Bakey medals; Frakt tops freshman pack
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose High girls’ cross country team are once again league champs thanks to a season-finale win over Wilmington at Greenwood Park in Stoneham on Oct. 28. Melrose will share the league title with Wakefield and Wilmington as tri-champs, all with 4-1 league records, good enough for the division title split.
Melrose coach Nick Tuccinardi spoke of their great effort. “It’s pretty cool to earn a title three years straight. Often, you have to go undefeated in this league to do it, but it was just one of those years when certain teams beat other teams and we were all at the top.”
Additionally, Melrose competed in the Middlesex League Meet on Monday, Nov. 1, placing sixth overall. Junior Jillian Bakey had a fantastic race, medaling in 5k race with a 7th place finish and a time of 20:01. That earned her rare All Conference honors, placing her among the elite in both Middlesex Small and Large competition. Says coach Tuccinardi, “Jillian really did fantastic to become an All Conference selection, we’re very proud of her. She really proved she can match any runner in any conference or division.”
Meanwhile, the future appears very bright thanks to freshman find Maizie Frakt who prevailed among all runners in the freshman co-ed race, which amounted to nearly 100 runners across the Middlesex Large and Small.
“Maizie ran extremely hard and we are so thrilled at her result,” says her coach. “All season we’ve been entering her in freshman races at invitationals and sure enough she’s medaled in every one. She’s going to be a huge part of our future ,” says Tuccinardi.
Melrose saw some great top finishes behind the work of Lily Kavanaugh, Charlotte Tysall, Juliet Moore, Darby Thompson, Isabel Vogel and Addeline Lawlor. Representing Melrose in the junior varsity team were Kate Sikkema, Elaine Albuja, Caroline Ward, Sophia Weissman and Rachel Brooks.
According to coach Tuccinardi, the team is gearing up for an appearance in the Div. 2A state finals on November 13 in Gardner, MA. Melrose will send seven of its best runners to the event. Should they crack the top 4 in results, they will be able to compete at All-States where they found themselves just two seasons ago. When it comes to this team, anything is possible.
Says Tuccinardi, “This weekend we will compete in the Mooney Invitational to establish times and really keep strong before our appearance at the Div. 2A finals. We want to stay as sharp as possible so we can extend the post season.”