The Marblehead High girls cross-country team participated in the Division 2 All-State Championship Meet on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Fort Devens in Ayer. As a team, they finished 18 th out of 22 competing teams with a total score of 353 points. But individually, it was sophomore running whiz Marri O’Connell dominating a meet once again after coming in second with a time of 18:43 on the challenging Fort Devens.
The Top 10 Division 2 All-State finishers are as follows: Maggie Kuchman of Holliston (18:38.71), Marri O’Connell of Marblehead (18:43.89), Emily Flagg of Whitinsville Christian (18:54.68), Lauren Raffetto of Canton (18:58.54), Caroline Collins of Nashoba (18:58.98), Georgia Brooks of Groton-Dunstable (19:20.83), Lily Sallee of Wakefield (19:29.26), Annabelle Lynch of Holliston (19:29.89), Margaret Bowles of Dover-Sherborn (19:32.30) and Kay Dickson of Minnechaug (19:36.64).
“It was a difficult week of practice for (O’Connell), but our greatest triumphs are often born from great adversity, and as a result this was the best race of her already impressive career,” said coach Will Herlihy. “She pushed the lead pack throughout the race, and was starting to pull away from the second and third place runners, when the eventual winner (Kuchman) made a move at around the last 600 meters of the race.
“(O’Connell’s) time was a 31-second improvement on this course from last year’s championship meet, and it was also the fastest time for any sophomore in all three divisions, plus it was the sixth fastest time on the Devens course across all three divisions. It was the best individual finish for a Marblehead runner since Shalane Flanagan won the meet in 1999,” added Herlihy.
O’Connell’s teammates also ran well on a tough course against their state peers. Senior Cat Piper (22:01) finished 87th . Maren Potter (22:04) was right on her heels to secure 91st place. Jesslyn Roemer (22:44), Shannon Hitscherich (24:09) and Abbie Goodwin (24:47) rounded out the Marblehead runners, finishing 117th , 161st and 175th, respectively.