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Mohawk, Frontier girls eye Championships

The Mohawk Trail Regional High School girls’ team heads the list of hopefuls headed to Northfield Mountain Saturday afternoon for the WMass Division II Cross Country Championships.

The Warriors enter Saturday’s race on the heels of a fourth-place finish at last weekend’s PVIAC Championships, which do not include any teams from the Berkshires but do include all Pioneer Valley teams, regardless of division. Mohawk was the second-best Division II team at the PVIAC meet, finishing behind only Holyoke Catholic High School, and will now see how it stacks up against the rest of Division II.

Junior Natasha Olanyk finished eighth overall at the PVIAC meet but was the second fastest runner from Division II with her time of 20 minutes, 10.34 seconds. She was far from the only Warrior to have a solid finish a week ago. Teammates Lily Wells (25th), Abbie Yezierski (45th) and Madison Boucias (46th) placed in the top 50 and give the Warriors a shot at another top-five finish this weekend.

The team that finished just behind Mohawk in the regular-season standings, Frontier Regional School, also features one of the area’s top female runners in Caitlin Burnett, who was the third-fastest local finisher at the PVIAC meet — behind Olanyk and Wells — in 28th place. The Red Hawks also got top 50 finishes from Savannah Emery (43rd) and Greyson Young (47th) last weekend, both finishing in the top 20 in terms of Division II runners. Pioneer Valley Regional School’s Audrey Corrigan (30th) and Franklin County Technical School’s Clarisse Hutchinson (40th) also finished in the top 50 at the PVIAC. Hutchinson also placed fifth overall at Tuesday’s State Vocational Meet. Greenfield High School’s best runners, Jenna Silk and Claire Abelson, will represent the Green Wave.

The boys’ side is a bit lighter in number of top runners, although Mahar Regional School’s Zabien Shaw and Patrick Richard give the first-year program Senators two of the local favorites. Shaw came in 31st at the PVIAC meet but was fifth among Division II runners, while Richard took 48th overall and ninth among Division II. Franklin County Technical School’s Aaron Moore was the only other local runner in the top 50 at the PVIAC meet, with a 42nd-place finish (seventh in Div. II), although Mohawk’s Josh Rode and Zach Coburn, and Frontier’s Colin Lacey and Orlando Wildman-Hanlon all finished among the top 20 runners from Division II at last weekend’s meet. One noticeable name missing from the list is Greenfield High School’s Will Borcy, who was the second-fastest runner from the area behind only Shaw this season. Borcy is done for the fall due to an injury.

The top three schools from the boys’ and girls’ side automatically qualify for the state tournament on Nov. 16 at Gardner Municipal Golf Course. The top 10 individual runners (not including any runners belonging to teams that finish in the top three) also qualify.

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