WARWICK — The short-handed Westerly High girls established many personal bests at the 31st annual Brown University Northeast High School Cross Country Invitational at Goddard Park on Saturday.
Westerly fielded the requisite five runners only for the Division 1 varsity race, but not in the junior varsity or freshman races. Prior injuries and scheduling conflicts left the team somewhat depleted.
Eight of the 12 Bulldogs that did run recorded career bests.
“Most of the girls did their best,” Westerly coach Mary Janiszewski said. “The whole day was a lot of fun. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Westerly placed 15th of the 28 teams that scored in the Division 1 varsity race. Sarah Garvey led the Bulldogs placing 41st with a career-best time of 20 minutes, 43.7 seconds on the 3.1 mile course. Maddy McLaughlin ran 52nd in 21:01.2.
Carlie Sisco was 76th with a time of 21:42.2. Serenity Chen placed 93rd in a career-best 22:13.8. Catherine Labriola was 126th in 22:55.9.
Team leader Jackie Burr did not run and has not since the team’s first dual meet on Sept. 16. She continues to have pain in her leg and her return for the short remainder of the cross country season seems uncertain at best.
“An MRI was inconclusive. She and others (doctor, physical therapist, parents) haven’t been able to figure out why. They have a fear of making it worse and she will not run until they rule out everything,” Janiszewski said.
“She is taking the conservative route but is keeping herself fit. Everybody is leaning on the side of caution.
“It’s very frustrating for her. She doesn’t want to give up three seasons (including indoor and outdoor track) for one. It’s sad for us, but better for her to take care of her body. The season (cross country) is practically over, but her career is only beginning.”
Elizabeth Orr led three teammates in the 3.1-mile Division 1 JV race by placing 37th of 136 runners, with a time of 23:33.3.Kyra McCormick (55th, 24:39.6) and Catherine Montalto (73rd, 25:41.7) each ran career-bests.
All four Bulldogs ran personal-bests in the 2-mile freshman race. Skyla Strickland was 79th of 99 runners with a time of 21:23.9. Her other three teammates were Caeles Garvey (85th, 22:11.9), Angela Tafone (90th, 23:54.2) and Emily Montalto (95th, 25:23.1).
The Westerly freshmen will compete Monday in the state freshman meet, starting at 4 p.m. at Burrillville High.
The team next competes at the Class B and JV state meets starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Ponaganset High.