Win over Watertown keeps Melrose in battle to clinch ML

Published in the October 13, 2017 edition

THE MELROSE girls’ cross country team continues to dominate the league after a big win over Watertown on Tuesday. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE—The Melrose Lady Raider cross country team continued their winning ways with a 24-36 victory over Watertown on Tuesday at Greenwood Park in Stoneham to remain undefeated in the Melrose Freedom League (3-0, 3-2 overall). The victory puts Melrose one win away from clinching the Freedom League, which could be decided next week in a meet against Stoneham. 

They 24-36 win was closer than the score indicated. Melrose relied on top times from senior Tara O’Shea, junior Annie Kavanaugh, sophomores Alex Cotugno and Katie Duffy and freshman Marissa Welten. The day was capped by a special honoring of their seniors. Celebrating senior day were Tara Shea, Buthania Alshihabi, Mykayla Olywert, and Holly Moore.

“All four seniors will be deeply missed, and their contributions to the team will continue to be felt for years to come,” says coach Nick Tuccinardi. “While all but Alshihabi are captains, her leadership is unmistakable and she has been a valued addition to our team.”

And what a way to celebrate your seniors—with a win. 

“This victory really epitomizes what this team has been all about,” says the coach. “Injuries have been a major issue this year, but despite the stream of bumps and bruises, when one girl is injured, two step up to fill the place. We’ve got an incredible amount of depth this year.”

Indeed, each meet has seen a variety of top 5 scorers, never the same in each meet. It’s no doubt that depth will be depended on when the Lady Raiders face Stoneham next week, a match that will most likely determine the outcome of the Middlesex League Freedom division. The two teams faced each other in scrimmage over the summer. 

“Stoneham will be our toughest challenge to date,” says Tuccinardi. “They have a great team that has worked hard dating back to the summer, we have a lot of respect for that team. While it will certainly be a tough match up, we are confident in our preparation and look forward to the challenge.”

Worth noting: the girls’ junior varsity team continues to roll, undefeated at 5-0. Looks like the future is bright for MHS cross country.