THE WARRIORS brought home another trophy from states, this time a runner-up trophy as they took 2nd at the Div. 2A meet in Westfield on Sunday. It is the fifth time that Wakefield has finished either 1st or 2nd in the last six state divisional meets. Pictured with head coach Perry Pappas are the seven Warrior competitors from left to right: Brandon Nett (40th overall), Ollie Polster (35th), Leith Jones (5th), Mike Arria (8th), Ben Stratton (12th), Andrew Nett (60th) and George Palmer (47th). (Nancy Stratton Photo)
WESTFIELD — The Division 2A State Championship was postponed from Saturday in anticipation of a hurricane as the Wakefield High boys’ cross country team had to wait until Sunday to compete in what turned out to be great conditions at Westfield’s Stanley Park.
The Warriors took advantage of those conditions to place 2nd as a team and bring home the runner-up trophy.
This is the fifth time the Warriors have placed either first or second in the state divisional meet over the last six championships. The boys were 1st in 2016 and 2017, 2nd in 2018, 5th in 2019, the meet didn’t happen in 2020 due to Covid and they were 2nd in 2021 as well as 2nd this year.
Wakefield scored 100 points behind winning team Burlington who scored 71 points. Danvers placed 3rd and Westwood was 4th. There were 24 teams competing in the race.
Three Warriors made the podium: Senior captain Leith Jones was 5th in a time of 16:07. Junior Mike Arria ran a PR of 16:18 to place 8th. Senior captain Ben Stratton was 12th in 16:31.
Junior Ollie Polster placed 35th in 17:16. Sophomore Brandon Nett placed 40th in 17:22. Sophomore George Palmer was 47th in 17:28. Sophomore Andrew Nett was 60th in 17:49. There were 169 runners in the race.
The Warriors qualified for the All State Championship to be held on Saturday in Devens.
“I’m so proud of the way these young men responded this season after losing key contributors from last year’s All State Championship team,” said head coach Perry Pappas. “This team became leaders themselves and stayed focused on becoming competitive at the highest level. We are excited about this coming weekend.”