Girls and boys varsity cross country teams are Division I State Champs



On Sunday, Nov. 20, the Brookline girls and boys varsity cross country teams swept the Division I State Championship meet: each team brought in their first state titles since 1997 and 2011, respectively.

As the girls varsity cross country team made their way back to school at the end of their historical season, “Halo” by Beyoncé blasted on the bus. The athletes belted the lyrics at the top of their lungs in celebration.

On Sunday, Nov. 20, the Brookline girls and boys varsity cross country teams swept the Division I State Championship meet: each team brought in their first state titles since 1997 and 2011, respectively.

Prior to the meet, the Boston Globe favored the girls cross country team to bring home the state title. Camille Jordan, senior and co-captain, said the team had their eye on winning since the start of the season.

“One of the first team gatherings we had as the varsity group was to talk about states and how we were going to perform during the championship season,” Jordan said. “Starting off the season with that team dinner, I decided I wanted to do everything I could for the team with the goal of doing well during the championship season.”

The team’s goals were continuously achieved throughout the season, as they went undefeated during the regular season and won the Division 1A Championship on Nov. 11. Junior and varsity runner Audrey Seeger said she attributes much of her success to the strong team dynamic.

“During races, I had the motivation to stick with my teammates. When you’re in a race, it’s very hard mentally, but knowing that you’re not alone is a very powerful feeling,” Seeger said.

The day of the State Championship, Jordan said the team felt ready for their race following a motivational team dinner the night prior.

“Because the team felt confident, it made me feel confident too, especially after having such an amazing undefeated season as a team. We felt we were prepared to take on the challenge and excited to see what it would be like,” Jordan said.

During the race, Jordan led the Brookline girls, placing fourth individually with a time of 18:33.37. Immediately following the race, the team was still unsure if they had won or not as they awaited results, Seeger said.

“It was such a close race and Wellesley had a lot of good runners who were only a little bit behind us,” Seeger said. “There was a lot of uncertainty and when they announced that we won, everyone was so happy. Winning was the culmination of everything we worked for this season.”

Similar to the girls team, the boys cross country team also had a successful season following a hard fought win against Newton North High School, according to junior and varsity runner Ben Kasen. Kasen said that the meet only fueled the team’s motivation.

“We all knew that we could do very well this year and we really didn’t like the fact that we lost to a team we knew we could beat. We all worked to prove ourselves,” Kasen said.

The boys team used the fact that they weren’t favored to win the meet by the Boston Globe as motivation to help them succeed. Kasen said the team was determined to come out on top and their coach, Michael Glennon, made sure that the team kept their eyes on the end goal.

“Our coach made sure that we were all focused on the task at hand, which can be a little difficult sometimes, because we’re doing the same thing over and over, but repetition is the key to mastery. He made sure that we did what we needed to do every day, no more, no less. He made sure that we were doing what worked,” Kasen said.

Junior Pablo Meyers said there were three teams that were their biggest competition when heading into states: St. John’s Prep, Newton North and Westford Academy. Meyers said that winning the Division 1A meet and beating Newton North gave them confidence heading into the states meet.

“Beating Newton North felt good because they are a strong team. But there was still the question of whether Westford Academy’s team could pull it together and pack it up in the back so that they would outpace us. There were definitely threats, but we were confident,” Meyers said.

Kasen said Glennon gave the team one last pep talk before their race.

“We were really, really excited again that the girls had won and our coach pulled us aside after the race and he said that they scored 90 points or something which is very impressive. We were a favorite on a couple of the predictions, but the girls were heavy favorites. That kind of gave us a little bit of something to prove. And we proved it when we won,” Kasen said.

The girls team said they were very excited for their counterpart team as well.

“Seeing the boys team also win was just like another level of pride that I felt for our team and excitement I felt for us,” Jordan said.

As both teams had successful ends to their season, next year is already on their minds, Seeger said.

“Both teams’ underclassmen have a lot of promise who I think can be really successful,” Seeger said. “So I’m excited for next season and where that will lead.”