For all of the seniors on the cross country team, Oct. 31, 2015 was their final GBL race for cross country that they would run in high school. Senior captain Jonathan Solomon explained that “[he] was in a mixed mood before the meet, because although [he was] excited about the meet, [he knew] it [was his] last one.” Solomon added, “It [was] so weird because [he felt he was] a freshman a [short time] ago and now [he was] running his last GBL race.” This was the same case for many of the seniors on both the girls and boys cross country team. However, all of them wanted to go out on a high note, as they performed to the best of their abilities.

Senior Jonathan
Senior Jonathan Solomon running alongside a Somerville runner with head Coach David Londino cheering him on. Photo by Abhishek Rana.

Head coach and English teacher David Londino, described that he wished his team to be in a “game time” mindset before the race commenced. Londino went on to say that [the upperclassmen] have to show the younger members of the team why [they] are varsity,” during a team huddle with the older members of varsity. He reminded them to “remember that how [they] perform does not directly reflect the team’s ability.” The boys and the girls were seemingly inspired by what Coach Londino said before the meet, as many of the individuals ran the best time they had all season.

In the end Malden had a well deserved victory. Junior Yining Mao confessed that “[she] did not expect the rest of the GBL teams to perform as well as they did.” Mao added that “while the rest of the teams performed the best they had all season, so did [Malden], stepping up to the challenge and winning a tough race that [they] are not used to having against GBL opponents.”  Londino said how even though “[the competition] was a tight [MHS] showed why [they] are GBL champions,” after the meet.

Photo by Abhishek Rana.
Sophomore Temesgan Tsige and senior Steven Ao running down the course with Londino giving them encouragement. Photo by Abhishek Rana.

Certainly a big part of this tight victory were the seniors’ contributions, who performed as well as they had hoped in their final GBL meet. This was especially true concerning Solomon, who raced his best personal record time for the first and the second mile. Solomon’s fastest mile before that meet was only five minutes and fifteen seconds, but during the GBL championship his one mile time improved immensely and was only four minutes and fifty three seconds. In addition, his two mile time was only ten minutes and thirty six seconds.

Solomon was not the only senior who performed exceptionally, as fellow senior Gillian Wilcox, who ran the race in only eighteen minutes and forty six seconds, also had stepped up.“The competition in the GBL has improved drastically in the last two years, [as] it is forcing [them] to run the hard way and by doing that it is making [them] a much better team,”expressed Londino.

After the win, the cross country team earned the GBL title for the fifth consecutive year, continuing their dominance in the league. Not only that, but the girls went undefeated for a fifth consecutive year and the boys for a second consecutive year. However, this task has become noticeably more difficult each year based on the improved competition as this year’s GBL championship competitors proved.        

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