In only its second year of cross country after almost a decade hiatus, the St Mary’s cross-country team has a total of 49 boys and girls competing this fall. One of the season’s highlights was that the boys team captured the Catholic Conference League freshman/sophomore meet which was held at Bishop Fenwick with a team score of 40 points (low score wins in cross country). Cardinal Spellman of Brockton with 82 was the next closest team with 82 points followed by Lowell Catholic with 85 points. Freshman Cody Murtagh who has been the Spartan’s number 1 runner almost the entire season led the way finishing 2nd with a time of 12:06 just 6 seconds off of the win on the 2 mile course. Sophomore and Lynn native Phil Garraud has shown tremendous promise, having never raced before this season, finished 6th with a time of 12:28. From 9-16, St. Mary’s packed in 4 more runners. Frosh and Lynn native, Tom Mackin, ran a strong race finished 9th (12:40) followed by sophomore Cullen Coyle of Swampscott who finished 10th (12:42), and sophomore Brian Bureau of Saugus who finished 13th (13:01). Bureau has improved almost 7 minutes from last year. The top 15 received medals with the team winning a trophy. Frosh Liam Foley of Salem finished 16th with a time of 13:11. Foley just missed out on the medal stand by 4 seconds. Rounding out the top 7 was freshman Nick Peveri of Lynn who finished 20th with a time of 13:48. The varsity team consists of all freshman and sophomores with the exception of senior captain Mike Ksander who is has been running between 2nd and 4th for the team during the season.
In dual meet competition, the team tripled its win output (3 wins) and lost 3 close meets by only 2 points. The improvement has been impressive. The team ran an eye opening race at the CCL Championship hosted by St. Mary’s at the Lynn Woods finishing 3rd out of 9 teams. Frosh Cody Murtagh led the way again finishing 7th and becoming a CCL All Star in the process. Right behind him in 8th place was sophomore Phil Garraud who ran the race of his short career and was also a CCL All Star. Frosh Thomas Mackin garnered 14th and was a CCL All Star. Senior Mike Ksander has been the glue to bring this very young team along. He missed being an All Star finishing 18th because he went out very hard to bring the young Mackin along at a fast pace. His unselfishness cost him being an All Star but that is the type of leader he has been. He always brings the team the extra mile.
The team ran very well at the state divisional meet at Wrentham this weekend. Leading the way was frosh Murtagh who ran a personal best by almost a minute with a time of 18:41 finishing 51st and leading the team to a 15 place showing out of 32 teams. This is a far cry from the last place showing last year. Also running great races were Phil Garraud (personal best time of 19:18), Cullen Coyle, who ran the race of his short career with a time of 19:23, Thomas Mackin (PR of 19:38), Mike Ksander (PR 19:52), Brian Bureau who made another breakthrough running a personal best 20:05) and Liam Foley (PR 21:14). Having such a young team bodes well for the team for the future.
The girls’ team is also very young and talented. In the CCL freshman/sophomore race, frosh Sarah Corbett of Lynn ran a great race finishing 4th and winning a medal. Although no other Spartan earned a medal the girls finished a strong 2nd place with 76 points just behind Austin Prep (65points) and well ahead of Arlington Catholic (118 points ) and Bishop Fenwick (142 points). The depth of the young group helped in the strong showing with frosh Jen Brunco of Saugus (16th), frosh Olivia Bromery of Lynn (17th), frosh Larissa Bogomolov of Lynn (18th), sophomore Carmel Lozzi of Lynn (21st) and frosh Casey Walton of Nahant (25th). The team has been running well this season and had an impressive win against Marian High School of Framingham and lost a few close meets. The team had been a big surprise in the CCL until 3 of its top 5 runners went down with freak non running injuries. Junior Melissa LeFave broke her nose playing basketball, Olivia Bromery dislocated her knee at the CCL freshman/sophomore meet at the finish line as she and another runner collided and junior Jen Grimes of Swampscott received a concussion tumbling.
In the CCL league meet, 8th grader Sarah Ryan and 9th grader Sarah Corbett paved the way for the young lady Spartans. Ryan finished 15the with a time of 21:22 and Corbett finished right behind her at 16th at 21:33 and were named CCL All Stars for their efforts. Also running solid races were frosh Larissa Bogomolov finishing 28th, Jr. Jen Grimes, back from a concussion finishing 32nd, frosh Casey Walton 43rd, frosh Jen Brunco 50th and sophomore Carmel Lozzi 57th. The young squad finished 6th overall.
In the state divisional meet at Wrentham, 8th grader Sarah Ryan had a huge breakthrough as she ran 21:44 for 5k finishing 47th, a time that is impressive for most high school runners. Sarah led the girls’ team to a 19th place showing out of 29 teams. The team improved their overall team time by 5 minutes from last season. Behind Sarah was frosh Sarah Corbett with a time of 23:57. Jen Grimes returned from her earlier season concussion and finished right behind Corbett with a time of 23:59. Also running well and personal best times were frosh Larissa Bogomolov with a time of 24:54, frosh Jen Brunco 25:22, frosh Casey Walton 26:06 and Carmel Lozzi 27:34. The future looks bright for the Spartans as all its runners return for next year’s team.
During the season, the teams also travelled to its annual pilgrimage to Vermont running in the Thetford Academy Woods Trail Run at Thetford Vermont, the site of the New England Champions. This is one of the toughest courses the team will run in their running career. There were over 1500 runners from more than 6 states represented. The boys ran very well in Vermont with Cody Murtagh finishing 2nd in the Seed 4 Race winning a medal, followed by Phil Garraud (3rd) , Cullen Coyle (8th), Tom Mackin (13th), Brian Bureau (14th), Mike Ksander (16th) and Liam Foley (18th). In the Seed 5 race, Nick Peveri led the way finishing 3rd winning a medal. Those finishing 4-15 each race won a ribbon. Senior Mike Ksander just missed out on a ribbon by one place. In the girl’s seed 4 race, Lynn native and frosh Sarah Corbett, won the race and earned a medal. Also running well for the Spartans was frosh Jen Brunco of Saugus who finished 25th. In the middle school race, Sarah Ryan an 8th grader from Nahant finished 15 and earned a medal for finishing in the top 15 in the tough middle school race. Ryan ran over 1 minute faster than last year on this same 1.8 mile course. Ryan has been the team’s number 1 runner this season on a very strong and young varsity team. She also finished 11th out of 394 runners at the Jim Munn Middle School race in Gloucester with one a very fast time of 10:27 and finished 14 at the the State Middle School Race in Tewksbury.
Eight runners will compete at the Nike Regional Meet at Wappinger Falls, New York, two days after Thanksgiving. Cody Murtagh, Tom Mackin, Cullen Coyle, Liam Foley, Sarah Corbett, Jen Grimes, Casey Walton and Larissa Bogomolov will all leave for New York on Friday and race on Saturday. With such a young core of runners the sky is the limit for the Spartans.