– Allison Goldsberry
The Arlington Catholic girls cross country team topped their fourth straight undefeated league championship with an even bigger accomplishment: qualifying for the All-State meet for the first time in school history.
The Lady Cougars earned fourth place overall as a team in Division 5 of the Eastern Massachusetts Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Wrentham, according to Head Coach Jack Dempsey. The team’s top-five finish earned the girls a trip to the All-State Division 2 Championships next Saturday in Northfield.
Senior captain Janelle Solviletti (Billerica), fresh off her first place finish at the State Coaches Invitational meet last week, continued her strong running by placing a solid fifth in the field of over 200 runners. Junior Hannah Kirby (Wilmington) ran her best race of the season and finished seventeenth.
Junior Kaitlin MaCauley (Waltham), despite running with a severe hip injury, placed thirty-first, giving the AC girls the boost they needed to qualify for the States. She was followed by sophomore Kathleen McLaughlin (Waltham), who also ran her personal best time and placed thirty-fourth.
Medford junior Olivia Stewart was eighty-second, senior captain Lauren O’Neil (Stoneham) 105th, and Medford junior Olivia Liberti 113th. All ran strong performances to help the Lady Cougars into next week’s competition, said Dempsey.
In the boys division senior captain Kevin Connors (Belmont), who also won his race at the Division 2 State Coaches Invitational last weekend, placed tenth in Saturday’s strong Division 5 field to qualify as an individual for next weekend’s All-State Championship Meet.
While the Cougars didn’t qualify as a team, they finished in the middle of the pack with a respectable twenty-first place performance. Somerville junior Sebastian Bissereth finished 121st, Burlington junior Alan Judd was 122nd, Arlington junior Nick Canniff finished 152nd, Lexington freshman Mike Venditti was 157th, and Medford junior Mike Kumar placed 188th.