If the Winthrop High School cross country teams are suffering from cases of bruised egos, head coach Warren MacPhail is more than ready to play the role of psychologist.
The Vikings havenâ€™t had a lot of success against their competitors in the Northeastern Conference, but MacPhail is confident that his team will not only fare much better as the season progresses but also acquit itself very well in the Division 4 State Meet, for the state meet provides the Vikings a chance to run against similarly sized schools.
For now, improvement is the name of the game, and the Vikings are making plenty of strides on that front.
On Monday, the boys and girls teams were defeated by Danvers by scores of 18-45 and 15-48. In the boys race, freshman Jake Connors continued to establish himself as a bona fide varsity performer by finishing third overall, in 18:10. â€œHe continues to run very well against the best runners in the NEC,â€ MacPhail said. â€œAll of our young runners are continuing to improve.â€
Nick Floyd (20:54), Brian Manning (21:26) and Jerry Driscoll (22:04) finished 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively, while Mario Mazzone (24:16) and Vinnie LoConte (25:27) crossed the finish line in 16th and 17th place.
The girls team showed across-the-board improvement, MacPhail said. Jordan Griffiths was Winthropâ€™s top finisher, as she came in sixth place, at 21:59. Kaitlyn Hersey finished ninth, at 23:00.
Julia Wallace (12th, 24:30), MacKaela McCarthy(14th, 25:40). Maria Rago (15th, 25:46), Jessica Nappi (16th, 27:01), Maria Mazzone (19th, 27:39) and Lilly Rubitsky (20th, 28:25) rounded out Winthropâ€™s top eight.
The Vikings are back in action Tuesday vs. Marblehead.