A star is born? Marblehead’s O’Connell finishes second in state meet

The Marblehead High School girls cross-country team ended up ninth overall with a score of 332 during the State Division 1C Meet in Wrentham on Friday, Nov. 11. They bested last year’s showing, when they finished 10th. But this year, there was an individual performance worth noting for what it may mean to the program throughout the next three years.

Marblehead’s superstar freshman harrier Marri O’Connell finished second overall with an incredible time of 18:35.2.

“Marri jumped out to a very strong start, and was among the top three runners who was able to get separation early,” said coach William Herlihy. “She pushed the pace until about 2.5 miles into the race, when she was overtaken. But she still battled the clock to the finish to end up running the 14th fastest time for girls at the Wrentham course on this day.”

Marblehead freshman Marri O’Connell races to the front of the pack in the State Division 1C Meet in Wrentham on Nov. 11, and there she would stay for much of the race. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIMI O’CONNELL

Finishing second for Marblehead and 68th overall in this divisional meet was junior Cat Piper. While her 22:05.2 time wasn’t a personal best, it was a significant improvement from her time last year on the same course, according to the coach.

Senior captain Isabelle Harvey also had her best race of the season during Friday’s divisional meets. She was the third Marblehead runner to finish the postseason competition, and was 82nd overall.

“After working her way back from significant time off due to injuries, Isabelle was able to run her best cross-country race in over a year, coming in at a very strong 22:37.8, a significant jump from her previous times this season and just shy of a personal best,” said Herlihy.

Freshman Angie Fischer was the fourth Marblehead runner to finish Friday’s meet, 97th overall.

“It was an encouraging sign for the future of the team,” the coach said. “Angie earned a spot on the varsity roster for the divisional competition after running a strong race during the NEC Championship Meet, where she was the top JV runner with a time of 23:25.5.”

Marblehead freshman Marri O’Connell, second from right, bottom row, poses with other top finishers in State Division 1C Meet in Wrentham on Friday, Nov. 11. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIMI O’CONNELL

Senior captain Maya Mahoney (102) and her classmates Piper Morgan (108) and Devin Whalen (119) rounded out the top seven Marblehead harriers with times of 23:36.3, 23:48.3 and 24:32.0, respectively.

“While it may not have been the results they were looking for, all three seniors had tremendous seasons, and no season is defined by just one race,” Herlihy said.

The coach also offered special shout-outs to senior captain Martha Heffernan and her classmates Anne Simcoe and Sara Bosio, who were the team’s alternates for Friday’s divisional meet.

“Despite not competing, they still trained hard over the last two weeks to stay ready just in case they were needed,” Herlihy said. “Their presence and efforts during the daily practices, and then their support at the meet itself was invaluable to the team’s spirit.”

Joe McConnell
jmcconnell@marbleheadnews.org | + posts

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