The Malden High School girls cross country team triumphantly defended their GBL title again this season. This year’s championship marks the fifth year in a row that the girls have won the GBL title. It is also the fifth year in a row they have accomplished that feat without losing a single one of their meets. This means that over the last five years the girl’s have had a record of 25-0, which is a milestone achievement for them. The victories however are not the only thing that reflects the girls’ talent and hard work, it is the margin of it that illustrates the dominance they have had in the league over the last few years.
The girls cruised their way to another GBL title while having to deal with the injuries of some of their key runners. Many vital runners were out of action at some point during the season. One huge blow to the team this season was the injury that forced the team’s star sophomore, Allie Russo, to be sidelined for the homestretch of the season.
According to MHS English teacher and head coach David Londino, as well as the rest of the team, Russo was the one of the best additions to the team this season and overall one of the best runners on the team. Despite this drawback, the team was unfazed by the challenge and continued their winning streak. In order for this to happen though, the team needed it’s other runners to step up in Russo’s absence. A clear example of this instance was during the girls’ meet against Everett where junior Yining Mao stepped up and placed first in a race for the first time in her high school cross country career. Huge performances like this was needed out of other runners throughout the season in order to insure that the injuries did not severely affect the team’s overall performance.
Although winning the GBL championship is huge accomplishment for the girls, it was expected at the start of the season. This type of performance from the girls is expected by Londino because he has complete faith in his team. Senior Gillian Wilcox explained that “last year’s performance in at states gave [them] the drive and motivation for this year."
While the team’s season ended after States, MHS is proud of the team and is excited for cross country next year.