MSD women’s cross-country finishes first and ninth place in first two meets

David Lerner, Writer

On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School women’s cross-country team started off their season with a win against Monarch High School, Deerfield Beach High School and Boyd Anderson High School.

The team, consisting of Michele Hern, Riley Anders, Maansi Amin, Lucia Giraldo, Gina Torres, Ashlyn Watson and Sophia Diaz, finished with a perfect score of 15. This means that all top five of the runners placed giving the team a perfect score. 

“I am very proud of the kids who ran and won, even though we were sitting [out] all of our varsity runners so they would be fresh for the big invitational on Saturday,” cross-country coach Bob Oelschlager said. “It’s a team sport and we take advantage of having such a large number of strong runners.”

The team as a whole finished with a total time of 2:42.18 and an average time of 32:28 minutes. Hern finished ninth overall and topped the MSD team with a time of 32:15.40. 

The MSD women’s cross-country team also had a match on Saturday, Oct. 31, against teams around the district including Dillard High School, Jupiter High School, Spanish River High School and Boca Raton High School. The team finished in ninth place with an average time of 25:18 minutes in the 3.1-mile race.

Sophomore Gabrielle Greenwald set a personal record during this meet finishing at seventeenth place with a time of 22:08.94. The top runner overall in the race was Pia Beaulieu from Boca Raton High School who finished at 17:12.86 minutes. 

“These were the strongest XC (cross-country) programs among the 60 or so high schools in Palm Beach and Broward counties,” Oelschlager said. “The girls actually ran quite well.”

Due to the boys’ varsity race being pushed back 30 minutes due to thunder in the area, the girls’ race started later than scheduled. The team ran in the rain and was cheered on by parents and coaches.

Around the premises, spectators had to wear masks and players had to wear them before and after the race. However, during the race, they could take them off to breathe properly. 

The meet was held at Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park in Boca Raton, Florida, hosted by Spanish River High School. After their ninth place finish this meet, the team plans to bounce back and finish first on their meet Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Tradewinds Park & Stables in Coconut Creek, Florida, at 4:15 p.m.