League wins over Burlington, Wakefield

Published in the October 6, 2017 edition

THE MELROSE High girls’ cross country team stunned Wakefield on Tuesday with a 28-29 victory, their second league in a row. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE—It’s been a spectacular week for the Melrose High girls’ cross country team, who earned back-to-back wins over league rivals Burlington and Wakefield. On Tuesday, their home victory against the Warriors was their most exciting to date, a 28-29 victory that represented Wakefield’s first league loss in six years. 

“I couldn’t be more proud of the way they competed,” said Melrose coach Nick Tuccinardi. “While there are so many individual performances, I think it our race can be neatly summed up in saying that we had all 10 of our runners complete the course in under 24:05.”

The close score of 28-29 was the reverse of last year’s score in Melrose’s loss to Wakefield. The win came on the heels of Melrose’s other league win over Burlington on Sept. 26 on the road. Despite facing heat and humidity, Melrose pulled off an impressive win. Senior Tara O’Shea came in first with a time of 20:44, followed by a trio of sophomores: Katie Duffy (21:01), Alex Cotugno (22:49) and Ashley Palmer (23:04). Junior Annie Kavanaugh rounded out the top 5 at (24:47) with freshmen Marissa Zelten (who is having an excellent first year) on her heels at 24:50.

“It was an excellent team effort, the girls showed a great deal of mental toughness to overcome the heat, and one giant hill,” the coach says.

They also saw success over the weekend at the annual Frank Kelly Invitational in Wrentham on Saturday. Melrose represented well in the 3k race with Tara O’Shea earning Melrose’s best time at 12:16 with a 7th overall place and Katie Duffy cracking the top 10 with a 9th place finish. Senior captain Mykayla Olywert ran her first race of the season showing little rust coming in at 13:54. The team also saw stand out performances from sophomores Ashley Palmer and Alex Cotugno as well as some freshmen surprises from Maggie Healey, Brooke DoVale, and Cece Murphy.

“I am so proud of the work that these girls have put in,” says the coach. “While the victory is sweet and we will certainly savor it, we also know that we have more work to be in contention for the league title. We look forward to getting back to work and prepare for Watertown next week.”