THE WMHS girls’ cross country team came out of the gates quickly during their meet against Arlington on Tuesday. (Donna Larsson Photo)

Published on the September 15, 2017 edition.

Lucey takes first place for Warriors

WAKEFIELD — Wakefield girls’ cross country hosted Arlington in the first meet of the season on Tuesday. This race was the first of two crossover meets to open the season for the Warriors. They will not count towards winning a championship, but Wakefield held tough against a serious numbers disadvantage and just lost 27-28. Arlington had 55 girls running, while Wakefield had 11.

“I was really impressed with our first home meet,” said head coach Karen Barrett. “On paper, it looked like we were going to get beat really bad. We lost four point-scorers and Arlington did not lose anybody from last season. We really showed a lot of grit and talent.”

During a meet that Barrett thought was a great test to see where the girls are at in terms of actual times in a race, sophomore Olivia Lucey came out blazing, took the lead and never looked back, winning the race with a time of 20:53, which was really close to a personal best in that heat.

“She took charge and set the tone. I was extremely impressed with her aggressiveness,” said Barrett. “I believe this will be the first of many wins for her.”

Isabella Kehoe (21:46) and Gillian Russell (21:49) were next for Wakefield.

“Isabella and Gillian looked really strong, especially at the finish,” said Barrett.

Retta Carroll was fantastic running in her first cross country race. She finished fourth for the Warriors with a time of 22:03.

Yvonne Lucas (22:18) and Gabby Peduto (23:33) finished fifth and sixth for Wakefield, as both looked steady and stayed focused the whole race.

Finishing off the varsity squad was freshman Shannon Driscoll who finished at 24:12.

“It was really impressive to see how well she ran for her first race,” said Barrett. “She was in the mix and will continue to improve.”

Freshmen Audrey Schopperly (25:18) and Grace Butler (26:39) also did a great job during their first meet, finishing eighth and ninth for the team.

Kate Lynch (27:07) and Nicole Lima (27:59) were 10th and 11th for WMHS.

Overall, it was an encouraging first meet for a team that is capable of accomplishing anything this season.

“The girls summer training definitely payed off,” said Barrett. “They show up everyday ready to work hard. I believe we can win our seventh consecutive league title if we continue this tremendous work ethic and stay focused.”