The following is an excerpt from eXpressions, a monthly newsletter for the Xaverian community. To read the entire newsletter, click here.
The varsity cross country win over BC High gave the Hawks a 4-0 record and their sixth Catholic Conference title in the last seven years. Last weekend the team continued their winning ways by capturing first place at the Catholic Conference Classic Meet.
Varsity coach Chris Heaton recapped his great season:
Our goal for the year was to win the league. We wanted to make it (as league champs) six of the last seven years. It’s a tough league because of the quality of the teams. And while we’ve had some great individual runners in the past few years in cross country state champions Mark Amirault from Walpole (2005 and 2006) and John Bleday (2009) from Westwood, that doesn’t guarantee the team victories or league titles as 5-7 guys are needed to score in cross country meets. I was proud of the way we raced against St. Johns Prep at their course (Bradley Palmer State Park) and how we came back to win in the last mile against BC High. Those victories helped the team realize that with a solid team effort, we can do pretty well.
We’re at the point of the season now where we’re sharpening up for the EMass Division 1 state meet. If things fall into place and we run really well as a team, we have a shot at placing in the top 5 and qualifying as a team for the All-State cross country championship.
We have a solid group of seniors in Bobby Leon, Eric Zandrow, Chris Schwab, and Colin Tonelli (who has been injured much of the season but came into the season as the team’s top runner) and juniors Rob Marcantonio, Tim Keohane, and James McDermott. We just bumped up a freshmen, Lucas Taxter, to varsity and he’s made a big impact and was third for us in the victory against BC High.
So the strength of our team has come from the great senior leadership up front and how they and the juniors who have been scoring for us have really enjoyed the competitions. They know that the cross country program is centered on thriving on the competition in the races, and they’ve embraced that challenge. We’ve been under the radar on the state and that’s great for us because the guys are staying healthy, getting fit, and racing well.