MVC Girls Cross Country: Hillies set for battle among powers

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Girls Cross Country

OVERVIEW: Haverhill returns its entire top seven from a 9-1 squad that finished fourth in the Division 1 All-State Meet, but coach Mike Maguire is hardly expecting a cakewalk through the league.

"The MVC as a whole will be the strongest and deepest it's been since the mid-1990s," said Maguire.

Defending regular season champ Chelmsford returns six of its top seven runners and will be strong again, Billerica looks loaded and both Tewksbury and Lowell boast formidable squads.


2007 record: 5-5

Returning runners: Colleen Shannon, Sr.; Shannon Cooney, Sr.; Cassie Huang, Sr.; Emily DeLacoste, Sr.; Maura Fitzgerald, Sr.; Alex Centrella, Sr.

Newcomers: Jessica Salley, Soph.; Rae Bronenkant, Soph.; Hannah Chiodo, Soph.; Leah Totten, Soph.; Rebecca Long, Soph.; Kathleen McGinty, Frosh.

Candidates in all grades: 37

Captains: Shannon Cooney, Cassie Huang

Assistants: Russ Wrigley, Brenda Clark-Warne

Opener: at Clipper Relays Sept. 6

Odds and ends: Andover slipped to 5-5 last year after finishing 7-3 in 2006, but injuries were the main culprit. Even top runner and graduated Casey Harrison was not completely healthy. ... Colleen Shannon's return is huge. She boasts a blazing 2:13.79 800 meters to her credit, which is the second fastest time ever by an area schoolgirl.

Coach Leo Lafond (21st year): "We are a young team that will have to develop some depth. Having Colleen Shannon, who did not run last year, and Shannon Cooney (out all year with a knee injury) will make a big difference. Jess Salley has looked good so far and appears ready to step out."


Central Catholic

2007 record: 7-3

Top returning runners: Jess Barbone, Sr.; Lindsay Fague, Sr.; Allison Hillner, Jr.; Steph Metayer, Sr.; Beverly Wang, Soph.; Corinne Beattie, Soph.; Shannon Sullivan, Soph.; Amy Wisnewski, Soph; Christine Schaeffer, Jr.; Molly Rokosz, Jr.; Jess Morse, Jr.

Promising newcomers: Molly Adamopoulos, Soph.; Elena Messina, Frosh.; Sarah Blanchette, Frosh.

Candidates in all grades: 26

Captains: Steph Metayer, Lindsay Fague

Assistants: Diana Meyer

Opener: Hosts Billerica Sept. 10

Odds and ends: After finishing 6-4 in 2006, the Raiders improved to 7-3 last year. ... One of the newcomers fighting for a spot is Molly Adamopoulos, daughter of football coach Chuck Adamopoulos. ... Top returnee Allison Hillner was on the lacrosse team last spring. ... Former coach Amy Vander Els is in her second year teaching in Italy.

Coach Colette Madore (2nd year): "I think we'll have a strong top five with Allie (Hillner), Steph (Metayer), Beverly Wang, Lindsay Fague and Christine Schaeffer all being back. After that, we have a lot of competition. I think it adds up to a good season."


2007 record: 9-1, 4th in Div. 1 All-State meet

Top returning runners: Alicia Fannon, Sr.; Colleen Garvey, Sr.; Catherine Duffty, Sr.; Christine McNaughton, Jr.; Mary Fullerton, Jr.; Beth Fullerton, Jr.; Devin Tatro, Jr.; Corinne Clifford, Jr.; Kelsey Garvey, Jr.; Julie Solimine, Soph.; Rachel Lovely, Sr.; Jessica Archambault, Sr.

Promising newcomers: Bridget Twomey, Frosh.; Jillian Meserve, Frosh.; Samantha Kelleher, Frosh.; Alexis Janackas, Soph.

Candidates in all grades: 22

Captains: Colleen Garvey, Alicia Fannon

Assistants: Courtney Kelley, Meg Shanahan

Opener: at Clipper Relays Sept. 6

Odds and ends: Although Haverhill lost its first meet in four years last year, to Chelmsford, the Hillies rebounded to win the MVC conference meet. They also finished first in the Catholic Memorial meet and third at the Division 1 Eastern Mass. meet. ... Devin Tatro finished first in a summer triathlon and Alicia Fannon competed on a record relay team this summer for Lynx Elite. ... Christine McNaughton is coming off a superb sophomore season in both cross country and track. She, Julie Solimine and Beth Fullerton were Eagle-Tribune All-Stars with Solimine finishing 15th at the Division 1 All-State meet, pacing Haverhill to fourth.

Coach Mike Maguire (17th year, 132-23-1): "We hope to build on the success of last year and do our best running when it matters the most at the end of October and November. The girls have done a good job preparing themselves for the upcoming season."



2007 record: 2-8

Returning runners: Kim Pham, Jr.; Maciel Frias, Sr.; Giselle Munoz, Jr.; Keyla Rodriguez, Soph.

Promising newcomers: Shannon Sanchez, Soph.; Alyssa Moranta, Frosh.; Dominica Fermin, Frosh.

Candidates in all grades: 7

Captains: Giselle Munoz

Assistants: Angel Pabon

Opener: Hosts Lowell Sept. 10

Odds and ends: In 2007, Lawrence won two meets for the second straight year. ... Although there were only seven runners training in the preseason, that's two more than last year and coach Rick Parthum is confident he will pick up more in the first few days of school. ... Giselle Munoz, the Lancers' top 400 runner last spring, is the top returnee, followed by Kim Pham and Keyla Rodriguez. Pham is a fine pole vaulter, finishing fifth at the EMass Division 1 meet at 8-6.

Coach Rick Parthum (3rd year): "I think we'll be solid with our top three (Munoz, Pham and Rodriguez), but it's a question of getting the others up close to them."



2007 record: 2-8

Returning starters (4): Anne Bajor, Sr.; Bridget Dunn, Sr.; Jill Baillargeon, Sr.; Brystal Vazquez, Sr.; Brooke Baldassari, Soph.; April Townsend, Soph.; Heather Trepanier, Soph.; Nicole Hamblet, Jr.

Promising newcomers: Kelsie Brien, Jr.; Caroline Kubiszewski, Jr.; Jacklyn Kendall, Soph.; Katisha Bellegarde, Frosh.; Adriana Diaz, Frosh.; Petty Kim, Frosh.; Nicki Tran, Frosh.; Katelyn Tully, Frosh.

Candidates in all grades: 18

Captains: Anne Bajor, Jill Baillargeon

Assistants: Scott Ouellet, Kevin Alliette

Opener: at Clipper Relays, Sept. 6

Odds and ends: The Rangers, who slipped to 2-8 last year after finishing 5-6 the year before, are starting with eight more runners than last year, but coach Bill James is still hoping to get more girls out. ... Anne Bajor is a returning captain and should have a good season if she can avoid the injury bug that has plagued her. ... Jill Baillargeon put in some heavy training over the summer and should be improved.

Coach Bill James (10th year): "If we can stay healthy, I think we'll be better than last year, but the league is so tough it's hard to say how many we can win."


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