O’Connell breaks away from the pack at NEC championship

Marri O’Connell breaks away from her opponents in the opening 100m of the race, with Cat Piper pursuing in second place. Photo by Angie Fischer

The Marblehead girls cross country team ran in the Northeastern Conference Championship meet at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester this past Sunday. As a team, the girls finished second overall with 72 points. Peabody was the winner with 25, while Masconoment finished third with 85.


1st – Marrietta O’Connell (18:25)

8th – Caterina Piper (20:20)

14th – Maren Potter (21:03)

22nd – Jesslyn Roemer (21:57)

31st – Shannon Hitscherich (23:00)

32nd – Abbie Goodwin (23:27)

35th – Willow Waddington (24:37)

O’Connell’s 18:25 stole the show on the 2.97 mile course, beating out second place by a minute-and-a-half.

“After finishing in a tough second place last year, Marri had one thing on her mind coming into this race,” said coach Will Herlihy. “She got out fast, getting separation from the pack and never looking back. Both Marrietta and Caterina earned All-Conference status for their top-eight finishes.”

On the boys side, Isaac Gross won the race with a time of 15:29.

“In doing so, he (Gross) continued a phenomenal senior campaign and earned NEC MVP honors,” said coach Brian Heenan. “His teammates, Nate Assa (3rd, 15:50) and Will Cerrutti (6th, 16:04), also earned All-Conference honors with their top-eight finishes.”


At Tedesco Country Club on a picture-perfect Thursday (Oct. 26), the annual Northeastern Conference Open was underway with Marblehead earning a second-place finish (162), trailing only Gloucester (160).

Senior captain Charlie Grenier led the way with a 79 to finish second, while fellow Magician Marty Ryan followed with an impressive 83.


Call it a comeback. In a match that came down to the very end, Marblehead (7-11) outlasted rival Swampscott, 3-2, in set scores of 21-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, and 15-13. 

Greta Sachs had 10 kills, while Sammy Walker added another seven. Eva Burke had 28 assists alongside four aces, and Megan Parkman added 20 digs and a pair of aces.


When a team rushes for 232 yards, chances are, it will win. Such was the case Saturday afternoon as St. John’s Prep (8-0) completed its undefeated regular season in a 34-6 final at BC High.

Jimmy Nardone rushed for two touchdowns, while Cam LaGrassa added 95 rushing yards. Quarterback Deacon Robillard tossed one to Gael Garcia to begin the onslaught, and it was all Prep from there.

The win gave their Eagles their first 8-0 start since 2002. The top seed in the Division 1 tournament, Prep’s quest for another state title begins Friday at home against No. 16 Leominster (4-4).