Published in the October 26, 2016 edition

WAKEFIELD — There was no way the Wakefield Memorial High girls’ cross country team wanted to share the Middlesex League Freedom division championship with Watertown.

In a showdown for the league championship yesterday at Arsenal Park, the Warriors showed why they have been the Freedom division’s best the past six years as they posted a 25-34 triumph over the once-beaten Red Raiders.

Wakefield finished the league portion of the dual meet schedule undefeated at 5-0 (5-2 overall) and claimed its sixth consecutive league championship.

“The girls ran a fantastic race today. We were ready to take on Watertown on their home course,” said Coach Karen Barrett.

Jordan Stackhouse, a senior captain, ran a phenomenal race. She was second overall to Watertown’s standout runner Emily Koufus. Stackhouse was with her for most of the way and ran the best race of the season. The Warrior senior ran a time of 18:13 to Koufus’ 18:07.

Freshman Olivia Lucey ran an awesome race said Barrett. She just missed beating Watertown’s other standout runner Beth Powderly. Lucey gave it all she had in a sprint to finish fourth overall. Lucey clocked in at 18:56 while Powderly ran an 18:55.

“She’s had a fantastic season,” said Barrett.

Abby Harrington, a senior captain, also had her best race running very steady and strong according to Barrett. Harrington came in fifth overall at 19:38.

“She works really hard and it paid off,” said Barrett.

Senior captain Cassie Lucci went out fast and kept the pace the whole race. Lucci finished sixth overall as she clocked in at 19:43.

“She looked the best I have seen her all season,” said Barrett.

Amanda Westlake, a sophomore, was Wakefield’s fifth runner. Westlake finished eighth overall as she posted a time of 19:47.

“She looked really strong and steady. I was happy to see her in a scoring spot,” said Barrett.

Isabella Kehoe, a sophomore, and Gillian Russell, a junior, finished off the varsity squad running very good races. They were Wakefield’s sixth and seventh runners and they placed ninth and 10th with times of 20:01 and 20:05.

“The girls went out strong and stayed that way the whole race. I am extremely proud of their mental toughness and focus,” said Barrett. “Going over to Watertown on a much shorter course and clinching a league championship is not easy to do. My girls deserved the title outright.”

The Warriors also had some good performances from their JV runners as well in the meet.

Senior captain Maeve Conway (20:35), junior Yvonne Lucas (20:43), junior Kate Lynch (21:17), sophomore Claudia Nerden (21:23), junior Emmalee Connors (21:32), junior Gabby Peduto (22:30.3), sophomore Nicole Lima (22:30.8) and freshman Megan Larrow (22:54) were the JV runners in the meet.

“The JV runners also ran very competitive and strong,” said Barrett. “We will enjoy the championship tonight but tomorrow (Wednesday) we will start preparing for the league meet at the Woburn Country Club.”

The league meet is scheduled for Monday afternoon beginning at 2 p.m. at the Woburn Country Club.