Cross Country: Northampton scores sweep of Belchertown, Chicopee (PHOTOS)

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  • Eventual winner, Northampton senior Riley Cole, at center with sunglasses, rounds the first turn in the Blue Devils’ home win over Belchertown and Chicopee on Tuesday at the Community Gardens. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton senior Lily Shimpach finished first in 21:18 in the Blue Devils’ home win over Belchertown and Chicopee on Tuesday at the Community Gardens. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton sophomores Theodore King-Pollet and Davis Wheat lead all runners at the halfway mark of the Blue Devils' home win over Belchertown and Chicopee on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. King-Pollet place second, Wheat placed third and senior Riley Cole, far right, finished first. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton senior Lily Shimpach, center, smiling, heads off the start line in the Blue Devils' home win over Belchertown and Chicopee on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. Shimpach finished first with a time of 21:18. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton junior Norah Reade, left, and freshman Esme Marini-Rapoport finished second and third in the Blue Devils' sweep of the top seven spots in a meet against Belchertown and Chicopee in Northampton on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Belchertown's top finisher, senior Evan Harrington heads down the home stretch to place fourth in the Orioles' meet at Northampton on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Belchertown sophomore Cameron Ting, left, and Northampton freshman Frankie Adams-Sternal approach the finish in their cross country meet in Northampton on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Belchertown junior Molly Bail was the Orioles' top runner with a twelth place finish in their meet against Northampton and Chicopee on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Northampton. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton senior Lily Shimpach, center, smiling, heads off the start line in the Blue Devils' home win over Belchertown and Chicopee on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. Shimpach finished first with a time of 21:18. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Intern
Published: 9/21/2021 9:20:43 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Exiting the race trail and arising out of the horizon of the tree line appeared the victorious Northampton boys’ and girls’ cross country high school runners at the Community Gardens on Tuesday.

Both Northampton teams came away with confident sweeps. The Blue Devils were there to stay as they out-finished opponents Belchertown and Chicopee by a comfortable margin.

The girls’ team proved to be especially dominant. All of the top 10 finishers were from Northampton, as the team swept the first 12 spots, led by first-place finisher senior Lily Shimpach. Both team wins were via 15-50 margins.

Shimpach ended the day with a time of 21 minutes, 18 seconds, and her teammates weren’t too far behind. Runner-up Norah Reade finished in 22:16 and third-place finisher Esme Marini-Rapoport was just three seconds behind Reade (22:19).

Two freshmen also marked a spot in the first 10 finishers. Rookie Maeve O’Neil crossed in the sixth slot for a time of 23:10 while classmate Tess Geis-Benton finished seventh in 23:41.

Northampton girls head coach Linda Rowbotham said she knew that if her runners used their teamwork, good things would happen.

“The nature of this team is that their strength is teamwork. The seniors on this team do well with keeping the younger girls ready,” she said.

Seniors Shimpach, Emmaline Vitale, Amelia Ritt, Emma Ostiguy, Emily Molnar, Marini-Rapoport, Lana Johnson and Madi Freeman all contribute in ways that carry the team to greater heights and extend their expectations into the postseason.

With excellent performances from the girls team, the boys team did not shy away from grabbing the win. The impressive victory was followed by a prominent finisher, Riley Cole, who finished with a first-place time of 18 minutes, 8 seconds.

The top three finishers came from Northampton, which beat Chicopee (15-50) and Belchertown (19-39). Runner-up Theodore King-Pollet (18:10) and third-place finisher Davis Wheat (18:11) also ran well for the Devils.

Belchertown’s Evan Harrington came away with an impressive showing finishing in fourth with a time of 18:15. Teammate Trevor Adamson took sixth place overall, crossing in 18:31.

Northampton’s Calvin Cote-L’Heureux was fifth overall in 18:24.

Cole was confident providing his teammates with the fuel they needed to push ahead. The teammates close to him gave him the jolt he needed.

“Everyone was passing me going downhill, but I just stayed consistent with my pace and kept going,” Cole said.

Northampton boys coach Eric Pfalzgraf said he had no doubt that the team could get it done, especially with the outstanding performances Cole continues to post. It was a well-done effort that gave the Blue Devils a promising look for what’s ahead.

“We definitely have a lot of competition and we’re going to see them in our next couple of meets. So that’s where we’re looking toward,” Pfalzgraf said. “We have some time now and we’re going to use that time to ramp up and reset so we peak at the right time.”

Belchertown next faces off against Ludlow on Sept. 28 while Northampton goes the following week to race against Amherst on Oct. 5.

Girls cross country

Gateway 20, St. Mary’s 37 — Anya Niles cruised to a victory at Stanley Park, finishing the 3.1 miles in 23:08. The Gators captured four of the podium’s top five spots. Alexandra Henrichon was second (24:51), Sawyer Wilkinson fourth (26:34) and Lucy Pitoniak fifth (26:43). Kaitlyn Maynard rounded out Gateway’s scoring in 10th (30:30).

Frontier 15, Greenfield 50 - Abigail Howard led the Redhawks in a podium sweep. The junior crossed the line in 18:27.09 followed by Sylvie DiBartolomeo in second (18:31.7) and Leah Gump in third (18:42.9). Sadie Ross placed fifth (19:19.9) and Ayla Starr in sixth (19:43.08).

Amherst 20, Ludlow 42 — Sophia Tulik was first across the line for the Lions, but the Hurricanes finished No. 2 to No. 6 to claim the meet comfortably. Tamar Byl-Brann placed second (23:02), April Schilling third (23:03), Elizabeth Sawicki fourth (24:06), Amrita Rutter fifth (24:39) and Bevin Montgomery-Gehrt sixth (24:40).

Boys cross country

Frontier 27, Greenfield 28; Frontier 16, Smith Vocational 42; Greenfield 15, Smith Vocational 40 — Luke Howard set a blistering pace for the Redhawks, which swept two duals at home. He broke the tape in 15:55.88. Patrick Bodyen followed in second (16:02). Erich Brown finished sixth (16:50.63), Amory Maxey eighth (17:12.56) and Oliver Brown 11th (17:40.65).

Myles Chinappa posted the Vikings best finish in 10th (17:37.14).

Amherst 16, Ludlow 44 — Kyle Yanko was the first of four consecutive Hurricanes runners across the line in 18:46. David Pinero-Jacome took second (18:50), Ryan Yanko third (18:59) and Diego Lopez fourth (19:01). Spencer Waite took sixth (20:02).

Gateway 26, Palmer 30; Gateway 23, St. Mary’s 36 — Seventh grader Jackob Maynard earned his first varsity win for the Gators in 20:32.

Jesse Balboni, an eighth grader, was sixth in 24:58. Seventh grader Logan Hawley placed eighth (25:31). Connor Hourian was ninth (25:44) and Jeff Antonellis 10th (25:49).

Golf

Turners Falls 14½, Easthampton 9½ — Tanner Kmetz picket up a 4-0 win at the third position for the Eagles, while Connor Perreault won 3-1 at No. 4.

Amherst 12½, South Hadley 11½ — A 3-under-par 33 from Piet Hartman set the tone for the Hurricanes, as he swept all four points in his match at No. 1 to help Amherst edge South Hadley on Tuesday at The Orchards.

“Hartman’s was the best round in competition I have ever witnessed in my seven years as a coach,” Amherst coach Carl Vigeland offered. “(The Orchards) is a really hard course and he didn’t make a mistake, putted beautifully, and finished like a pro, many of whom he would have beaten.”

Ben Oates (43) and Nate Hawkins (49) combined to win six points for the ‘Canes.

South Hadley’s John Viola (46) won all four points in his match at No. 5, while Ben Gardiner took 2½ points after shooting 44 at No. 2.

Northampton 18, East Longmeadow 6 — Galen Fowles carded an even-par 35 to claim medalist honors for the Blue Devils and defeat Kyle Garvey-Hannah 3½-½ in the top position.

Northampton’s Reilly Fowles (37) bested Kyle Fisk 4-0 at No. 2.

At No. 4, Ben O’Connor beat Braedin Dobek 3-1. Jack Mattison Gulotta won 3½-½ at No. 5 over Cam Erickson. Camille Richmond closed out the match for the Blue Devils 3-1 at No. 6 over Alora Assad.




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