EG XC: Girls Place First, Boys Fifth at States

by | Nov 8, 2022

Above: The 2022 EG Girls Cross Country Varsity team – state open champions, from left: Reese Fahys, Ava Peters, Celia Caliri, Ella Maybaum, Coach Erin Terry, Rylee Shunney, Emily Clarke, Alicia Chen, and Asst. Coach Jeannine Connolly. Submitted photo..

And Cole Middle School’s Boys placed first & Girls placed third in states

Rylee Shunney was a freshman when the EG Girls Cross Country team won its first ever state championship in 2019. It took three years, but the EG Girls earned a state championship again Saturday at Ponaganset. 

“It’s like a full circle moment for me because I am ending right where I started three years ago but with an entirely different team,” said Shunney. This year’s team included Reese Fahys, who transferred to EGHS as a sophomore after a stellar freshman year in New Jersey. Fahys placed fifth Saturday, with Shunney placing sixth. They’ve been like that their entire three years running together but on Saturday there was some extra. 

The unusually warm weather was challenging for all the runners and it caught up with Fahys, who found herself with “jelly legs” during the final part of the 3.1 mile course. She fell, got up, fell again, got up again and somehow managed to get over the finish line, with Shunney right behind. Shunney literally picked up her teammate to get her to the medical tent. 

“When I saw Reese drifting in the finishing straight away, I actually slowed a little and let her get closer to the line because she might have been disqualified if I touched her in the race,” recounted Shunney. “But when I got to her at the finish line it was like I hadn’t even raced and the most important thing to me was lifting her up and getting her to the medical tent rather than catching my breath. She put herself through so much to even finish that race and I just needed to be able to support her for that. She kept telling me that she just needed to finish for us …. The way she was able to support her team while she was struggling is the foundation of our success.”

Alicia Chen was EG’s third finisher, placing 17th. According to Coach Erin Terry, Chen had an amazing race – ”She was one of the few who finished without looking gassed.” Ava Peters was EG’s fourth finisher, at 22nd, and Ella Maybaum rounded out EG’s top five by placing 24th. Having five runners in the top 24 was the key to their state championship, said Terry. EG’s other two varsity runners were Cece Caliri at 26th place and Emily Clarke at 89th. It was particularly sweet for the Caliri family – Anna Caliri, on the team in 2019 when they last won the state championship, was there Saturday cheering on her sister and the rest of the team. 

The Boys XC team placed fifth, after placing 12th in states in 2021. “We really asked ourselves, how much do we want this,” said Boys Coach Sean Connelly, who took over the program this year. The boys strong showing got them back to qualifying for New Englands for the first time in five years.

“It’s been an awesome season,” Connelly said. “We’ve been working together like family. They understand what you put into something you get out of it – our performance is just a token of our hard work.”

Senior Nick Martin placed 3rd, making a big jump from his 20th place finish last year. His was the EG Boys’ best individual finish in six years, when Jeffery Pederson placed first. Coming in second for East Greenwich was senior Justin DiStefano, who was in 30th place at mile 2, but then came roaring back to place 17th.

Sophomore Luke Allen placed 30th, sophomore Brody Fayhs placed 51st, and senior Andrew Valentine placed 56th after battling back following an ankle injury.

Sixth-place finisher for EG was freshman David Hayes, who placed 66th. He place 3rd at the Freshman state meet. “His work is showing results,” said Connelly.

Both the Girls and Boys Varsity teams compete this weekend in the New England meet which happens to be at Ponaganset this year.

Meanwhile, at Cole Middle School, the Boys Cross Country team won the State Middle School  Championship on Sunday, October 23rd at Deerfield Park in Smithfield. The Girls Cross Country team placed 3rd in the State Championship meet. The Cole 8th grade boys showed early promise at the Sept. 23 Ocean State Invitational at Goddard Park by winning the 8th Grade Boys Team race. Colby Flynn won that race with Logan Toce, Kevin Chen, Andrew Parisi, Brody Tetrault, and Jeremy Dru finished out the scoring. 

Cole Boys Varsity  

Colby Flynn (2nd place!)
Logan Toce (3rd place)
Kevin Chen
Andrew Parisi
Henry Hershberger
Brody Tetrault
Jeremy Dru
Colin Foley

Girls Varsity

Olive Willis
Ali Walsh
Lindsey Han
Kayla Siedliski
Julia Crossland
Lea Hennessy
Kelsey Tella Torilli
Quinlan Darcey

From left, Hendriken’s Troy Silvestri (2nd place), St. Raphael’s Devan Kipyego (1st), and EG’s Nick Martin (3rd), in the State Open Meet Nov. 5, at Ponaganset. Submitted photo

Girls Varsity XC before the race. Submitted photo

Nick Martin, who placed 3rd in the state meet. Submitted photo

The girls in their “can’t stop us now” t-shirts. Submitted photo

Boys XC team – varsity and JV – lines the course. Submitted photo

Seniors Rylee Shunney, Reese Fahys, and Ava Peters before the race. Submitted photo

Boys Coach Sean Connelly with members of the EGHS XC team. Submitted photo

The Cole Middle School top 20 finishes in states, from left: Alison Walsh (13th), Lea Hennessey, Kayla Siedliski, Julia Crossland, Andrew Parisi (15), Logan Toce (3), Colby Flynn (2), Brody Tetreault, Henry Hershberger, Kevin Chen (14), Olive Willis (10), and Kelsey Tella-Torilli.

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November 9, 2022 7:08 am

CONGRATULATIONS ! To All the EG runners in the State Meets, both EGHS Boys and girls, and, Cole boys and girls. Great to see EG up there. Guess all that running on my streets (and others) paid off. Keep it up.


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