MHS boys finish 5th place at All-States

WRENTHAM—The boys cross country team continued their tournament season surge with a sterling performance at the MIAA All States Final on Saturday, Nov. 20 at the Wrentham Development Center.

Last week, the divisional races were run and 23 of the approximately 100 teams progressed to the finals. Melrose was one of them. Going into this elite race Melrose was ranked 7th and they didn’t disappoint. The team was 7th at the 3k mark of this 5k event, but the team got stronger and moved up to finish with an outstanding 5th place.

Melrose depth was on display as they placed 3 runners in the top 30. Conditions were perfect and the course was fast and Melrose took advantage of it. Melrose junior Ellis Iurilli-Hough ran a blazing time of 16:36 for 24th place. Senior captain Will Dugan ran a brilliant 16:40.1 race for 27th, followed by senior captain Ryan Cotugno, who was right with Will for 28th in 16:40.8.


THE MELROSE High boy’s cross country team saved their best for last with a 5th place finish at All States. (Gina Story photo)

Coach Kevin Allison lauded the three runners. “These athletes work with each other all the time, and it was just amazing and so satisfying that in the biggest race of their lives, they would all handily break a barrier like 17 minutes. All three of these guys have been working hard at running and conditioning for years and should be proud of their achievements.”

Melrose’s next runner was freshman phenom Caleb Barnes. Barnes was the top 9th grader in all of Division 2 in the state and grabbed 59th place in just 17:03, a remarkable time for any runner, let alone a 9th grader. Melrose needed one more runner to close out their scoring and senior captain Matt Fox was there for the call as he finished 77th in a time of 17:32. Stone Liu finished his notable cross-country season by breaking 18 minutes and Ben Donovan, filling in for the injured Nick Sasso, did a great job running 18:38.

Coach Allison was thrilled with all the performances. “The MIAA has realigned the teams and Melrose has just been placed in Division 2. We obviously are the first Melrose team to make the state finals in Division 2, but I think it is a mark that may stand up for a very long time. Finishing 5th among 100 teams is a notable result that these athletes should consider to be a lifelong accomplishment.”