The Marblehead High boys cross-country team, led by Isaac Gross and Nate Assa, finished third in the Division 2A Championship Meet at the Wrentham Developmental Center on Saturday, Nov. 11.
Gross was the top runner in this divisional race, while Assa, his teammate, was close behind in third.
Their efforts helped the Magicians qualify for the All-State Meet this coming Saturday, Nov. 18, at Fort Devens in Ayer.
“We as a team have now qualified for the Division 2 Championship Meet at Fort Devens after our third-place finish,” said coach Brian Heenan. “Walpole won the meet, followed by Plymouth South, before we came in third.
“We were led once again by Gross, who jumped out to a fast start right from the starting gun,” added Heenan. “His time of 15:35 is the fastest by any Marblehead runner on this (Wrentham) course, and is only the second Marblehead runner (A.J. Ernst in 2015) to ever win a divisional championship.”
Heenan mentioned that Gross has put together one of the best seasons any Marblehead boy has ever had in cross-country. “Watching him run with such grit and determination has been awe-inspiring,” continued the veteran mentor. “He established goals at the beginning of the season, and has since run with such purpose throughout the season to achieve those goals. I can’t wait to see what he does at the All-State Meet on Saturday.”
Assa (16:12) was equally impressive with his third-place finish. Will Cerrutti (16:47) was 13th . “They both joined Isaac onstage for the awards ceremony that honored the top 15 runners with medals,” said Heenan.
Will Cruikshank, Henrik Adams, Jonah Potach and Will Cronin rounded out the team’s participants in this meet.
“The boys actually tied for third, but in cross-country if two teams are tied after adding up the scores of the first five runners the tiebreaker becomes the sixth runner. In our case, Jonah Potach, our sixth runner, defeated the fourth-place team’s (Boston Latin Academy) runner by two places,” Heenan explained.
The Top 10 2023 Division 2A finishers among the boys teams were as follows: Walpole (71), Plymouth South (100), Marblehead (121), Boston Latin Academy (121), Longmeadow (156), Melrose (168), Masconomet (175), Tantasqua (261), Brockton (272) and Dartmouth (288).
The Magicians will now toe the line against the top Division 2 teams from all over the state again on Saturday at Fort Devens in Ayer.