NEWBURYPORT — Newburyport cross country coach Don Hennigar says he took the reins off Nick Carleo for the first time Saturday.The result was an individual championship at the biggest meet of the season to date. Carleo, a sophomore, placed first at the Mass. State Coaches Frank Kelley Invitational, a meet which hosted many of the top teams in the state. Without overstating Carleo's achievement, it can be said that he placed first in a tune-up for the biggest statewide competition of the season, the Eastern Mass. Division 2 All-State Meet. The Division 2 race attracted most Eastern Mass teams that compete in Division 4, 5 or 6 — the same field that will compete in the All- State competition in November. Carleo bested the field, and on the same course in Wrentham.
Coach "Z" Recaps the weekend in his Zany style. He "Z-Caps" the entire weekend action including the Ocean State Invitational, Great American Cross-Country festival, and the Frank Kelley Invitational.
Milesplit Video guru James Rooney put together a complete collection of race video from the Frank Kelley Invitational.
This fall will be a season of firsts for Foxboro sophomore Liz Holmes in her rookie year of cross country. A freshman phenom who ran a 4:54 mile last year, Holmes showed her talents go beyond the sterile track atmosphere at Saturday’s Frank Kelly Cross Country Invitational.Holmes was alone by the time she reached the mile in 5:44 and extended her lead over the new, soggy 3.1-mile Wrentham Developmental Center layout. She crossed the finish line in 18 minutes, 29.3 seconds for a commanding win. Sarah Kieran of Ipswich took second in 18:50.4 and Lynnfield’s Lexi Buonfiglio was third with a time of 19:27.3. Holmes was pleased with the win but a little disappointed she wasn’t able to test herself against Dennis-Yarmouth standout Jordan O’Dea. The defending Div. 2 state champion, O’Dea passed on the Kelly meet after her easy win last Saturday in the Amherst Invitational. Holmes, though, knows she’ll get her shot at taking on O’Dea. “I thought she (O’Dea) was going to be here,” said Holmes. “I was looking forward to trying to stay with her. I was hoping to see what it would come down to and who the stronger runner was. I like the big meets in cross country and track because you see all the runners you know from the other divisions.” Holmes has no doubt that she’ll be stronger when the big meets in November roll around. “I feel stronger than I did running over the summer,” she said. “That’s a great race. Everyone ran really well. It was hard. I can really feel it in my quads. I’m not out of breath though. I liked the course a lot.”
WRENTHAM — With her mom as coach, All-Scholastic outdoor track mile champion Liz Holmes is hitting the trails this season rather than the soccer field and the Foxboro sophomore left a lasting impression at the Frank Kelley Invitational Saturday with a first-place finish in the Division 2 race. “I thought she did a fantastic job today,” Foxboro coach Ellen Gallagher said. “It’s hard to coach her as her mother because you worry about her. She’s my daughter first and I kind of worry when she runs and there’s a lot of anxiety that comes along with any given race.” Last fall, Holmes played one junior varsity soccer game for Foxboro before being bumped to the varsity squad. Now she’s a varsity cross-country runner. “It never really occurred to me because she’s played soccer for six or seven years and she’s always been really good at soccer. So I frankly thought soccer was going to be her sport for high school,” Gallagher said.
In what is almost certainly the biggest weekend of results so far this fall, three meets dominated the XC scene on Saturday. For those looking South, Bishop Feehan's boys and girls squads took to Cary, NC for the Great American XC Festival. A little less South, Rhode Island hosted the Ocean State XC Invitational. Those looking to stay closer to home, Wrentham was the site of the Frank Kelly Invitational. A word about Frank Kelly, the patriarch of the MSTCA meet at Wrentham today. Coaches know Frank as the wise-cracking gentleman who hands out the packets and pins at the table at many Mass. XC meets. If you're lucky, he might challenge you to an arm wrestling match, as he did John Monz today. If you're unlucky, you might take him up on it. Frank is a true gentleman of the sport, loves the kids involved, and has been involved in it since anyone can remember. Kudos to the MSTCA for giving Frank his due and naming this meet after him. Even more kudos to whoever designed the program, complete with a silhouette of Frank with his patented safari hat and walking stick. What a legend!
Here is the first of many list coming this season from Milesplitmass. The current Wrentham course has been run since 2010. At this time we are only including Invitationals until we have exact data on League Championships. Hopefully this list is exact, but if you see anything missing please call it to our attention. We always want to keep our stats as accurate as possible. The great part of a newer course is that we get an updated list automatically generated for us as the meets results are entered. This list will change dramatically this year because it is the home of both the MSTCA Meets and MIAA this season. The girls list will arrive before Saturday as we are updateing the database.