cross country

Coach Stigler pleased with runners’ performance; WP Coach Geiger also happy

(Sept. 13, 2109) The Stephen Decatur cross country team hosted its first meet of the season on Wednesday, with seven schools participating.

The Decatur girls’ team came in first place with 15 points.

Junior Mary Mergott led the pack, crossing the finish line first overall (24:29.49).

Also scoring points for Decatur were sophomore Avery Braciszewski (third, 25:32.11), senior Elizabeth Dutton (fourth, 25:42.69), freshman Mackenzie Cathell (sixth, 26:10.10) and senior Mikayla Denault (eighth, 27:13.27).

“I thought the girls did about as well as I could have expected. I was very pleased with basically all of our girls’ performances and I thought some of our veteran girls had their best races,” said Decatur Coach Jody Stigler. “Mary obviously was the standout, but I thought the whole girls’ team stood out and really ran great, especially considering the [pretty hot] conditions.

“I thought we looked both mentally and physically prepared and executed pretty well during the race,” Stigler added.

Worcester Prep finished in second place with 57 points.

Senior captain Ashley Laws led the Lady Mallards. She crossed the finish line ninth overall (27:33.67).

Also scoring points for Worcester were freshmen Linley Hill (11th, 28:21.50) and Caitlyn Hoen (13th, 29:41.74), junior Lexi Willey (22nd, 40:47.13) and sophomore Sydney Lamson-Reich (23rd, 43:25.24).

“Girls were OK. We lost [sophomore] Myranda [Beebe]. She hurt her knee half way and didn’t finish,” Prep Coach Keith Geiger said. “She was in third or fourth at that point, but the other girls did great. Ashley Laws ran really well and we had two freshmen, Linley Hill and Caitlyn Hoen, that did wonderfully for their first meet.”

Snow Hill came in third place with 61 points.

James M. Bennett won the boys’ competition with 22 points. Worcester Prep was runner-up with 52 points. Decatur was a close third with 55 points.

“[It was the] first time we beat Decatur … since our program started [five years ago], which is pretty cool,” Geiger said. “The boys did so well. Several boys exceeded expectations.”

Junior Graham McColgan led Worcester, crossing the finish line third overall (21:14.94).

Also scoring points for Worcester were junior Connor Carpenter (fifth, 21:29.44), sophomore Nick Hearne (10th, 22:46.55) and seniors Frank Carter (15th, 23:19.65) and Gavin Hentschel (22nd, 23:52.34).

Decatur’s top finisher was sophomore Tristan Dutton, who crossed the line sixth overall (21:32.05).

Rounding out the top five Decatur runners were juniors Liam Foley (ninth, 22:21.09) and Silas Cascio (11th, 22:49.68), senior Sam Rakowski (13th, 23:09.87) and sophomore Gavin McCabe (16th, 23:31.40).

“The boys struggled a little bit. Some of our boys ran really well,” Stigler said. “I thought Tristan Dutton and Liam Foley both ran pretty well, but we were missing a few boys (injuries/sickness) and some of our boys that did run should have been running a little closer to the front of the pack … It is the first meet and we have some time to get it squared away, but we definitely have some work to do.”

Both Decatur and Worcester will participate in the Rumble in the Jungle meet on Wednesday, beginning at 3 p.m. in Cambridge.

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