Hopedale Girls XC Picks Up First League Title Since 2015

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
December, 2018
Article Body: 

While the Hopedale boys cross country team has been able to run through the Dual Valley Conference with relative ease over the past few years the girls squad has not been as successful. Coach Tim Maguire is hoping that things will change after the season the female Blue Raiders have had this past season, where the team picked up their first league title since 2015. Prior to that the girls cross country team had not raised a banner since 1998.
Finishing the season 4-1 and entering the Dual Valley Championship meet Maguire felt good about his team.
“I had anticipated Douglas to be our closest rival in the meet, but you always have to look out for Sutton,” the Coach said.
And he was right. Douglas finished a distant third with 60 points, while Hopedale was able to hold off Sutton at the finish line 47-49. Leading the way for the Blue Riders to their first league championship in three years were captains Isabelle Doran, who finished the race with a time of 6:15.7 good for second place. Sophomore Katelynn Brunt took sixth place as she crossed the finish line with a time of 6:28.7. Running behind the Hopedale captains was eighth grader Alyssa Piezo, who finished the race in eleventh place with a time of 7:00.1.
“Izzy finished right where I expected her to finish and Katelyn had a good performance as well, beating a girl who had beat her earlier in the year,” Maguire said. “The rest of our runners where pretty close in terms of times.”
Sophomore Emelie Frost (15th with a time of 7:31), eighth grader Sejal Abraham (22nd / 7:57) and freshman Irene Erickson (23rd / 8:04) rounded out the Blue Raiders small but powerful team. Frost was a soccer player until Brunt convinced her to leave and join the cross country team instead of riding the bench.
“Emelie definitely helped this team a lot,” Maguire said. “Thinking back to our first week of practice it was a difficult time, we only had six runners the smallest team we’ve had by far.”
In addition to losing a couple of senior runners who moved on from high school and into college, Hopedale saw a bunch of seventh graders who were with the team last year decide not to come out for the squad this fall. Maguire also had no new seventh graders try out for the team, leaving the Blue Raiders with only the six runners.
Having put forth a valiant season with only a small amount of athletes it is safe to say Hopedale should be able to once again compete for the Dual Valley Championship next fall as the team will only be losing Doran from its roster.
“Going forward we should have all of our younger runners returning and they should be here for two to three years,” he coach said. Losing Izzy, our biggest piece, will be tough but our future looks bright.”
Doran has been a solid foundation for the cross country team since the eighth grade where she always seemed to be in the top three runners for Hopedale. As a sophomore she secured the team’s number one status and held onto that until her final days at Hopedale.
Although Doran will be missed, Maguire and his team still believe that they will competitive in the league for years to come.