Warriors fall to top-ranked team in state, 25-35

WAKEFIELD captains Tanner Jellison (left) and Matt Roberto finished 1,2 overall during Wakefield’s first race of the season on the road against Lexington, the state’s top-ranked team. (Colleen Riley Photo)

Published in the September 20, 2019 edition.

LEXINGTON — The Wakefield boys’ cross country team knew what they were up against when they traveled to Lexington for the 2019 season opener.

They knew that the Lexington Minutemen were the No. 1 ranked team in Massachusetts in multiple polls. Although Lexington lived up to that ranking on Tuesday, that didn’t deter the Warriors from putting up some impressive performances of their own.

The Warriors were led by senior captains Tanner Jellison and Matt Roberto as they ran with Lexington’s lead pack for most of the race. It was in the final stages of the race that they made their move and opened up a lead on the competition. Roberto used his strength and pushed the pace while Jellison and Lexington’s top runner gave chase.

As the Lexington athlete attempted to close the gap, Jellison changed gears and put in a strong kick over the final 100 meters to take the lead and the win with a blazing time of 16:29. Roberto finished strong to hold onto second with an impressive time of his own in 16:33.

The Minutemen then came through with the next six places to secure the win 25-35.

Sophomore Mike Roberto had a great run with a lethal kick to pass two Lexington runners at the line finishing in 17:20 and placed 9th. Junior Jonathan D’Ambrosio was 12th with a strong time of 17:28.

The threesome of junior Colin Rudy(18:21), sophomore Thomas Dowd (18:27) and senior Jimmy Crump (18:33) finished 15th, 16th and 17th. Rudy was the final scorer as the key fifth man.

Junior Zack Jellison (18:51), sophomore Ajay Haridasse (18:56), and junior Aaron Canestaro (19:55) also ran in the varsity race.

“The performances from today is very encouraging so early in the season,” said Wakefield head coach Perry Pappas. “Our expectations still remain high but there is work to be done over the next few months.”


The Warrior JV team was led by freshman Leith Jones in the first meet of his career. His time was 19:11.

Jack Callahan (19:14), Ian Schermerhorn (19:26), Steven Robinson (19:29), Andrew Roos (19:43) and David Schurter (19:55) all had much improved race times from last fall.

The Warriors will head to Wilmington on Tuesday for their first Freedom Division competition.