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Girls’ Cross-country team claims second at State Finals

By Denebola
Published: December 2007

By Jon Ostrosky

The Newton South girls’ Cross-country team has plenty to be proud of after a near perfect end to their season, placing second at State Finals.
“Two of our goals in pre-season were to get first or second at all states and win the Eastern Mass Championships,” junior Juliet Ryan-Davis said. “I think that it’s kind of amazing what we accomplished.” The girls defeated their DCL rival Lincoln-Sudbury at the Eastern Mass Championships at Franklin Park, which Ryan-Davis called their “greatest reward,” and coming in second place to Lincoln-Sudbury at the State Championships at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Massachusetts.
The Lions, under their coach Steven McChesney, earned 103 points at their last meet of the season, largely thanks to sophomore Madeleine Reed, who posted a fifth place finish with a time of 17:17, and junior Kelsey Karys, who came in tenth with at time of 17:38 over the tough 2.9 mile course.
Other contributors to the second place finish were junior Olga Golovinka who came in 45th place, sophomore Melanie Fineman in 47th place, junior Juliet Ryan-Davis in 55th place, senior co-captain Hannah Westbrook in 79th place and senior co-captain Sonya Freeman in 84th place.
The teams training schedule consisted of building a strong base during the beginning of the season.
Work ethic has been a topic of constant discussion. During the middle of the season, they began more intense workouts before tapering and peaking for their final meets of the season. The teams training schedule seemed to be perfectly organized as the girls had improved a great deal and ran some of their best races by the end of the season.
“[McChesney] really knows how to build us up for a meet and prepare us mentally and physically,” senior co-captain Nina Slote said.
Slote was unable to run in the second half of the season due to injuries, yet did not ignore her leadership responsibilities.
“[McChesney] really trusted us with what we were doing and he managed to take the team and bring out all of our strengths,” Ryan-Davis said.
“I was really proud of how everyone did,” Slote said reflecting on the accomplishments made this season.
Perhaps one of the reasons this team was so successful this year was because there were no feelings of exclusion between girls in different grades, “I think everyone felt included from the start,” Slote said. “The captains were so good at leading each of us in their own ways,” Ryan-Davis added.
The three senior captains will surely be missed next season, but with a slew of passionate and hard-working younger runners, and the leadership of their coach Steven McChesney, the team will be in contention for yet another top finish in the state.
Karys, Ryan-Davis, and Hannah Yarmolinksy will assume the leadership role next year as captains of the 2008 season.

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