THE NRHS girls’ cross country team starts their race against Triton at Harold Parker in the season opener on Sept. 14. (Eric Evans Photo)



Update post publication:
Hornet Boys XC falls to Lynnfield 42-17 (Sept. 20)
Hornet Girls XC falls to Lynnfield 43-20 (Sept. 20)


NORTH READING — The North Reading High School cross country team had their CAL season opener last Thursday afternoon at Harold Parker State Forest against Triton.

The Hornets are led by head coach Ryan Spinney and assistant coaches Andrew Falanga and Ali Pepe and by captains Allison Koenig, Ava Collins, Alexander Mitasev and David Wyatt. With 22 members (14 boys and 8 girls), the Hornets may not have large numbers, but coach Spinney is preaching quality athletes and individuals over quantity.

“Our team is disciplined and focused on having a lot of fun and improving each time we compete,” said Spinney.

Kelly dominates in debut, girls’ team falls 22-39

Sophomore Quinlan Kelly led the Hornets in her first career varsity cross country regular season race and she dominated the field to win the 5k race in a time of 21:50, a full 1:57 over second place. Unfortunately, Triton was able to pick off places 2-4 and 6-12 to take the victory 22-39.

Junior co-captain Ava Collins placed 5th in a time of 24:04, Junior Vanessa Steinmeyer (13th, 27:08), Senior co-captain Allison Koenig (14th, 27:14), Freshman Riley MacDonald (15th, 28:06), Senior Sophie Saquet (17th, 31:51) and Sophomore Miriana Bornstein (19th, 44:55), rounded out the Hornet competitors in the meet. “Quin had an absolutely fantastic first race at the varsity level,” said Spinney. “She was in control and confident the whole way. She really looks like a veteran runner out there and she is just getting started.”

The team as a whole had a great meet despite the score according to Spinney. “Triton is a strong team but our team stepped up and competed hard today. We have a lot to be proud of and can build on,” said Spinney.

Johnson leads Hornets in boys’ race; Triton wins 15-47

Junior Nico Johnson was the top Hornet finisher in the boys’ race as he ran 19:55 to take 6th overall in the 5k competition. Triton took the top 5 spots and were able to win 15-47 over the Hornets. Freshman Nalo Benedict (10th, 21:11), Junior co-captain Alex Mitasev (11th, 21:37), Sophomore Gerard Jorda (12th, 21:39), Senior Dylan Zecher (15th, 23:21), Junior Raffi Toby (16th, 23:25), Junior co-captain David Wyatt (17th, 23:36), Junior Dawson Duffley (18th, 23:40), Freshman Connor Abruzzese (19th, 23:46), Junior Michael Mahoney (20th, 25:47) and Sophomore Ben Russell (24th, 32:30) rounded out the Hornets in the race.

“We knew that Triton would be a very tough test for our first meet as they are a deep team, but we held our own and laid the foundation for our future races,” said Spinney. “Nico established himself as our top runner and although we are young, we have the potential to really improve this fall.”

The Hornets moveed on to take on the Lynnfield Pioneers on Wednesday after press time.