Above: The EGHS 2023 Boys & Girls XC team. Submitted photo
By Rachel Quigg, EGHS reporter
The EGHS Boys and Girls Cross Country teams finished their seasons with strong performances at the state level as well as at a couple of invitationals, with both varsity teams placing fourth at States earlier this month, earning them spots in the New England Championships in Belfast, Maine.
The Freshman Boys team had a very strong season, finishing second in states, just behind traditional powerhouse Bishop Hendricken. The Girls JV and Freshman teams both placed third at States and the Boys JV team managed to improve their performance over last year, placing fifth in States compared to their eighth place finish in 2022.
Varsity Boys co-captain Luke Allen said the team started the 2023 XC season ranked 10th in Rhode Island, pushing them to work harder.
“Our team started off as the underdogs this year and we proved ourselves to be better than people thought us to be,” said team member James Marcaccio.
The team did well all throughout the season leading up to states, notably placing second in the Twilight Invitational in Massachusetts and getting first place in the Boys Class C race. Josh Valentine, another captain of the boys cross country team, said he saw “good progression over the season [that] reflects the whole team as we grew.”
At New Englands, Valentine said the goal of the team was to do their best and the team wanted to “have as much fun as possible.”
The team had “the best finish they had in years,” according to Allen. The team scored 23rd out of 30.
The Freshman Boys had a great season leading up States, winning the Ocean State Invitational meet and Injury Fund meet. According to Brody Tetreault, a top runner for the freshman team, the team aimed for a top-two finish at their state meet and achieved it, with strong performances across the board for the freshmen.
The EG Girls also had a strong season, winning first place in the Twilight Invitational and at the Injury Fund meet. The team used a strategy known as grouping, where the team tries to make there be as small a gap as possible between the first girl (#1) on their team to finish and the last (#5). By the end of the season, the gap between the first and fifth runner on the team was 1 minute 10 seconds, something Coach Erin Terry said she’d been aiming for for years. All this paid off with that fourth place finish in States.
“We weren’t focused on being right at the top … we worked together,” said Ella Maybaum, a captain.
At New England’s, “we really rallied and did well,” said Alicia Chen, another captain. The course was, runners said, but the girls were able to place third out of the Rhode Island schools there, beating their state championship placement.
“I did what I needed for the team and I was happy about that,” Ella Maybaum.
The Freshman girls also had an impressive season. Even though they only had five girls, the minimum amount to qualify as a team, they still managed to get second at Highland Park Invitational and run strong races at Ocean State, the Avenger Invitational, and Injury Fund. Coach Terry said she was very pleased with their third place finish at States.
The Junior Varsity girls team had a strong season as well, winning second at Ocean State and having some strong performances at the Twilight Invitational. The team was hoping for a top-three finish at States and pulled it off, despite the rough weather and tough course.
Rachel Quigg is a sophomore at East Greenwich High School.