Boston Middle School Cross Country Championships

Contact Info:
T.K. Skenderian (Communications Director)
Boston Athletic Association
185 Dartmouth Street, 6th Floor
Boston MA 02116
e-mail:tk@baa.org
20 OCT 2016
Seventeen schools compete at 2016 Boston Middle School Cross Country Championships in Franklin Park
BOSTON - On a picture-perfect day for cross country, seventeen schools and more than 300 youth student-athletes from the City of Boston competed at today's 20th annual Boston Middle School Cross Country Championships, hosted by the Boston Athletic Association with adidas at Franklin Park. The Championships are held with the support of the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Parks & Recreation Department.

Boys and Girls Championship Races covering 1200 meters were held in iconic Franklin Park, with a co-ed relay capping off the day's festivities. Representing the schools they attend, competitors ran around the Playstead field and through Franklin Park's signature cross country finish line.

The Boys Championship was a near photo-finish, decided in the final steps. Perry's Zachary Mitchell narrowly defeated Mildred Ave.'s Joshua Baez, 4:00.67 to 4:00.85, both sprinting all the way through the finish. After taking the final turn side-by-side, Mitchell and Baez stormed down the straightaway with spectators cheering on both sides of the course. Seasoned veterans of the Boston Middle School Cross Country Championships, Mitchell and Baez's performances have steadily improved over the years: in 2014 Mitchell placed 22nd (4:17.15) while a year ago Baez finished 9th (4:08.51). Each narrowly missed cracking the four-minute mark en route to their podium finishes.

With notable alum and 2012 Olympian Ruben Sanca on hand to support his alma matter, O'Bryant took home the boys team title with 62 points. Scoring seven athletes in the top 30, O'Bryant ran away with the team trophy. Edison and Prescott battled it out for second, with Edison gaining a three-point edge 94 to 97.

After finishing fifth last year, O'Bryant's Courtney Lambright returned to Franklin Park and ran away with the girls title. Her winning time of 4:38.50 gave her a 17-second victory over Kilmer's Emer Ryan (second in 4:56.12). Lambright and Ryan were the only girls to break the five-minute barrier. The race for third place was very close as well, with Prescott's Laurel Nyhan (5:08.01) finishing just ahead of Kate Mendez Richard (Mildred Ave., 5:09.37) and Anaylee Barrett (O'Bryant, 5:09.90).

O'Bryant completed the clean sweep of the team titles, earning a triumphant win in the women's competition with a low score of 28 points. Each of O'Bryant's top five scoring runners finished in the top ten, placing 1-5-6-7-9. Haley (71 points), Edison (81), Prescott (99), and Midred Ave. (119) rounded out the top five girls teams.

In the two-section final of the Co-Ed Relay - consisting of teams of two boys and two girls - Edison came away with the title in a thrilling finish over O'Bryant. Six-tenths of a second separated the pair, with Edison running 1:46.2 and O'Bryant finishing in 1:46.8. Mildred Ave., the winner of the first section, placed third overall in 1:48.4.

Many special guests attended the Championships, including event record holder and current Boston High School cross country runner Jovan Talavera, as well as 2012 Olympian Sanca, and B.A.A. High Performance team members Katie Matthews and Juliet Bottorff. Members of Boston high school cross country teams spoke with students on the positive benefits gained from running and healthy lifestyles.

Also in attendance were Barbara Hamilton of Boston Parks & Recreation; Avery Esdaile, Boston Public Schools Athletic Director; Thaddeus Miles, Founder of HoodFit; Makeeba McCreary, Chief of Staff Boston Public Schools; Hatim Jean Louis, Head Coach, City of Boston Cross Country; and Mike Devlin of Boston Parks & Recreation.

Students in grades five through eight competed in these championships, being held for the 20th annual year. Full results can be found at CoolRunning.com.

Boston City Council President Bill Linehan and legendary U.S. distance coach Bill Squires founded the meet in the Fall of 1996, and four teams competed indoors at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center due to inclement weather. In Autumn 1997, the B.A.A. and adidas became involved with the program. Every participant competing in the Boston Middle School Cross Country Championships received a bib number, adidas shirt, and traditional B.A.A. unicorn medal.
B.A.A. Moment

Boston Middle School Cross Country Championships

On a picture-perfect day for cross country, seventeen schools and more than 300 youth student-athletes from the City of Boston competed at today's 20th annual Boston Middle School Cross Country Championships, hosted by the Boston Athletic Association with adidas at Franklin Park. The Championships are held with the support of the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Parks & Recreation Department.

Photo Credit: