- Scott Barboza, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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BOSTON, Mass. -- Saturday’s Eastern Massachusetts Division I meet was proof that not much can slow Lowell High boys’ cross country team.
Raiders head coach Phil Maia knows his team didn’t run its best race collectively, but they were still good enough to win the sectional crown. The Raiders finished 20 points better than second-place finisher, Brookline, at Franklin Park.
Padraic Donovan led the Lowell charge with a seventh-place finish, navigating the 5K course in 16 minutes and 24 seconds. Michael Giardina finished two spots behind in 16:34. Patrick Coppinger (16, 16:48), Michael Gendron (36, 17:15) and Nathan McCarthy (39, 17:18) rounded out the top five for Lowell.
The Raiders have already claimed titles this season at the Manhattan Invitational and the Catholic Memorial Invitational in addition to a Merrimack Valley Conference championship.
Lowell now turns its attention to All-States.
“We rested boys for the MSTCA Invitational last week,” Maia said. “We knew we would be good enough to qualify for All-State and we wanted to plan out our postseason. I think we can regroup for next week, have a couple of kids improve on their times. Hopefully, we can put that together.”
Maia laughed when asked if his harriers might have been tad slow-footed because they were in attendance at Friday night’s eight-overtime football bout between Lowell and Andover.
“No, we had the guys over to watch ‘Prefontaine’ and pizza,” Maia said. “We want them to be fresh and we try to make sure that they’re not out late – like at a football game.”
TITANS ON TOP
The leaderboard of the Division IV boys’ race went as follows: Pembroke, Pembroke, Pembroke.
The Titans authoritatively cruised to the team title with three runners taking the top three spots. Senior Ryan Kelley placed first in 15:58. He virtually could have crossed the finish line holding hands with his teammates who finished second and third. Junior Wesley Gallagher was only two seconds behind with senior Brendan Adams a second behind him.
Overall, Pembroke placed seven runners in the top 30.
“This team is incredibly deep,” Kelley said. “We went one-two in the sophomore meets, too, so I think this team should be set for the next couple of years.”
Senior Ryan Moran placed 15th in 17:03 just ahead of teammate Joe Vercollone, who claimed 16th in 17:06. Freshman John Valeri crossed in 17:11 for 20th and Jesse Fine was 28th in 17:23.
As to whom of the Titans harriers was to take the top spot, that was worked out amongst themselves.
“It really doesn’t matter who wins,” Gallagher said. “I led through around the Wilderness and then I hung onto Ryan [Kelley] on the way down through the second loop. It just helps each of us to work off of each other.”
1. Stephen Sollowin, Sr., Weymouth, 15:47
2. David Melly, Sr., Newton South, 16:05
3. Nickolas Christiansen, Jr., Peabody,16:09
4. Ben Halpin, Sr., St John's Prep, 16:19
5. Simon Voorhees, Sr., Andover, 16:20
DIVISION I TEAM RESULTS:
1. Lowell, 107
2. Brookline, 127
3. Methuen, 164
4. St. John’s Prep, 169
5. Acton-Boxborough, 176
1. Shayne Collins, Sr., Mansfield, 16:02
2. Josh Lampron, Jr., Mansfield, 16:09
3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., Marshfield, 16:13
4. Joel Hubbard, Jr., Marshfield, 16:36
5. Matthew Cioe, Sr., Mansfield, 16:45
DIVISION II TEAM RESULTS:
1. Mansfield, 42
2. Westford Academy, 80
3. Chelmsford, 152
4. Lincoln-Sudbury, 172
5. North Andover, 179
1. Tyler Sullivan, Sr., Whitman-Hanson, 16:03
2. Drew Beck, Jr., Oliver Ames, 16:18
3. Pat Ryan, Jr., Whitman-Hanson, 16:32
4. Peter King, Sr., Wellesley, 16:35
5. Justin Connolly, Jr., Walpole, 16:38
DIVISION III TEAM RESULTS:
1. Oliver Ames, 67
2. Whitman-Hanson, 69
3. Walpole, 128
4. Gloucester, 160
5. Concord-Carlisle, 170
1. Ryan Kelley, Sr., Pembroke,15:58
2. Wesley Gallagher, Jr., Pembroke,16:00
3. Brendan Adams, Sr., Pembroke, 16:01
4. Brendan Sullivan, Jr., Foxborough, 16:17
5. Stephen Robertson, Jr., Wakefield, 16:28
DIVISION IV TEAM RESULTS:
1. Pembroke, 37
2. Bishop Feehan, 98
3. Sandwich, 161
4. Marblehead, 171
5. Dighton-Rehoboth, 228
1. Dana Dourdeville, Sr., Old Rochester, 16:20
2. Mark Rollfs, Sr., North Reading, 16:42
3. John Mantia, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy, 16:45
4. Patrick O’Donnell, Sr., Westwood, 16:49
5. Conor Lyons, Sr., Hamilton-Wenham, 16:49
DIVISION V TEAM RESULTS:
1. Hamilton-Wenham, 58
2. Newburyport, 97
3. Medfield, 110
4. Old Rochester, 149
5. Westwood, 174
1. Kieran Kinnare, Sr., Ipswich, 16:34
2. Nate Larrimer, Sr., Seekonk, 16:43
3. Ben Girard, Sr., Manchester-Essex, 16:52
4. William Harrington, Sr., Bishop Fenwick, 16:58
5. John McKeon, Sr., Abington, 17:15
DIVISION VI TEAM RESULTS:
1. Seekonk, 55
2. Ipswich, 133
3. East Bridgewater, 133
4. Norwell, 161
5. Dover-Sherborn, 170