Warriors end Melrose drought
Published in the October 12, 2016 edition
By JIM SOUTHMAYD
WAKEFIELD — One of the goals this season for the Warrior boys’ cross country team was to defeat two-time defending Middlesex League Freedom division champion Melrose.
Wakefield did just that and did so in impressive fashion.
Wakefield handed their Red Raiders their first M.L. Freedom division loss in three years as it posted a 23-27 triumph in a clash of two of the top ranked teams in the league and the state yesterday afternoon at the Shaun Beasley Course.
The Warriors now are in sole possession of first place at 3-0 in the league (4-1 overall), while Melrose fell to 2-1 in the league and 4-1 overall. While Wakefield hasn’t won the league championship yet, it is in control of its own destiny.
Wakefield has two more dual meets remaining against Burlington and Watertown. A win over the Red Devils will clinch a share of the M.L. Freedom division championship and two more wins will give Wakefield the title outright, its first since 2013.
“It’s been a few years since we beat Melrose because they have been so strong,” said Coach Perry Pappas. “Wakefield was determined. The hard work the runners put in over the summer paid off.”
Not only did Wakefield have some top times but it had some depth as well as it placed seven runners in the top 10. It was quite an accomplishment for the Warriors considering the Red Raiders entered the meet as the number one ranked team in the state among the small schools.
Adam Cook, a senior, won the 3.0 mile race in a time of 15:52 for Melrose.
But Wakefield’s Matt Greatorex, a junior, and Adam Roberto, a senior captain, were right behind him. They posted time of 15:59 and 16:06.
Melrose’s Sean Conlan, a senior, came in fourth at 16:13.
However the next five places went to Wakefield and that’s where the Warriors won the meet.
Senior Nick McGee, senior captain Ryan Sullivan, junior Tom Lucey and senior captain Jack Stevens crossed the finish line in fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth with times of 16:19, 16:33, 16:50 and 16:55.
Melrose’s third runner, senior Griffin Barriss, was ninth at 16:55.
Wakefield’s seventh runner as Riley Brackett, a junior, who took 10th place at 17:22.
Brackett was pushed by several of his own teammates as senior Mike Frezza, freshman Tanner Jellison and sophomore Rohan Singhvi secured 11th, 12th and 13th with times of 17:32, 17:38 and 17:41.
Melrose’s fourth runner was junior Steve Stromski who clocked in at 17:46 for 14th place.
Wakefield’s final runner, junior Robert Shaw, finished in 15th place at 17:50.
The rest of the places went to Melrose as there a total of 25 runners in the race.
“(It was) Great to see that we no longer have to rely on just our depth. We had four boys run faster than our top runner from last year. That will come in big in the postseason,” said Pappas. “Also Melrose currently holds the number one ranking in the state on the small school side. I’m proud of the boys for having the confidence to go out there and execute the race plan despite the pressure that was on them.”
Wakefield also excelled in the JV race which was run after the boys’ and girls’ varsity races. The Warriors took the top 11 spots and had some good efforts from their younger runners.
Sophomore Derrick Scheeler (17:59), sophomore Casey Brackett (18:27), senior Justin McGonagle (18:32), freshman Matt Roberto (18:34), sophomore Chris Beaudoin (18:34), junior Ryan Smith (18:42), sophomore Derryn Langlois (18:49), junior David Lee (19:10), sophomore Billy Stevens (19:10), junior Dominick Dennis (19:28) and senior James Connors (19:30) were the first 11 to cross the finish line.
The rest of the Warrior JV runners included freshman James Crump (19:34), freshman David Root (20:00), junior Max Hinchey (20:14), freshman Jack Callahan (20:26), freshman Jack Palmer (20:40), sophomore Sam Simpson (21:35), junior Sam Morey (22:07), senior Cal Sylvia (22:57), freshman Andrew Russell (24:57) and sophomore Brian McGonagle (28:01).
“We have the Twilight meet this weekend and it will be a big meet,” said Pappas. “Then we have Burlington next week. We have them at their home course and we don’t want to take them lightly. They’re a good team.”
Wakefield will compete in the Sixth Annual Bob McIntrye Twilight Cross Country Meet on Saturday beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Barnstable Fairgrounds in Falmouth. The Warriors’ next dual meet is Tuesday, Oct. 18 against Burlington at 3:30 p.m. at Burlington High School.