All State Division 2: Lantz Outkicks Dominick For Title



GARDNER - Catalina Dominick was pretty certain Saturday's Div. 2 All-State race would come down to her and Manchester Essex's Olivia Lantz in the closing stages on the 2.9-mile Gardner Municipal Golf Course layout.

So when Dominick and Lantz started to press over the final 800 meters, the Danvers standout knew that Lantz's 4:58-mile speed could present a problem.

"We both started kicking with 800 to go, but she didn't really take off until 300 to go," said Dominick. "That was the hardest I kicked all season."


It was Lantz who had the extra gear when the race turned into an all-out sprint heading into the homestretch. She pulled away just enough and crossed the finish line in 16 minutes, 55.62 in her rookie cross country season. Dominick was a strong second in 16:58.76 and Jessie Cardin of Sutton clinched third in 17:09.55.  Lantz let Dominick set the pace over the hilly Central Massachusetts course and bided her time waiting to kick.


"I just tried to stay on the Danvers girl," Lantz said. "I know she runs a good pace and I decided to try to use my kick at the end.


"She was out front until the last 800 meters. At one point I didn't think I was going to beat her. I ran as fast as I could. I could see her shadow behind me and I knew I had to pick it up. When I saw her shadow good away I thought just keep the pace."


Dominick presented the biggest challenge this season for Lantz, who has simply dominated the competition from day one in September. It was great running against her because I haven't been exposed to that kind of competition," she said. "I really wanted to use this race as strategy for upcoming races like Foot Locker."


Jeanine Zheng placed seventh in 17:38.51 to lead a tough Hamilton-Wenham squad to the team title. Freshman Olivia Horgan also cracked the top 20, taking 16th in 18:00.52, to help pace the Generals to the 56-point performance. Manchester Essex was second with 115 points and Tyngsboro finished a strong third with its 135 points.


Newburyport's Nick Carleo put a disappointing divisional loss behind him. "I knew it could happen and it wound up happening. said Carleo. "Last week I got really distracted during the race. I was talking to myself and talking to my opponents. I still don't believe it." 


Newburyport head coach Don Henniger believed Carleo's track speed could make the difference if the race for first came down to a sprint finish. "I thought Nick may have had a little more leg speed than him at the end," Henniger said. "They were in different races last year, but Hogan is obviously tough. He is a tough, tough kid. He likes to go out right from the get go. The fact that Nick was there, his leg speed was going to work to his advantage. The plan was to just get through the first mile because it's nasty. Once he got through the first mile we thought he was in good shape. The course played into his hands."


Pembroke easily defended its team title, chalking up 49 points to finish well in front of runner-up Hopedale (104 points) and Medfield (138 points). The Titans' John Valeri joined Stafford in the top 10 by nailing down sixth place in 14:42.18. Pembroke put its five scoring harriers in the top 30.