Shrewsbury Boys Cross Country dominates District Championship meet

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Algonquin finishes in second place

 

 The Shrewsbury Boys Cross Country team poses for a photo after winning their District Championship. From left to right are Coach Jim Smith, Jonathan Shan, Captain James Riley, Niko Manolakos, “Mrs. Coach,” Captain and race winner Dennis McNamara, Declan Daley, Yuta Sasaki, Alex Kaneko, assistant XC coach Dan Mortimer and alumnus Dan Wentworth.
The Shrewsbury Boys Cross Country team poses for a photo after winning their District Championship. From left to right are Coach Jim Smith, Jonathan Shan, Captain James Riley, Niko Manolakos, “Mrs. Coach,” Captain and race winner Dennis McNamara, Declan Daley, Yuta Sasaki, Alex Kaneko, assistant XC coach Dan Mortimer and alumnus Dan Wentworth.
(Photo/submitted)

By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor

SHREWSBURY – The Shrewsbury Boys Cross Country team recently won its District Championship at the Gardner Golf Course. 

The win, a week after the Colonials won their league title, marks the first such district championship in program history.

“My boys came ready to race hard and race they did,” wrote coach Jim Smith in an email to the Community Advocate.

Shrewsbury runners dominated the top finishing positions, finishing in first, second, eighth, ninth and 17th place. Displacement runners finished 24th and 26th as the team amassed a total score of just 34 points.

The defending champion Algonquin squad finished as a distant runner up with 80 points. Wachusett came in third place with 98 points while Westborough posted 103. 

Shrewsbury co-captain Dennis McNamara finished in first place individually in the race with a time of 17:04. Co-captain James Riley then finished just four seconds behind McNamara. Shrewsbury’s Jonathan Shan finished in eighth place in 17:37 while Niko Manolakos finished in 17:59.  

“Both of these boys have been getting faster and faster during the year,” Smith said of Shan and Manolakos.  

Declan Daley was Shrewsbury’s fifth runner to finish. Yuta Sasaki and Alex Kaneko ran as displacement runners, with the goal of pushing opponent players further down in the finishing order to drive up their team’s overall scores.

“This win was the biggest I have ever experienced at Shrewsbury as the boys cross country coach,” Smith said. “…The boys were very excited and even if we had not won, I would have to say that these young men have been terrific to coach.” 

With momentum from this district championship, the Colonials will next lace up on Saturday, Nov. 13 for the state qualifier meet. 

“We are excited about that challenge which will be our toughest this season thus far,” Smith said. “We will come prepared to advance to the All-State XC Meet on Nov 20th.”

While the Boys team won the championship, the Shrewsbury High School Girls Cross Country team also raced at districts, last week. 

They placed fourth overall with “outstanding performances” by Paige Ulime, Caitlin Bird, Abby Person, Asthma Mahurkar, and Kate Vona according to Smith.