
The harsh conditions prevented most of the runners from running personal bests but times don’t matter in a championship racing. The Warriors had the second shortest gap in the whole state with 23 seconds from their first to fifth scorer, while Lincoln Sudbury held a 21 second gap. Wakefield’s depth was further enhanced as its sixth runner was only 2 seconds behind. It was truly a team effort said coach Perry Pappas.
Junior Adam Roberto ran in his first championship cross country race placing a strong 15th in 17:14.70.
Senior Alec Rodgers closed quickly over the last 400 meters to place 19th overall in a time of 17:17.15.
Junior Ryan Sullivan placed 25th overall as he clocked in at 17:24.20
Matt Greatorex, a sophomore, placed 29th overall in a time of 17:28.98.
Senior Richie Custodio finished in 32nd place as he posted a time of 17:38.61. He scored the final points for Wakefield.
Tommy Lucey, a sophomore, was on Custodio’s heels placing 34th at 17:40.77 in his first championship race.
Senior Chris Skeldon also ran his first championship race finishing 55th overall in a time of 18:07.00.
“Qualifying for All-States was our number one goal for the season. Missing out on the Middlesex League title was a disappointment but this definitely makes up for it,” said Pappas. “Every year our goal is move on to what would be considered our “Super Bowl.” We have been close in the past few years. What makes it more special is that the seniors get to experience this success before graduating. It was a culmination of hard work by all 44 runners on the team who push each other every day. We feel we can be a top five team next week.”
The All-State Meet is Saturday at Stanley Park in Westfield. The Div. 2 boys’ race begins at 12:20 p.m.