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Girls’ Cross Country wins All-States, hopes to qualify for Nationals

Posted By Denebola On November 26, 2008 @ 10:08 pm In Sports | Comments Disabled

By Jon Ostrowsky

The girls’ cross-country team won the Division I All-State meet on November 15, and earned a spot at Regionals which will take place at Wappingers Falls, New York next Saturday.

With Bridget Dahlberg and senior tri-captain Kelsey Karys placing third and fourth respectively, South clinched their first State Title since 1993, beating second place Lincoln-Sudbury by 16 points.

With five runners in the top 20, the Lions lived up to the hype, becoming one of the top teams in Massachusetts history.

Dahlberg finished in 18:38.0, with Karys only a step behind, crossing the line in 18:38.6. She was followed by sophomore Kathy O’Keefe, who came in ninth in 19:01.6, junior Madeleine Reed, who finsihed 12th in 19:10.7, and senior Olga Golovinka, who finished 18th in 19:20.3, according to the MIAA website.

The Lions, who finished 8-1 in the DCL, hope to place in the top two in their regional meet on December 6 and qualify for nationals in Portland, Oregon.

Led by senior captains Juliet Ryan-Davis, Kelsey Karys, and Hannah Yarmolinsky, the team posted the best score in the history of the Division 1 Eastern Massachusetts Championships.

“We have different strengths. We all have different things that we bring to the team, which I think all help the team, Yarmolinsky said.

“We value our team bond so much. Steve has told us that we’re one of the best teams he has ever coached.  It’s mostly because of our really close team atmosphere, Ryan-Davis said.

The Lions have been ranked as high as ninth in the country, with newcomers Bridget Dahlberg and Kathy O’Keefe running cross-country for the first time. Both Dahlberg and O’Keefe, however, are not new to running.

They join Ryan-Davis, O’Keefe, and Madeleine Reed with All-American honors from track.

“Its just really helpful to have them both because we know we can rely on them and I’m sure it was hard for them coming into a new sport and having to learn it in a few weeks, but they learned it very well, Karys said.

Under head coach Steve McChesney, the Lions have set the course record for Franklin Park and won the DCL Sportsmanship Award.

“Steve has been doing cross-country for his whole life. He has so much experience and that’s probably one of the main reasons why we did so well.

“At the beginning of the season, I think that our coach was a little bit criticized by some of the other coaches for not taking us to meets, but I think it was a lot better for the team because we got to grow at our own pace, Ryan-Davis said.

In the past few weeks McChesney has proven those coaches wrong, with consecutive victories at DCL’s, Eastern Mass. Championships, and All-States.

“We’ve always had the goal of trying to win all-states. It’s just really awesome to have finally done that, Ryan-Davis said.

Yarmolinsky, who has suffered hip and back injuries since her freshman year, won the MIAA Sportsmanship Award.

“She’s a big part of our team and has really kept us together, said Karys, winner of the team’s 110% award.

The Lions will face a tough transition from the end of a long cross-country season that will likely go into the start of the indoor-track season, if they qualify for nationals.

With a talented senior class, they have shown consistent progress over the past four years. Although the team’s results speak for themselves, it is their desire to improve that separates them.

“That’s the best feeling in the world, Ryan-Davis said.

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URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/11/26/girls%e2%80%99-cross-country-wins-all-states-hopes-to-qualify-for-nationals/

URLs in this post:

[1] Girls cross country finishes season with Dual County League title: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/10/29/girls-cross-country-finishes-season-with-dual-county-league-title/

[2] Girls’ Cross-country team claims second at State Finals: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/12/19/girls-cross-country-team-claims-second-at-state-finals/

[3] Lady Lions dash to state victory: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/03/25/lady-lions-dash-to-state-victory/

[4] Cross-country continues dynasty into 2007 season: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/11/21/cross-country-continues-dynasty-into-2007-season/

[5] Cross Country on track to meet expectations: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/cross-country-on-track-to-meet-expectations/

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