NORTHFIELD – It may not be gold, but Westfield’s Blake Croteau finished only one step behind first-place runner Daniel Crowley, of Ludlow, and several steps ahead of the competition during Saturday’s Western Massachusetts Division 1 run at Northfield Mountain.
Croteau ran a second place time of 17:01.21. Crowley won in 17:01.21.
Westfield’s Matt Jacobson and Tim Dostie placed sixth (17:16.60) and eighth (17:18.64), respectively. Jacob Bellows was 20th in 18:00.47 for the Bombers.
Westfield, as a team, placed third with 90 points, behind Amherst (52 points) and Ludlow (82).
In Division 2, Sam Rexer finished 52nd (20:05.98) for Gateway. Southwick-Tolland’s Kevin Hepburn was 66th in 20:35.66.
Mount Greylock placed first with 49 points. Gateway (331) and Southwick (375) finished 13-14.
GIRLS’ RUN: Camille Blackman, of Longmeadow won the D1 race in 19:20.15. Sierra Swords was the first Westfield runner to cross the finish line. Swords was 20th in 22:17.81.
Amherst (51 points), Longmeadow (56), and Pittsfield (113) were the top three Division 1 girls’ teams. Westfield was eighth (220).
In D2 action, Katie Clark (12th overall, 22:06.62) and Paige Cool (23rd, 22:46.73) were the first runners to finish for Gateway (11th) and Southwick (8th), respectively.
“It was a tough course,” said Southwick girls’ cross country coach Lee Haseltine.
Northfield Mountain’s 3.1-mile course features an uphill climb, a downhill run, and then a series of rolling hills prior to the finish.
“It was hard to get a good time, but Paige did a pretty good,” Haseltine said, also commending his eighth grader, Emily McKinney for a 34th place run. “I’m expecting big things from Emily next year. It’s a good probability she makes states next year.
Emily Kaegi (20:29.05) won the race for first-placed Mount Greylock (35 points).
While the top three teams from each division qualify for states, so, too, do the top 10 runners outside those top teams.