XC races heat up



WESTFIELD – Earlier this week, Westfield High played host to undefeated Ludlow High School Boys and Girls Cross Country at Stanley Park. The meet also served as a developmental race for Westfield Technical Academy’s new cross country teams.
As expected, the girls’ race was very close, ending with Ludlow on top Tuesday, 31-24.
The early pack of finishers set a quick pace.
Ludlow’s Brooke Dias (21:08) took first as most predicted, but the race for second was very exciting as Westfield’s Sophie Gronbeck (21:32) edged out Ludlow’s Sydney Leroux (21:33) in a back-and-forth sprint to the finish, well ahead of the fourth-place finisher, Lions’ Emily Alvs (21:56).
Westfield senior captain Madison Eline ran a best time (22:12) to lead the next wave and take a solid fifth, followed by Ludlow’s Savanna Cherow (22:18). Bombers’ Mia McDonald (22:39), Libby Irwin (22:53) and Clara Hinck (23:10) rounded out the team’s scoring.
Other noteworthy Westfield High finishes include season best times by Eva Boxsem (31.26), Hallie Grady (32:09), and Gabriella Rivera (32:11).

Holyoke Catholic 21, Southwick 36; Southwick 24, Greenfield 31; Southwick 16, Hampden 40
Greenfield’s Amy O’Sullivan emerged victorious in Tuesday’s quad meet, and Holyoke Catholic’s Julie Carol (of Southwick) was runner-up in 19:34 and 19:48, respectively, at Southwick’s 3.1 mile course.
Reece Couture was the first Southwick High School runner to cross the finish line. Couture placed fifth with a time of 22:54.
Emily McKinney (23:08, 6th overall), Maggie Drohen (23:17, 8th), and Abby Howe (23:21, 9th) rounded out the top 10 for the Rams.
Southwick improved to 5-1.

Frontier 15, St. Mary 50
St. Mary junior Casey Rutledge finished 11th overall with a time of 23:28. Saints’ senior captain Madison Bruno was 12th (23:32).

Athletes were faced with oppressive humidity as they left the top field and headed into the mile loop. Westfield’s Gabe Piepergerdes led both teams into the woods. As runners approached the mile loop, the pack was tight. Once they emerged, Pierpergerdes and Connor Crowley (Ludlow) were neck-and-neck with 1000 meters to go. Gabe pulled away soon after the pair reached the top fields and finished at 17:46, while Crowley followed in 17:59.
Ludlow won the meet 25-30.
Westfield runners continue to drop times as the season progresses. Other top finishers included Eric Johnson (18:59), Isak Lund (19:03), Andrew Peloquin (19:31), Zack Medeiros (19:38), Kohl Lunardini (19:49), Ben Jury (19:49), and Chris Daley (19:52).

Holyoke Catholic 36, Southwick 36; Southwick 26, Greenfield 29
Jack Davis (18:33, 3rd), Jared Demaio (19:09, 5th), and Danny Sullivan (19:46, 9th) managed to crack the overall top 10 for Southwick.

Frontier 15, St. Mary 50
Freshman Joe Walz was the top finisher for St. Mary, placing sixth on the 2.75-mile course in 17 minutes flat. Saints’ sophomore Charlie Bonatakis was the second Saint to cross the finish line, claiming 10th overall (17:51).

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