performs among the best at All States

Published in the November 24, 2017 edition


MELROSE—It’s a wrap for the 2017 Melrose High School girls cross country team, who’ve finished their remarkable fall season with a first-ever appearance at the 2017 MIAA All States Meet in Wrentham, MA on Saturday. Melrose placed 11th among all teams, what amounted to their most successful post season ever. Melrose finished strong after a winning season, completing dual meet play 4-1 and clinching their first ever appearance at MIAA State Final. 

SOLID UNIT: The Melrose High girls’ cross country team capped their winning season off with an appearance the 2017 MIAA All States on Saturday. (courtesy photo)

According to head coach Nick Tuccinardi, it was a fitting finish to a great season. “We’re really happy. Placing eleventh out of twenty qualifying Div. 2 schools, including over a team like Stoneham, who topped us for the league title, feels really good. It also helps us determine where we fit in next season as a ranked team.”  

Competing at All States this season for Melrose were Tara O’Shea, who represented Melrose’s best time of 20.24 for an overall #49 finish, teammate Katie Duffy right behind her at at 20.29. Teammate Alex Cutugno followed at 20.48 with a #76 finish. Senior captains Mykayla Olvert and Holly Moore wrapped up their high school careers in fine fashion with finishes of 22:02 and 22:43, respectively. And Ashley Palmer and Annie Kavanaugh finished at 22:24 and 22:41. 

“This was a great example of having a solid foundation between experience and youth,” says the coach. “Tara has been our number 1 runner for two seasons and a pleasure to watch run. She gives everything she can. Her 45 second PR against Wakefield is something that doesn’t happen often. And Mykayla and Holly, they battled injury, it wasn’t a storybook ending, but it takes so much to battle back healthy enough to compete at such a high level. It takes so much conditioning and work, I give them a lot of credit for that.”

Leading the team next year will be a trio of incoming seniors: Sarah Mackowski, Emily Healy and Nicola Tysall. “Every junior on our team got a vote, so I think that says a lot about how our upcoming group of seniors will all be leaders and respected teammates,” says their coach. “We’re really looking forward to next season.”

The MHS Cross Country program has more reason to celebrate. 

This season the boys and girls teams were the recipient of the 2017 Ted Dutkiewicz Team Sportsmanship Award. The award is to be presented to the high school cross-country program in each division (boys & girls) that exemplifies the sportsmanship qualities of the late Ted Dutkiewicz, former cross country and track coach at Springfield Central High School. Mr. Dutkiewicz was an active member of the M.S.T.C.A. executive board and was the MIAA Western Mass Cross-Country meet director.