Freshman phenom Jessica Deal took first place as the Mt. Hope cross country team swept Tiverton and St. Mary Academy on Monday to finish with an 8-3 record, the best record in the team’s …
Freshman phenom Jessica Deal took first place as the Mt. Hope cross country team swept Tiverton and St. Mary Academy on Monday to finish with an 8-3 record, the best record in the team’s history according to head coach Susan Rancourt. Deal who ran the Tiverton course in 20 minutes and 30 seconds, went undefeated during the regular season. Last week she crushed all opponents in a meet against Barrington, Moses Brown and the Lincoln School at Bristol Town Beach. The freshman navigated the course in 19:17 and beat second place finisher, Kyle Keough of Barrington by 44 seconds. The Huskies are currently in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division and are waiting to learn if their record and times will qualify the team for states.
Lucy O’Brien placed third in Tiverton with a time of 22:52, Reyn Ferris placed fourth with a time of 23:00, Lily Dasilveira placed seventh at 24:42, Sonia Bradley placed eighth at 24:42, Ryan Coffey placed ninth at 24:42 and Analucia Romero placed eleventh at 28:20.
Deal first impressed Coach Rancourt at last year’s BWEF Food Truck 5K.
“She was so young and ran the race in a great time,” she said.
Deal showed up to practice and took the lead from day one. “From the first race, which she won handily, to every race thereafter, she has placed first,” said Coach Rancourt. “Jessica comes to each practice with such an engaged approach, she executes the workout with focus and determination.”
The addition of Deal helps the team immensely, she said. “It allows us to compete for those crucial middle points to team scoring and also puts the team in a great spot for states. We have a very strong team. I’m excited to see what they can do.”
Though the Huskies are not a large team, they are getting positive leadership from senior captains Claudia Green, Reyn Ferris and Sonia Bradley.
“We are really rebuilding after covid,” said Bradley. “We lost numbers last season, we have a small team, but we are building it back up. Team spirit is very high. Everyone is really getting close and it’s super fun.”
Ferris and O’Brien, a sophomore are consistently running courses around 22 minutes at the two and three spots for the Huskies.
“She’s really improving a lot, said Ferris of O’Brien. “Lucy had a great race against Portsmouth and St. Ray’s.” The Huskies beat both team’s on their home course at Bristol Town Beach two weeks ago. Ferris ran her best race ever during that meet. “I think I’m definitely improving,” she said. “Though I’ve stayed consistent over my career, but last week, I had a great race.”
Ferris was the only Husky to make states last season, this year Mt. Hope is looking forward to making it as a team. Their goal this season is to make it to the class meet without having to qualify. It is something that the Lady Huskies have never done.
“We’ve been strong,” said Ferris. “We’ll hopefully qualify.”
Green who was injured in gym class, is the team’s biggest cheerleader. Unfortunately she is out for the season after tearing a ligament in her foot.
“Hopefully I’ll be good for indoor track this winter,” she said.
The future is bright for Huskies young runners
The Mt. Hope boys fell to Barrington 15-50 and Moses Brown 18-39 dropping their record to 2-5 in the Metropolitan Division. But Huskies head coach Neale Ross said that he’s very excited about the team.
“We have a young team. We have fourteen freshmen and three upper class men. So we have a really strong, solid base for our team right now and we are looking forward to the future, cause these guys are young and they are running well.”
The hope for Coach Ross is that the Huskies will grow and pick it up when they are sophomores, juniors and seniors.
“We hope to be super competitive,” he said.
The team’s upperclassmen are currently their strongest runners. Junior Owen Schenck placed 11th and crossed the town beach course finish line in 17:59. Junior Declan Reed placed 16th with a time of 18:38, junior Jacob Betres placed 17th at 18:42, freshman Jackson Cicchinelli placed 19th at 19:05, freshman Jackson Lopes placed 30th at 20:40, freshman Tyler Scarborough placed 33rd at 20:58, freshman Anderson Cherest placed 38th at 21:20, freshman Dylan Shaw placed 45th at 22:35, freshman Logan Toste placed 46th at 23:27, freshman Connor Austin placed 47th at 23:44, freshman John Dionne placed 49th at 24:01, freshman Rowan Field placed 51st at 24:04, freshman Hunter Ingram placed 53rd at 24:12 and freshman Gavin Stegall placed 54th at 24:25.
The Huskies are hoping to do well at freshmen states this season as well as have some individual qualifiers for states with Schenck, Reed and Betres.
“Freshman states we are looking to do well,” said Coach Ross. “We have a lot of good young runners and a lot of promise.”