On Friday, November 2, the Winsor Cross Country team traveled to Carlisle's Great Brook Farm to defend their Eastern Independent League title and returned victorious, earning their 15th (and 4th straight) EIL title!
Undefeated in EIL races for the entire 2018 season, the team was optimistic and excited but still knew their competition would fight for every point. When the gun went off, Winsor was immediately in a strong position with seven runners clearly in the top 25 of the field.
Rookie Meg Madison '24 battled the defending champion for the entire race with the Portsmouth Abbey No. 1 athlete eventually pulling ahead. Nevertheless, Meg was rewarded with a 2nd place and a sparkling 18:44 which stands as the fastest time in Winsor history!
Tri-captain Clare Quinn '19 moved up the entire race, passing the Bancroft No. 1 in the final half mile to give Winsor a 2-3 punch that boded very well for the team race. This was Clare's first top-7 finish at EILs for Winsor!
Less than a minute behind Clare, Winsor's "super pack" of Eve Lesburg '21, rookie Emeline Daly '24 and Zoe Lewis '22 shut down the scoring in 6-7-8. Eve and Zoe had worked as a duo for the entire race, gradually moving up with Emeline chasing behind. Emeline unleashed her signature kick with roughly 1000 to go and closed so that all three Wildcats finished within five seconds of each other.
Winsor's scoring was done at 26, and lowered to 23 as the Bancroft No. 1 didn't score (incomplete team). After the top 5, Winsor continued to show remarkable strength and depth: tri-captain Annie Kaplan '19 was 13th and rookie Avery Gardner '21 was 15th, giving Winsor an automatic seven All-Leagues! Rookie Anjali Palepu '21 and Ashley Browne '21worked as a duo the entire race, moving up a good 20 spots in the second half to eventually finish 18th and 20th. Winsor put nine runners in the top 20 in a field of 103 athletes.
Rounding out the "JV scoring" was tri-captain Chloe Duval '19 (47th/4th JV), rookie Isabella Sibble '20 (52nd/6th JV) and Lillian Gibson '21 (54th/8th JV). Though there's no official JV score at EILs (at NEPSTA there will be a separate JV race), Winsor scored just 21 points to take the JV as well. Additional Winsor runners included rookie Charlotte Jones '24 in 73rd, Nicole Hwang '23 in 79th and Raina Sohur '23in 94th.
Congratulations to all athletes and coaches, and thank you to the many parents, family, friends and Winsor faculty/staff who came out to cheer on the team! Winsor will close out the season at NEPSTA at Avon Old Farms on Saturday, November 10, and and will race in the D1 race after being moved up a division by NEPSTA.
1. Winsor (23)
2. NCDS (82)
3. Dana Hall (110)
4. Pingree (112)
5. Portsmouth Abbey (120)
6. Concord Academy (120)
7. Berwick (201)
8. Lexington Christian Academy (211)
9. Beaver (258)