OR cross country: Chasing the South Coast Conference championship

Sep 21, 2021

The Old Rochester boys and girls cross country teams are both young, but they’re preparing to take on the South Coast Conference.

“I would hope that we win both the season and the conference meet,” girls captain Ally Ward said.

Both teams handily beat Apponequet at a meet in Washburn Park on Sept. 21. The boys scored 24 points to Apponequett’s 35, and the girls nearly swept their race, scoring 16 points to Apponequett’s 55.

Cross country meets are won by the lowest-scoring team. The top five runners on each team are assigned points equal to their place in the race. A team’s sixth and seventh runners’ place in the race is used to displace, or increase, the points scored by other teams’ top five runners, as well as break ties.

“Going into this meet I was telling the boys we have displace their top three,” boys captain Matthew Curry said.

And displace they did. Each of the top three OR boys runners, with Tyler Young winning the 5k race overall in 18:02, beat the top three runners from Apponequet.

Curry said after the race he’s hopeful for the South Coast Conference Championship at the end of the season.

The OR girls had the race’s first overall finisher too, in Julia Sheridan. She finished with a time of 21:07. A close second was Sheridan’s teammate Hanna Whalley, who crossed the line in 21:17.

“I think it’s a promising season,” Ward said. “I think we improved a lot from our race two weeks ago.”

Coach Cindy Tilden the home meet at Washburn was a nice change of pace after a hilly race in New Bedford to start off the season.

“They got to see a little more of what they had running-wise,” she said.

After losing last year’s cross country season to covid, with no “Fall II” season run in the spring, Tilden said the young team is doing a little rebuilding this year.

“There’s kids that have not run cross country in a year and some that have never done it,” she said.

Still, the coach agreed with both of her captains on goals for the season.

“Obviously it’s to win as many meets as you can,” Tilden said, and perform well at the league championships.