High schools

Girls’ cross-country: MSTCA BAY STATE INVITATIONAL

Wellesley shows off its dominance

10/14/2017 Wrentham -MA -Wellesley runner #610 Margaret Donahue (cq) heads to the finish line first to win Girls Race A at the MSTCA Bay State Cross-Country Invitational in Wrentham. Jonathan Wiggs\Globe Staff Reporter:Topic.
Jonathan Wiggs/globe staff
Wellesley’s Maggie Donahue heads to the finish line first to win Race A at the MSTCA Bay State Invitational in Wrentham.

WRENTHAM — The Wellesley girls’ cross-country team put on a display of dominance at Bay State Invitational at Wrentham Developmental Center on Saturday.

Paced by a first-place finish from Maggie Donahue, a junior running cross-country for the first time, the Raiders placed all of their runners in the top 10 in the A race.

Donahue covered the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes 41.87 seconds, edging Littleton sisters Sarah and Kailyn Roffman, who crossed at 18:43.15 and 19:00.30, respectively.

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For the majority of the race’s first half, Donahue ran side-by-side with senior teammate Loren Andrews, whose experience in Wrentham worked to her advantage.

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Andrews finished fourth, crossing in 19:07.2.

“It was really great working together for the first mile,” Donahue said, “especially because I hadn’t run the course before and was just getting a feel for it.”

Bridget Ulian (19:35.68) finished seventh, followed by Julia Hershelman (ninth, 20:00.00) and Nora Bannon (10th, 20:04.86).

“We look forward to coming to practice every day,” Donahue added. “We look forward to going to the big meets and we believe we can perform very well in them. Today we wanted to show everyone what we got.”

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At the end of last year, Shepherd Hill had just four runners on its team. Injuries left it one shy of a complete squad for the championship season.

Saturday, the Rams, a team that wouldn’t have been able to qualify for team score last year, dominated the girls’ B race.

Junior Rebekah James took first place, finishing in 18:39.96.

“The first 2 miles, physically, I felt good,” said James. “The last mile hit me hard. We all tried to stick together and finish as fast as we good.”

Injuries got in the way of the team’s goals for last fall, but in the eyes of Fossas, the adversity has only made the team more resilient this season.

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“This team is really mature and I think having been through last year, they’re stronger for it and stuck it out. That, to me, is all that matters. I love winning, but that’s more important.”

Shepherd Hill runner Rebekah James (518) won the B Race at the MSTCA BayState Invitational in Wrentham.
Jonathan Wiggs/globe staff
Shepherd Hill runner Rebekah James (518) won the B Race at the MSTCA BayState Invitational in Wrentham.

Shepherd Hill totaled 26 points, placing five in the top 10 of 103 runners.

“People will ask me how we’re going to do this season and I’ve just been saying the only goal we have is to keep them healthy,” coach Nicole Fossas said.

The girls’ C race had a thrilling finish, as Newton South senior Caroline Barry (18:26.82) came away victorious by .17 seconds over Algonquin junior Tess Reyes, whose strong closing surge came up just short.

Billerica came out on top in girls’ C race, tallying 60 points while Newton South was second with 93 and Bishop Feehan claimed third with 97.