Girls’ cross country places first in CMASS competition, moves onto state finals


Submitted Patrick Galvin

The Girls’ Cross Country team poses for a photo on Oct. 29, after they won the Central MA district championship meet.

Ava Arcona, Assistant News Editor

The girls’ cross country team earned the title of Central Massachusetts District E champions after their victory at the league-wide meet on Oct. 29 at the Gardner Municipal Golf Course.

The top ten athletes from ARHS competed in the meet, scoring a total of 48 points and placing them first out of the twelve schools present. Scores are calculated by adding the numerical values of the top five places held by one school. Junior Brigid Purcell earned second place out of 76 total athletes, with junior Olivia Guckian in fourth. 

This year’s team was led by senior captains Ada Gebauer, Jula Utzschneider, Olivia Vitorino and Elly Beauchesne. Gebauer, the only senior in attendance at the league meet, placed tenth. Throughout the season, she believes their positive team dynamic has led them to success.

“Our team cohesion is definitely a lot better than it’s been in the past,” Gebauer said. “Everyone supports each other and knows what everyone else is going through. You show up to practice, and everyone is working hard.”

The team completed the regular season with a record of 3-0-2 and is now moving onto the state final, on Nov. 11, where they will compete against other teams in their division.  While Gebauer has noticed a great effort from every athlete, some have gone the extra mile to improve over the course of the season.

“Brigid Purcell is starting to shine through a lot, same with [junior] Sheila [Purcell], her twin,”  Gebauer said. “They’re both ‘PR’ing by [almost] a minute and working really hard to get up there.”

Although Gebauer will not compete in the state finals due to an injury, she plans on attending as a spectator. She believes that supporting each other and acting as a team, both on and off the course, is the most important aspect of an individual sport.

“Everybody is putting themselves through a level of pain,” Gebauer said. “You work hard through that pain together, and that makes you closer.”