Warriors take second with a strong showing

Published in the September 28, 2015 edition.

WRENTHAM — The Wakefield Memorial High boys’ cross country team passed its first true test of the season this weekend as it traveled to Wrentham to

ADAM ROBERTO, a junior, came in fourth overall with a 16:40 to medal in the Div. 2 varsity boys' race on Saturday at the Frank Kelley Invitational Meet. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

ADAM ROBERTO, a junior, came in fourth overall with a 16:40 to medal in the Div. 2 varsity boys’ race on Saturday at the Frank Kelley Invitational Meet. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

compete in the Massachuetts State Track Coaches Association (MSTCA) Frank Kelley Invitational against many of the best teams in the state on Saturday at the Wrentham Developmental Center.

The Warriors placed second out of 25 scoring teams, although there were at least 30 teams competing. They finished behind the Massachusetts #1 ranked small school team, Marblehead, scoring 100 points while the Magicians scored 68 points. Although Newburyport had the first and second place finisher on the day, the Clippers did not have the depth and placed third overall with 117 points.

The Warriors were led by junior Adam Roberto who placed fourth in his first major cross country meet. He ran the 5K course in 16:40 and is now the #1 ranked Div. 4 Eastern Mass. runner.

Senior Chris Skeldon showed a minute and a half personal best running a time of 17:19 to place 17th in the elite race. Coach Perry Pappas credited Skeldon who ran more than 600 miles over the summer and it  paid off in a big way. Pappas feels it is very difficult for a senior to have the type of improvements Skeldon has shown this season and it’s amazing to see.

Junior Ryan Sullivan and sophomore Matt Greatorex worked as a team and finished 23rd and 25th with personal best times of 17:27 and 17:28.

Sophomore Tommy Lucey was the fifth scorer for the Warriors with a very big personal best time of 17:43 placing 35th.

Senior Richie Custodio improved on his place last year and finished in 38th with a time of 17:46.

Senior Alec Rodgers lost his shoe a half mile into the race and ran half of the three mile race before being pulled out of the race to prevent a possible injury.

Prior to the varsity race, the JV runners took to the course and set the tone for the day. With 200 runners from 30 teams, the Warriors dominated the field and finished with a very low 23 points by placing six runners in the top 10.

The Warriors shot to the front from the gun and had a 30 meter lead at the half mile mark. Coming through at the mile together were eight Wakefield runners along three to four runners from opposing teams.

Junior Jack Stevens led the pack from the gun and finally pulled away at the halfway mark and never looked back. He won the race with a time of 17:49 ahead of two Marblehead runners.

Junior Jackson Kehoe finished with a big personal best time of 18:09 to take fourth.

Taking fifth, sixth and seventh were senior Jeremy Keegan (18:22), sophomore Robert Shaw (18:22) and senior Adam D’Ambrosio (18:23) as they finished the race together. Keegan and D’Ambrosio have made great improvements from last year and Shaw had a solid race in only his second season of running after playing hockey and baseball last year.

Alex Guerriero, a senior, also made the top 10 with a solid personal best time of 18:36 finishing 10th.

Senior Tyler Whipple (18:47), junior John Stanfield (18:53) and junior Shahnawaz Anwar (19:15) all grabbed medals by finishing 15th, 16th and 22nd.

The rest of the boys JV also had fine performances with many personal best times. Those runners included Justin McGonagle (19:36), Mike Frezza (19:36), Matt Finn (20:08), Riley Bracket (20:34), Sam Morey (20:36), Ty Collins (20:37), Ryan Smith (20:40), Max Hinchey (20:58), Nolan Collins (21:38), David Lee (23:36), David Holman (23:46), Kevin Lucey and Cal Sylvia.

The freshmen showed that the program should remain strong in the years to come. They placed second overall with 50 points despite not having one of their top freshman runners on Saturday. Marblehead finished just one point ahead.

Billy Stevens and Thomas Harrington placed sixth and seventh with identical times of 11:05. Casey Brackett placed 16th with a time of 11:33. Derrick Scheeler placed 22nd with a time of 11:43 to collect the fourth Warrior medal in the freshman race.

Derryn Langlois was not far behind in 33rd with a time of 11:54. Ryan Donadl ran a 12:32 to place 51st. Chris Beaudoin placed 80th in a time of 13:30. Jack Matuszewski placed 129th in 16:24. Brian McGonagle was 132nd with a time of 16:57.

“I’m tremendously proud of all three groups who ran today. The JV ran with confidence from the get-go and proved they meant business,” said Pappas. “The freshman and varsity groups followed with equally impressive performances. It’s our first chance to really see where we stack up against the rest of the state. Marblehead is a strong team and we want to close the gap by November. All the teams will be improving from now until the state meet and we need to do the same.”