BURLINGTON — Every year, every season, the Burlington Red Devils are the Wakefield High boys’ cross country team’s toughest challenge and the biggest obstacle in the way of a Freedom Division Championship.
Tuesday afternoon was no different as Burlingon had three strong runners up front. However, the Warriors top 5 was too strong and they were able to escape with a 27-28 victory to make the possibility of the Warriors winning their 6th consecutive Freedom Division Title even more possible with two meets to go.
Senior captain Mike Roberto was outstanding on Burlington’s 5K course as he ran stride for stride with the Red Devils’ top runner only to break away over the last few hundred meters and lead the Warriors to a victory with a time of 15:38. The Red Devils didn’t make it easy as they placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Fortunately, five runners are needed to win a meet and Wakefield followed with a 5th place finish by senior captain Ajay Haridasse who ran 16:34. Junior Leith Jones was 6th in 16:44. Junior Ben Stratton was 7th in 16:45. Senior captain Thomas Dowd closed out the victory placing 8th in 16:56.
Sophomore Michael Arria ran an impressive time of 17:10 to place 11th just on the heels of Burlington’s 5th runner. Sophomore William Mezikofsky ran a good run placing 13th in 18:01. Sophomore Ollie Polster was 14th in 18:14. Senior Captain James Christie ran a PR of 18:27 to place 15th. Senior Brett McLellan was 17th in 18:36.
In the JV race, the victory was much more convincing as the Warriors took the top 9 places. Sophomore Joe Patt won his first race as he ran a time of 18:48. Junior Sam Bangston ran a time of 18:55 for 2nd. Junior Will Riley was 3rd in 19:00. Freshman Brandon Nett placed 4th in 19:01. Junior Matt McCoy was 5th in 19:07. Freshman Andrew Nett took 6th in 19:11. Sophomore Robert Brown placed 7th in 19:55. Sophomore Brendan Campea was 8th in 19:56. Junior Brian Casey was 9th in 20:36.
Following that lead pack were freshman Aidan Martin (21:28), Sophomore Cooper Davis (22:06), Freshman Marcello Caruso(22:20), Senior Declan Carney(22:33),Freshman Ben Hickey(22:48), Sophomore Adam Lambiaso(23:10), Junior Marcus Conte(23:24), Freshman Brody Wyatt(24:05), Junior Dante Russo(27:19), Freshman Jacob Ciriello(27:37).
“I’m proud of how the boys competed today,” said head coach Perry Pappas. “It was obvious from the start of the season that they had this meet as a priority on their schedule. The focus has only gotten stronger as we saw how strong Burlington’s top three were in recent weeks. We look forward to facing them again at the League Championship and State Championship meets next month.”
The next meet is this weekend’s MSTCA Twilight Invitational on Cape Cod followed by Watertown on Tuesday.