Nathan Lopez took one look over his shoulder to ensure his lead was safe. The St. John’s Prep junior cross-country runnerhad nothing but green space around him as he crossed the finish line in dominating fashion at the MSTCA Bay State Invitational Saturday.
Lopez wonthe boys’ “Red” race at the Wrentham Development Center, which will host the division and state meets in November, finishing in 15 minutes 36.1 seconds. Lopez was 21 seconds ahead of teammate Charlie Tuttle, which helped both runners familiarize themselves with 3.1-mile course before the postseason meet.
“The idea mostly was to just get out here on the course before the [EMass] meet because this is our only chance,” Lopez said. “We put in about 90 percent effort . . . just trying to get a feel for the course and put up a decent time.”
Lopez, Tuttle and Newton North’s Tyler Tubman remained in a tight group early before Lopez broke away.
“I sat with the guys for the first two miles, then I guess I inserted a little pace in the second mile,” Lopez said. “I held it from there and stayed steady.”
The dress rehearsal for the postseason was also successful for Uxbridge’s Aidan Ross, who posted the best time of the day in winning the “Green” race in 15:34, 22 seconds ahead of the field. The junior pushed hard over the final 200 meters of the course to secure an excellent time.
Whitinsville Christian standout Molly Lashley had the top girls’ time (18:28.2) in winning the “Green” race by almost 50 seconds. The senior will be one of the postseason favorites.
Wakefield’s Samantha Seabury didn’t know if she would place in the top three of the girls’ “Red” race, but the senior shook off a challenge from Bishop Feehan runners Lauren Augustyn and Anna Boydto cruise to the win in 18:49.9, which surpassed Seabury’s season goal at the first attempt.
“I’m really happy with it,” Seabury said of her performance. “Overall, I just wanted to go sub-19 by the end of the season, but I did it on the first try. I think I have to make some harder goals; I’m super excited, I’ve never placed high in cross country meets before and I’m excited to see what’s to come.”
Flanked by the Feehan duo of Augustyn and Boyd for the first two miles, Seabury made her move by charging up the hills and never looking back.
“I surged and cruised the rest [of the way],” Seabury said. “I heard the girls catching up to me at the end . . . I just used everything I could.”
St. John’s Prep (54 points) and Catholic Memorial (70 points) won the boys’ races, and Bishop Feehan (37) and Whitinsville Christian (49) won the team scoring Saturday.
Framingham 1, St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 1 — Jack Carney, with Christian Martins assisting, connected for third-ranked Framingham (6-0-2), and Matt Morin, with a feed from Jorgo Karamelo, answered for visiting St. John’s -- both in the first half -- in the nonleague draw.
KIPP Academy 2, Methuen 1 — Freshman Marco Escobar and junior Kenny DeLeon each scored for the Panthers (6-2-0), who remain undefeated in the Commonwealth Lower Division.
Latin Academy 6, New Mission/Boston English 1 — Senior captain Jaheim Perez put two goals past the Titans (0-4) as the host Dragons (5-1-2) picked up the Boston City League win.
Bishop Fenwick 5, Bishop Stang 0 — Rayne Millett and Emma Perry had two goals apiece and Grace Morey dished out three assists as the host Crusaders (6-1-2) earned the Catholic Central win.
Hamilton-Wenham 4, Rockport 0 — Ava Vautour scored three goals and Sophie Zerilli netted one for visiting Generals (2-4).
Newton North 3, Newton South 0 — Senior Ella Maher scored three goals as the visiting Tigers (4-3-1) out-shot the Lions (0-6-2), 32-1, in the nonleague matchup.
Walpole 4, Cohasset 0 — Lindsay Jacobs (2 goals), Caroline Whelan (1 goal, 1 assist), and Jess Tosone (2 assists) kept the top-ranked Porkers unbeaten at 8-0.
Hamilton-Wenham 5, Rockport 0 — Senior Kara O’Shea and sophomore Lily Mark bookended the scoring as the host Generals (6-1) had five different goal scorers in the Cape Ann League romp.
Masconomet 1, Andover 0 — Taylor Bovardi scored the lone goal with an assist from Kara Lindonen in the 38th minute to lift the 10th-ranked Chieftains (7-2) to the nonleague home win.
Nauset 5, Martha’s Vineyard 0 — Olivia Avellar tallied two goals and two assists in the home win for the 15th-ranked Warriors (8-1-0).
Newton South 2, Weymouth 0 — Juniors Bria Abbiati and Maddy Genser both scored for the host Lions (8-0-2) and sophomore Mandy Cosgrove notched her fourth consecutive shutout in the nonleague win.
Peabody 2, Danvers 2 — The third-ranked Falcons (7-0-2) seized a two-goal lead on goals by freshman Georgia Prouty and senior Arianna Bezanson before visiting Peabody (3-2-3) rallied late for the Northeastern Conference draw.
Andover 3, Danvers 0 — Marisa Kobelski (9 kills, 4 blocks), Ava Shipley (19 assists), and Sophia Miele (7 digs, 4 blocks) powered the host Golden Warriors (7-2)to the nonleague win.
Arlington Catholic 3, Bishop Stang 1 — Senior captains led the charge for the Cougars (7-2) with outside hitter Maggie Milne recording 14 kills and setter Kara MacDonald earning five aces.
BB&N 3, Groton 0 — Junior Kate Jiang and sophomore Sherry Ran had five kills apiece as Knights improved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the ISL.