It was a great day for the Middlesex Girls' Cross Country team, with the varsity girls taking home the team championship for the first time since 1999. The championship was a true team effort, with senior Annabelle Rogers leading the way for Middlesex in 6th place. Annabelle passed throughout the first half of the race to find her position before running strong in the second half to hold it. As the team's most experienced racer (and the team's only 3 time veteran of the ISL Varsity race), it was fitting that it was Annabelle who led the way with a great day in a race situation that rewarded composure. Sophomore Sadie Millett and senior captain Josie Silk were also recognized with medals for their top 15 finishes, running great races to come in 9th and 10th, respectively. With three in the top 10, the team score was off to a promising start, but as any cross country fan knows, championships are won by a team's fourth and fifth runners, and that's where sophomore Kate McBride and senior Grace Millett came through big for the team. Kate chose a very good day to have her best race of the season, passing runners she hadn't beat all season and running a PR for 16th place. Grace had the opposite situation when she found herself having a tough day out on the course, but she stayed committed to the race despite things not going according to plan and still finished strong in 22nd, ahead of the fourth runner from second place Milton and good enough for the team win. Sophomore Florence Morlock and senior Mariam Craig finished in 33rd and 34th, ahead of the sixth and seventh runner from every other ISL school. The accomplishment of this group was even sweeter considering that only Annabelle and Josie had run in the Varsity race at the ISL championships before, with Sadie, Grace, Kate, and Florence all participating in their first ISL championships ever. We all were grateful for the return to championship racing after last year's hiatus. The accomplishment also was the culmination of many years of growth in the program, and thus it represents the hard work of many alums and coaches who are no longer on the roster, especially those who made sure that last year's 2020 pandemic season was so positive and successful.
The JV race was fast and competitive, with nearly every member of the Middlesex team posting personal best times. The team race was led by a very impressive Thayer pack, who won with a nearly perfect 16 points, and, despite the strong running from Middlesex, the depth of Nobles (77 points), Groton (90 points), and Milton (94 points) also proved too much for the MX Zebras in the team score. The Middlesex team was led by sophomore Mitchell Ladd, who was recognized at the award ceremony for her 10th place finish. Freshman and senior Sophia Yang and Sophia Bueno came in together for 29th and 30th, with freshman Catherine Bain and senior Emma Caffrey not far behind in 36th and 37th. Senior Abigail Riordan was 40th, and junior Jade Xiao was 47th, scoring displacement points over other teams. Every one of the 17 Middlesex starters finished the race, and freshmen Mila Chow and Andrea Flores deserve special congrats for their very impressive improvements over their previous best times.
While we wish we could bring the whole team to our final race next week at the NEPSTA Division 2 Championships at Williston Northampton, we are sure that the 14 who toe the line will again represent the entire roster well.