WOBURN – A week after capturing the Middlesex League Freedom Division for the second consecutive year, posting their second unbeaten season (6-0 on aggregate, 5-0 in the league), the good fortunes continued for Wilmington High School Girls’ Cross -Country Team.
On Monday, the Wildcats took part in the annual Middlesex League Championship meeting held at Woburn Country Club. The ‘Cats finished fifth overall, behind Arlington, Lexington, Wakefield and Winchester – three of those four teams compete in the Liberty Conference.
For the second straight meeting, the ‘Cats were led by junior Hannah Bryson, who would easily win the Most Improved Athlete award if the school awarded one. She finished seventh overall, earning all-conference honors with her time of 19:39.0.
“Her time is over a minute faster than what she ran on this course last year, and it’s actually faster than what Addy and (last year’s top runner) Shea (Cushing) raced at this meet last year. Hannah is getting better and better,” coach Joe Patrone said.
In last week’s unmissable double encounter, Bryson emerged as the team’s MVP which ultimately gave the team victory over Wakefield. The Warriors finished better than the ‘Cats this time, but Bryson was again strong from the start and all the way to the finish line.
“Last year she was running two miles at 12:20 and I told her I think she can break 12 minutes,” Patrone said. “Hannah is already ahead of Shea this time last year (and she’s just a junior). Hannah has established herself as one of the best distance girls, not just in the Freedom Division, but in the entire Middlesex League, and possibly even the entire state at this point. She is getting better and better and it has been such a great season for her.
Charlotte Kiley was second overall for the team as she finished 29th overall at 19:39. Sophomore Addy Hunt was hampered by a knee issue and she finished 30th at 20:57.1. Senior Mallory Brown was 46th in 22:22.4 and Mia Stryhalaleck was 56th in 23:14.9.
“The girls ran well. They were crowned league champions and finished 6-0, unbeaten for the second consecutive year. If you include track seasons, that’s five straight seasons without a loss. The girls are just on a terrific streak right now,” Patrone said.
In the 3K freshman race, Isabella Zaya was 21st at 14:36.8 and Cayley Israelson was 26th at 16:37.1.
On the boys’ side, the Wildcats finished 10th out of 11 teams, with Burlington, Wakefield and Lexington as the top three teams. As a team, Wilmington had so many great individual performances.
“I thought the boys were running very well. For the most part, their times were good. Jameson was our best runner and he finished over a minute faster than his time on this same course last year,” Patrone said. “Jake Cronin was 20 seconds faster than last year and Roman Moretti was 15 seconds faster. (Returning riders) all raced better than last year. Gavin Dong is just a freshman and it keeps getting better. It’s going up the charts every day and was our number three today.
Burns was the team’s best player as he finished 41st overall in 17:46.4. He was followed by Dean Ciampa (48th, 18:27.8), Dong (52nd, 18:45.2), Roman Moretti (53rd, 18:46.7), Noah Carriere (54th, 18:51.2), Jake Cronin (58th, 19 : 15.7) and Brayden Gorski (60th, 19:18.4).
In the 5K JV race, Vihbush Sivakumar finished 34th overall at 18:57.9 and he was followed by Michael Dynan (62nd, 19:50.1), Nicholas Samaha (86th, 20:40.4), Christian Niceforo (87th, 20: 45.9), Spencer Bagtaz (101st, 21:21.2) and Nathan Cardin (104th, 21:27.8).
Finally, in the 3k freshman race, David Dynan finished 20th at 11:07.1, followed by Conor Burns (31st, 11:24.3) and Evan Cummings (49th, 12:17.8).
Patrone announced that Addy Hunt was named Middlesex League Freedom Division Most Valuable Player (Runner), while Bryson was named to the All-Conference Team, and Kiley and Brown were named All-Stars. On the boys’ side, Ciampa was named a league All-Star.