Cross Country Teams Push Their Way to GBL

Coming off a solid season, the Malden High Cross Country Team moved into the Greater Boston League (GBL) meet on Friday, October 28th. Competing against Somerville, Medford, Lynn English, Lynn Classical, Chelsea, Everett, and Revere. The boys’ team reached third place while the girls’ team achieved sixth.

Juniors Ivana Marinkovic and Slade Harding both managed to place in the top 10 in their groups at eighth and fourth respectively. With a new personal record of 14:55 minutes around the 2.8-mile course in MacDonald Park in Medford. Harding also qualified for the State Tournament which will be held on November 11 at the Gardner Golf Course.

The course, which is shorter and more flat than the standard high school route, garnered mixed feelings from the team. Senior Captain Emma Spignese-Smolinsky described the course as, “pretty easy in relation to the other courses,” which she liked. However, Senior Captain Rolando Mejia disliked the course saying it was too paved, and that he would have preferred it to have more hills. “It’s not cross country, it’s just running,” he stated.

From left to right: senior captains Emma Spignese-Smolinsky and Rolando Meija.

Leading up to the races, the Malden team could be seen joking around, having fun, and listening to music. This fun atmosphere was highlighted by Mejia, “The environment is just so happy. It’s so nice.”

As the races began, expectations and hopes were high. In the end, many runners performed well and ran new personal bests. Coach Michael Nicholson described the meet as “amazing”, citing the top three finish for the boys’ team and Marinkovic and Harding’s top 10 finishes. It was a “great day,” he added.

For all of the senior runners, this meet was the last of their high school career. Coach Sean Weldon, who has coached the team for five years now, is sad to see so many members of the team go especially after knowing some of them since seventh grade at Beebe. “It’s crazy,” he said while recalling all of the memories he has with the team.

Looking forward to next year, the team holds high expectations with many underclassmen expecting to return to the sport again in their next season. With so many promising young athletes, Malden High cannot wait to see how they do next year.

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