Boys’ Cross Country Takes Conference Title

Leader of the girls' team, Isabella Frey, brings home the individual conference title

Ally Beck

In the cross country conference meet, the boys took 1st place and the girls took 2nd. Sophomore Isabella Frey was the conference champ with a time of 19:06.

The runners faced individual challenges in the conference meet.

“My legs were jello, but I had to keep pushing,” sophomore Andrew Mallo said. Mallo finished in 6th overall and 3rd for the team (17:57).

“I was just trying to hold on,” senior Nolan Fortin said, finishing 12th and 6th for the team (18:13.5).

Senior Leah Given, who finished 4th overall (20:29.8) and second for the Cougars, described the first mile of the course.

“I felt like it was pretty fast. It was pretty downhill,” Given said.

Junior Rachel Webber had the difficult task of being the last scorer for the team. She finished 21st overall (23:15.3).

Weber was succinct in describing her feelings for the two-minute mark.

“I was tired,” Weber said.

The two mile mark was a challenge for sophomore Nick Hottell.

“At the two mile mark, I was struggling. It was kind of tough,” Hottell said. “My aerobic strength isn’t what it used to be, but I knew I was getting close to the end so I hung in.”

Hottell led the team (17:34.4) and finished 3rd overall, 12 seconds behind the leader.

Junior Brandon Lamberti had to stay motivated in this race if he wanted to reach his goals.

“I knew I had to try harder because I wanted to make regionals and states,” Lamberti said.

Lamberti finished 7th overall and 4th for the Cougars (17:59.4)

Cross country is a challenging sport, runners have to stay determined to help them do well. Senior MJ Ellis described what it’s like to compete in a large meet.

“Don’t go too fast, just keep the pace and towards the end just give all you have and keep going,” Ellis said.

Ellis’ 18:13 earned him 11th overall, 6th for the team. For him the last 400M was the most difficult.

“I was sprinting, and I was already out of breath,” Ellis said.

Before the meet, champion Frey didn’t have a set time in mind.

“I just kind of wanted to go out there and place well for the team. That course wasn’t my favorite, but definitely, I’m proud of my time,” Frey said.

Reaching to her one mile split, Frey said, “It was okay. I definitely went out a little fast because I always get nervous before the race, so I go out pretty fast, but I felt good.”

On her road to winning the conference title, the second mile proved more daunting for Frey.

“Oh, gosh yeah, the two-mile mark is never a good one for me. I felt good, I was pretty tired because you have to do the loop like twice and it’s kind of exhausting, but I definitely felt pretty good. I still felt like I could power through a little more,” Frey said

Keeping a good mindset helps both Lamberti and Frey compete better.

“It’s more mental than it is physical actually,” Frey said.

“You have to go out strong to get good position and you have to be competitive with the people around you,” Lamberti said.

For coach Patrick Marshall the boys victory began early in the season.

“The boys worked very hard all summer and fall to stay the top team in the conference. I was very happy for them to have the opportunity to keep our conference championship streak going,” Marshall said.

Marshall also singled out Weber and freshman Delaney Bernat as key to the girls’ team finish.

“I am proud of the effort our girls team put out there to take second in the conference. Especially our #4 and #5 runners who have worked hard all season to fill the void in the team caused by some injuries,” Marshall said. “Prior to our injuries we probably had a shot at winning the meet; the team could have fallen even farther in the conference. I’m proud of how hard they worked to try and take first and not fall to third or fourth place.”