Anticipation is building for this weekend’s high school football matchup between the unbeaten Wellesley and Milton teams for the BSC Herget Division crown, but Wednesday belonged to the WHS boys’ cross country team, which capped its undefeated regular season (11-0) with a close win over previously unbeaten Needham at Elm Bank Reservation.
The word on the grass is that the victory earned Wellesley its first regular season Bay State Conference title in 35 years.
Going into the race, the Wellesley boys’ team had been ranked #7, just behind Needham, in the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association poll.
The Raiders, led once again by Thomas D’Anieri, Ben Matekja and Jamie Mazzola, defeated Needham by a score of 27-29 (lowest score wins). New coach Tim Broe chose not to race his fastest runners over the past couple of weeks vs. thinner teams, which allowed those runners to avoid tapering and rather “train through” for the Needham meet. The strategy also gave younger members of the team a chance to shine in the previous varsity races, and it paid off Wednesday with a strong overall team effort.
Next up for the Raiders are this weekend’s MSTCA Twilight Invitational on the Cape, the BSC championship race on Halloween, and then state meets in November.
Wellesley’s girls’ team ran gallantly vs. #1 Needham’s team, but fell 22-33.