2008-09-18 / News

High school cross country teams kick off their season

By Stephanie Heelan Cotsonas

Teammates Haley Stamp, left, and Caitlin Downing race to the finish line in Monday's girls' cross country meet. Photo by Stephanie Cotsonas Teammates Haley Stamp, left, and Caitlin Downing race to the finish line in Monday's girls' cross country meet. Photo by Stephanie Cotsonas Under a beautiful, but unseasonably warm, September sky, the North Kingstown High School girls' and boys' cross country teams ran a tough course Monday at St. Georges' in Newport against Prout and Chariho.

"This is the most dreaded course of the season. It is not a ton of hills, but three really big hills," Junior Caitlin Downing said.

The Lady Skippers easily dominated their second dual meet of the season with a perfect score in the 3.1-mile race through the St. George's campus. Downing was the top finisher from Jamestown with a time of 24:42. Other islanders who competed on Monday were juniors Emily Lester and Nicole Ethier.

In her first season running for North, sophomore Lauren Mc- Donough had a strong finish, for which she is known. McDonough uses the cross country season to get in shape for skiing in the winter months. "Running gets me in shape for skiing, which I love. I like practicing and being part of a team with my friends from school," she said.

Sophomore Katie Matley and freshman Alicia Ruscito are members of the team but did not compete in Monday's meet.

Head Coach Jen Chabot was happy with the performances. "This is a great group of kids. They are dedicated, they do what they are told, they stick together, and they look out for each other. You can't ask for more than that," she said.

The boys' team easily beat Prout, but lost to Chariho in what Head Coach Paul Tetreault described as a challenging meet. "The race was what we expected with what Chariho brings to the table. It was going to be a tough meet but we were up for the challenge and I knew we could beat Prout if the guys were consistent," he said,

Tetreault said he was pleased with North's performance. He said they are a fairly young team with only one senior on varsity, compared to Chariho, who are a very seasoned team. "They are one of the better teams in the state whose goal is to win the state championship." Tetreault said. "Our goal against Chariho was to get as close as we could to them. This was a good meet to give the guys some experience competing, not just racing."

Islander Jacob Wigton is the most senior member of the team from Jamestown and Tetreault describes the junior as, "A good kid who is only getting better and better at running."

Sophomore Dan Hansen was the top Jamestown finisher in Monday's meet, finishing in 28th place out of 80 runners. Sophomores Casey Brown and Dylan Vogel, and freshmen Josh Gebara and Dan Gorelick round out the Jamestown presence on the team.

Tetreault is looking forward to the rest of the season. "We are having some growing pains and are taking our lumps but we will continue to improve and we should be looking good by the end of the season," he said.

Both teams will be running in the CVS Downtown 5K in Providence on Sunday.

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