Davis’ runner-up best local finish

  • Frontier’s 9th-place finisher Cartsen Carey. for the recorder/jerrey roberts

  • Mohawk runner-up Meghan Davis gazette photo/jerrey roberts

  • Amy O'Sullivan, of Greenfield, finishes fourth during the PVIAC cross country championships Saturday at Stanley Park in Westfield.

  • Girls teams, including Greenfield runners Jamie Day, front left, and Amy O'Sullivan, begin their race during the PVIAC cross country championships Saturday at Stanley Park in Westfield.

  • Jamie Day, left, of Greenfield, and Maddie Shea, of Amherst Regional, race to the finish during the PVIAC cross country championships Saturday at Stanley Park in Westfield. Shea placed 17th; Day finished 18th.

  • Boys teams begin their race during the PVIAC cross country championships Saturday at Stanley Park in Westfield.

For The Recorder
Sunday, November 05, 2017

WESTFIELD — The Mohawk Trail Regional High School girls’ cross country team may have lost talented sisters Jackie and Lilly Wells, but the Warriors still have Meghan Davis.

Davis turned in a personal-best time of 18 minutes, 26 seconds Saturday to finish second at the PVIAC meet at Stanley Park’s 3.1-mile course.

“I wanted to finish in under 19 minutes,” said Davis, who broke 19 minutes for the first time in a 5K race. “I’m super happy and I beat my time from last year by a lot.”

And Mohawk, which is rebuilding with a young team, finished in seventh place (227 points).

“We have four eighth-graders who are just learning how to run,” Chadwick said. “The girls have worked so hard.”

The Wells sisters now run for Mount Greylock, which figures to be the team to beat in Saturday’s Western Massachusetts Division II Championships at Northfield Mountain. Davis has remained friends with the sisters and is looking forward to racing against them in what she said will be “a friendly competition.”

“Going against the Wells sisters will be tough and I know we’re going to push each other,” Davis said.

Mohawk may not win the sectional meet, but as the third-best Division II finisher at PVIACs, the Warriors could be a contender for a berth in the state meet the following week in Wrentham.

This is not the first time veteran coach Joe Chadwick has taken a young team and molded it into a contender just in time for the postseason.

“Even though some of the girls are young, they are all mature and they want it,” Davis said.

Among the up-and-coming Warriors was eighth-grader Erica Szewczyk, who placed 32nd in 21:06. No other eighth-grader finished as high as Szewczyk.

Davis did her best to keep up with two-time PVIAC champion Sophia Jacobs-Townsley of Amherst.

“I could hear her breathing down my shoulders,” Jacobs-Townsley said. “She ran a great race.”

No one was going to catch her.

“I knew Sophia is such a tough competitor but I knew she was going to be within reach,” Davis said. “I respect her and she definitely pushed me. I knew toward the end, she was going to take off.”

Davis is one of Mohawk’s best student athletes. She’s tied for first among her junior class with best friend, Lilly Wicklandshearer.

“Meghan’s up late doing her homework and she comes to practice and works hard,” Chadwick said. “It’s not always about talent. It’s how she works, how she eats, how she sleeps. She’s just a great kid.”

Greenfield also turned in a top 10 finish. The Green Wave secured sixth place with 196 points.

Senior Amy O’Sullivan continued her strong showing in postseason meets, finished fourth overall with a time of 19:08.

“This was my best race here by far,” O’Sullivan said. “Going down the mile, we were grouped together than Meghan and Sophia (Jacobs-Townsley) broke apart, but I didn’t wanted to let it go. I wanted to keep going.”

O’Sullivan knew how tough the competition was and embraced the challenge.

“They helped me a lot,” she said. “Usually, I’ll have one or two girls pushing me. But when you get to the postseason, that’s when you really get the competition.”

O’Sullivan will be a runner to watch in the Division II race at Northfield.

“I’ll run until I can punch the pace,” she said.

O’Sullivan finished 11th at WMass in 2016.

Teammate Jamie Day was 28th in 20:21.

On the boys’ side, it was another good day for Frontier junior Carsten Carey. He turned in a top-10 finish after he placed ninth in 16:27. He was the highest individual finisher from a Division II school and he should do well in Saturday’s WMass meet at Northfield Mountain.

Frontier finished sixth in team totals. The Red Hawks will vie for a spot in the upcoming state Division II meet in Wrentham.