After a solid junior year on the cross-country trails, Madaket Nobili didn't get the results she expected at the end of the season, finishing 22nd at the divisionals and 60th overall the All State Finals.
"At the All State Meet, something was up," she said. "It wasn't a sickness or anything. I just had an off-day. This year I would love to come back and maybe medal. That would be great."
It's too early in the season to predict if that will come to fruition for the Nauset Regional senior, but Saturday's performance at the Big Wave Invitational was certainly a good start. In dominating fashion, Nobili claimed the individual title in the Junior-Senior race, covering the 2.5 mile layout at Apponequet High in a course record of 15 minutes, 0.5 seconds. She was more than 150 meters ahead of runner-up Jillian Callahan, who was timed in 15:26.84. Nauset's Tara Ellard also broke 16 minutes, finishing third in 15:59.81.
Nobili, who last year's posted a PR of 18:47.17 for five kilometers, admitted it wasn't easy adjusting to the shorter distance at the Big Wave meet. She smashed the meet record of 15:28.75, set in 2014 by Hopkinton's Shelby Aarden.
"I had a little difficult time trying to gage what pace to do because I am used to the full 3.1 miles. I have never done a 2.5 (mile race) before," she said. "I think I finished with a little bit left in the tank, but we had some good competition so I did try to stay strong."
In a heated battle for team honors, Barnstable squeaked by Sandwich, 54-56. Barnstable had six of its runners among the top 20. Sandwich had just five harrier on the line, all of which finished in the top 22.
Milford's Jack Kalil won the older division boys' race with a time of 13:04.51, the fourth fastest time on the 2.5-mile course in the meet's short history. Kalil held back in third, just a few strides behind Marshfield's Chris Bunker and James Condon in the early stages of the race. He didn't make his move for the title until the final quarter mile.
"I knew that Marshfield always has a super strong program and their runners are great," he said. "I didn't know what their kick would be like this year. I just wanted to sit there and kind of wait it out, feel the race out and get my legs under me a little bit and then I was going to make my move on them."
Bunker would eventually take second overall (13:12.81), while Condon settled for third (13:33.67). As a team, Marshfield cruised to the title with a 24-73 win over second-place Milford. The Rams occupied five of the first eight placements.
Falmouth ninth-grader Caleb Gartner looked impressive in capturing the Freshmen-Sophomore race. Gartner crossed the line in 13:35.67, less than two-seconds behind runner-up Strickland Davis of Plymouth South (13:37.39). Davis's teammate Andrew Kenney was third (13:59.52).
Gartner stayed with the leaders throughout the race and took over the front-running duties just before exiting the wooded-section of the course. He passed the two-mile mark in 11 minutes.
"Right from the gun, I knew there would be some good competition so I put myself in the lead pack until just before mile 2," he said. "I definitely worked hard today. It feels good."
Barnstable took the team prize with 60 points. Plymouth South placed second with 70 points.
It was an eighth-grader that stole the show in the girls' Freshmen-Sophomore race with home-schooled standout Carmel Fitzgibbon of Weston dominating the field with a time of 15:46. Sandwich's Emma Eastmann was second in 16:14.51. (See Story)
Sandwich defeated Taunton, 32-39, for the team crown.
In the middle-school races, Lawrence's Henery Gartner (9:07.53) and Taunton's Nia Mainer (11:11.73) won the respective boys' and girls' events, which was run on a 3K course.