Published in the November 18, 2019 edition.

GARDNER — The Gardner Golf Course never disappoints from a spectator standpoint as the 2019 All State Championship took place on Saturday afternoon on a very cold but sunny day.

The energy was high as the gun went off for each race and many spectators ran around the course to scream and cheer for their

The vibe was at its highest point in the final race of the day, the Division 1 boys’ race. This was the race featuring the Warrior senior duo of Tanner Jellison and Matt Roberto.

Both of the boys were smart and stayed racing in the top 30 early on to conserve energy over the steep rolling hills of the golf course. Many strong runners have crumbled over the final stages of the race over the years after letting their adrenaline get the best of them early. The Warriors ran smart races and finished well against the best runners in Massachusetts.

Tanner Jellison ran a fantastic race placing 17th with yet another strong kick as he has done many times this season. Jellison did not crack the top 100 places at last year’s All State meet and has proved this season he has made the jump as one of the best XC runners in the state, and this performance solidified that case. He finished in a time of 16:39, a very good time for the challenging course. Jellison will now switch gears, focusing on his specialty the 1000 meters this indoor season where he will be one of the favorites for the 1000 meter All State title.

Matt Roberto had a good placing as well, despite a tough last 100 meters. He finished in 27th place with a sub 17 minute effort of 16:53 beating some very good runners. Over the past three years, Roberto has been a force on the cross country courses. His consistency is tough to match and the longer the distance the better he performs. Roberto will now set his sights on Footlocker Regionals as he heads to New York’s Van Cortland Park in the Bronx in two weeks.

“I have had so much fun coaching these two over the past few years,” said Wakefield head coach Perry Pappas. “They were there to witness our first cross country state title as freshmen from the sidelines in 2016 and soon put their own stamp on the program helping us win another in cross country and one in outdoor track. We have not had a 1-2 performance at the all state championship like they had and it’s exciting to see what is possible for future Warriors thanks to what Tanner and Matt have done this season.”

The winning team was St John’s Prep as they edged a very strong Wellesley team. Concord-Carlisle was 3rd, Acton-Boxboro 4th and Lexington 5th.

Twenty teams qualified and competed for the championship.