After a long and grueling, but successful season, the boys cross country team competed in its last race of the Fall in the MIAA Division State Championships last Saturday, held at Fort Devens.
The team had a top 20 finish in the Division 1 race, but fell short of its goal for a top ten finish, coming in 17th out of 22 teams. Despite losing one of his shoes just 400 meters into the race, senior Harrison Kee had an impressive performance, coming in first for his team with yet another sub 17 minute race (16:47), which earned him a 58th place finish. He was able to narrowly beat out junior Isaac Gross at the finish line, who came in right behind him in 59th, running a time of 16:48.
The best runners from all over the state competed in the race, and with a large number of teams and top talent, (184 runners) it was a physical and crowded race. Head Coach Brian Heenan said that it was not how his team envisioned its season ending, but gave credit to his senior runners for battling it out and leading the way.
“It was certainly a frustrating end to the season for the team. Competing in Division 1 is tough,” said Heenan. “ It was the leadership of Harrison and fellow senior captain Ryan Thompson that guided this team to the success they had.”
Ryan Blestowe was the third Magician to cross the finish line, coming in 120th overall with a time of 17:24. Seniors Ryan Thompson (128th 17:29), David DiCostanzo (145th, 17:41), Gabe Bayramian (158th, 17:59), and Errol Apostolopoulos (163rd, 18:03) rounded out Marblehead’s finishes.
Even with the result, the Magicians still had a tremendous season. The team went undefeated in dual meets during the regular season and placed 2nd in the NEC Championship meet. The peak of the season came just a few weeks ago, with Marblehead capturing the Division 1C Championship in Wrentham.
Heenan said that he leaned on the leadership of Kee and Thompson over the summer, and the two seniors played a huge role in the success of the team.
“It was the leadership of Harrison and fellow senior captain Ryan Thompson that guided this team to the success they had. I rely on my captains to organize captains’ practices throughout the summer,” he said. “The training they did over the summer led to the success the team had in October and November.”
Along with senior Seth Cushinsky, Heenan said the seniors will be “sorely missed” next fall as all seven contributed heavily to the teams’ achievements during their four years at the high school. Six out of the seven seniors will be taking roughly a week off to rest and recover for the upcoming indoor track season, but Kee isn’t done quite yet.
He plans on competing in the Eastbay Northeast Regional Championship, held at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City on Saturday, Nov. 26.
Even with the large group of seniors leaving, the team has a number of young, up-and-coming runners in Gross, Blestowe, sophomore Will Cerrutti, freshman Will Cruikshank, sophomore Nate Assa, and junior Will Cronin. The team is currently focused on the winter and spring seasons ahead, but the Magicians will certainly remain competitive next fall.