Monomoy Runs Strong in Cross Country Meet Against Nantucket

By: Kat Szmit

Monomoy cross country had its first home meet on Tuesday, a spirited match between the Sharks and the Nantucket Whalers, with the Nantucket boys earning the win, and the Monomoy girls running to victory. KAT SZMIT PHOTO


HARWICH Ryder Robbins and Emma Mitchell shined in the Monomoy cross-country team’s first home meet of the season against Nantucket, with both posting personal best times in the outing.

“Ryder kicked it up pretty good,” said Monomoy head coach Don Bates. “And Emma had a good run.”

On the boys side, Nantucket proved the victor in the meet with six of the top 10 runners, but Monomoy’s runners still had a strong showing in a season plagued by challenged events and bad weather.

Tommy Graham was the first Shark runner to cross the finish line with a time of 18:32, followed by Robbins, who earned a personal best with his time of 18:41, cheered on as both teams were by a host of parents along the sidelines at the finish line.

“He’s only ninth grade,” said Bates, who noted that in a previous meet Robbins had a slow start that wasn’t in sync with his talent. “It was suggested that he go out aggressively and he did and followed that formula as best he could.”

For Robbins it was a positive, as well as a boost for his team.

Bates also felt that eighth grade runner Quinn Schuyler, who came in with a time of 21:43, had a strong showing, as did Dan Street, who finished at 21:24.

Among the top 10 along with Graham and Robbins was Jason Zou who placed ninth with his time of 20:37, while Aidan Melton came in 12th with his time of 21:41.

Monomoy’s girls earned the win against the Whalers, with the Sharks taking second, third, fourth and fifth, as well as ninth and 10th in the run.

Margo Dery came in second with her time of 23:07, followed by Caroline Davoc who posted a time of 23:37. Next was Mitchell with a personal best time of 25:01, who, along with Julie Rioux at 26:48, helped to clinch the victory for the Sharks.

In ninth place was Emily McIlvin at 28:17, followed by Abby Tyldesley in 10th at 28:35, and Miah Archambault in 11th place with her time of 28:53. Lily Ryan posted a strong time of 30:37, with Maddie Pitts coming in at 31:19.

“The girls weren’t happy with their times particularly, but the whole key is to get your top five in as quickly as you can,” Bates said. “So many times your whole race depends on the placing of your fourth and fifth. Emma had a good run, and Julie, who’s new, came right in with Emma. Then McIlvin, so five of the top nine will a lot of times do it.”

Bates said the 2017 team is a terrific group to work with and do well balancing themselves as student athletes. He is especially impressed with their manners, which translated into good sportsmanship as evidenced by Monomoy’s gathering together to cheer on Nantucket runners as they neared the finish line.

“These kids are almost unanimously the honor roll type, and they’re polite,” he said. “I’m just not used to kids saying ‘thank you’ after practice. They’re nice kids and they’re good around school. I’ve just got to get them to be faster.”

Bates has confidence in their times going down considerably in the coming weeks, and said their first meets were difficult due to confusing course patterns that saw runners get lost and coming up against a much larger and stronger Div. 1 D-Y team.

“It was hard to measure how the kids did,” Bates said.

The boys team is looking forward to the return of top runner Stephen Young, who has been out of the country but was expected to be back this week.

“He is going to pull along the rest of them,” said Bates. “Tommy is so used to trying to stay with Stephen. I think he felt he needed to win the race, but I’m never going to criticize him because he does the best he can in every race.”

Next up for the Sharks is their second home meet, this time against Sturgis East at 4 p.m. on Oct. 3, followed by a travel meet at Cape Cod Academy on Oct. 5.