Bromfield’s girls cross-country team is headed to the MIAA’s divisional state championships after success at the Division 3C sectional cross-country meet sponsored by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, Nov. 13. The team’s score of 141 put it third in a field of 16 similarly-sized schools, behind Mount Greylock Regional School with 39 points and Lenox Memorial High School with 99.
Stanley Park in Westfield, where the meet was hosted, is a mainly flat, one-loop course, with a downhill section in the first half that becomes an uphill stretch when runners retrace their steps on the way back. Coach Matt Lynde said racers here typically go out fast, but he set a goal for his runners to keep themselves in check in the initial rush and to move up as many places as possible in the middle section.
Freshman Emma Squire led the girls team, placing fifth in a field of 125 and running the 5-kilometer course in 19 minutes, 59 seconds. “Emma has really come on strong and saved her best running for these big meets,” said Lynde. Squire dipped below 20 minutes in the 5K for the first time at the Dick Atkinson Invitational on the same course in late October.
Freshman Isabelle Jackson was next, running 22:01 for 25th, trailed closely by junior Molly Squire in 22:02 at 26th. Sophomore Abigail Ames ran 23:27 for 52nd.
Seventh-grader Gabriella Temps played an unexpected but important role for the team. The first-year runner had only two 5Ks under her belt when she stepped up to the line Saturday, and she was not on the original top-seven roster for the meet. Each team is allowed to list three alternates who can compete if a teammate is sick or injured. Early in the week, Lynde told Temps to bring her uniform and prepare to race in case the team needed her. When another runner got sick just before the meet, Temps stepped up and made the most of the opportunity. She brushed up her personal best time by 1 minute and 50 seconds to come through the line at 23:29 in 53rd, putting Bromfield’s final points on the board. Lynde called Temps’ performance a “fantastic accomplishment.”
Sophomore Arpi Mirzabegian and freshman Ally Becker were Bromfield’s sixth and seventh runners, clocking 24:43 and 25:08 for 74th and 82nd, respectively.
Looking forward to the all-state meet—where top competitors from each of this week’s nine sectional races will be assigned to three divisional races based on school enrollment—Lynde said his expectations are simple. “I’m not thinking of where [we] will finish. I just want to see this team fight and compete as hard as they did on Saturday.” The Trojans will face 22 teams, including six from the sectional meet, at the Wrentham Development Center Nov. 20 at 1:45 p.m.
“The girls are excited to be in Wrentham next week. I’m excited to be there. We are ready to race again,” said Lynde.