Running right out her shoe, O’Connell wins state race

The Marblehead High girls cross-country team participated in the annual Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association’s Frank Kelley Invitational at the Wrentham Developmental Center on Sept. 30. The meet featured two separate races, one was designed for just the freshman and sophomore runners, while the other one was designated for junior and senior harriers with a few exemptions in both the small and large school divisions.

MHS sophomore Marietta O’Connell COURTESY PHOTO/CAT PIPER

The Magicians had one of those exemptions, and to nobody’s surprise sophomore Marrietta O’Connell (10:51.2) rose to the occasion to win the 3k small school race with plenty to spare, even with just wearing one shoe. O’Connell has been an elite varsity runner the last two years, and nothing and nobody seems to intimidate this Marblehead whiz.

“Marrietta stepped right up (to run in the older race), and she won it by nearly 20 seconds, even running the second half of the race with only one shoe,” said coach Will Herlihy. “Her time was the fastest 3k time on the day, including the large school races.

“Overall, it was a strong showing for all the Marblehead runners in the Junior/Senior race, and it’s a great sign on how the team is shaping up at this stage of the season,” added Herlihy.

Watch a post-race interview with O’Connell HERE.

Beyond O’Connell’s first-place finish, senior Cat Piper (12:08.5, 11 th ), junior Maren Potter (13:14.4, 27th ) and senior Shannon Hitscherich (14:09, 62 nd ) also ran exemplary races in this invitational competition.

In the freshmen/sophomore race, freshman Willow Waddington (15:22.8, 133rd), sophomore Susana Garcia (15:33.8, 141st), sophomore Avery Barbeau (15:50.9, 150th ) and freshman Ivana Nguyen (16:55.9, 180 th) competed for the Magicians.

The Top 10 2023 Frank Kelley Invitational finishers in the small school junior / senior girls division were as follows: sophomore Marri O’Connell of Marblehead (10:51.20); freshman Abby Flagg of Whitinsville Christian (11:10.20); senior Ella Kane of Medfield (11:43.50); junior Natalie Martin of Norwood (11:45.40); senior Blake Parker of Newburyport (11:47.20); junior Anna LaRowe of Medfield (11:47.30); junior Addy Hunt of Wilmington (11:47.80); junior Madeline Mahoney of Nauset Regional (11:57.50); junior Gabriela Friel of Weston High (12:06.40); and senior Hannah Bryson of Wilmington (12:06.90).

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