MIAA Cross Country: Mohawk Trail’s Dennis Simmons scores top 10 finish

Staff Writer
Published: 11/20/2021 11:23:22 PM

WRENTHAM – As he’s done all season, Mohawk Trail senior Dennis Simmons proved to the rest of his competitors that he's one of the runners to beat on the cross country course. 

Simmons crossed the line in 10th place overall at the MIAA Division 3 all-state meet on Saturday in a time of 16 minutes, 28 seconds. Though he walked away with a top-10 finish across the state, one of the more meaningful parts of his day was being able to do it with his teammates by his side. Simmons has qualified for the state meet four times individually, but Saturday’s race was the first time that the rest of his team was able to travel and compete with him.

“It was nice being able to take a bus and not having to carpool, that was a plus,” Simmons said. 

The combination of seniors Simmons and Sean O’Dea, who placed 99th with a time of 18:11.1, and a younger core of runners like sophomore Vincent Gauthier (59th, 17:39.4) and freshman Emmet Johnson (115th, 18:30.9) were what allowed Mohawk Trail to qualify as a team this year for the first time in a long while.

“I'm just so happy the way we ran this year,” said Mohawk Trail head coach Joe Chadwick. “You know, at the beginning of the year, I don't think any of us thought we're gonna go to the state meet as a team. The younger guys just kept getting better and better.” 

Mohawk Trail, the lone local squad that qualified as a team on the boys side, finished in 14th place overall out of 22 teams, moving up from 16th place at the 3K mark to edge out Mount Greylock and Wahconah by nine points at the finish line. 

Greenfield sent three individual runners to the state meet, with Ethan Bross (100th, 18:13.0), Jackson Caron (119th, 18:32.9), and Andy Bostrom (145th, 19:02.2) racing for the Green Wave.

Frontier eighth-grader Luke Howard crossed the line in 69th place in a time of 17:44.3.

The Frontier girls’ squad looked strong as a group as well, placing ninth amidst a 22-team field. The Redhawks finished with the fastest spread among all 22 of those teams – their top five runners finished just a minute and eight seconds apart from each other.

“We didn't want them to come in thinking that, ‘oh yipee, I got here,’ and so it's over before the race starts,” Frontier head coach Bob Smith said. “We wanted them to race and race hard. And, you know, secretly we kind of wanted them to place in the top 10, and they came in ninth, so I'm a happy person.” 

For a team whose motto is to ‘Stay goofy,’ the Redhawks were able to balance the fun and serious side of things when it came time to race, in part because of their strong chemistry together.

“It was just so great because the team this year was so much fun, the extra week and being able to finish it off in states is awesome,” Frontier’s Leah Gump said. 

Gump was the team’s top finisher, crossing the line in 46th place with a time of 20:42.7. Behind her was Abigail Howard, who crossed the line in 70th place in 21:19.2, followed closely by Sadie Ross (74th, 21:23.7), Nicole Plasse (97th, 21:48.1), and Sasha Malo (98th, 21:51.0). 

Also running for Mohawk Trail was Ellie Pinkham, the team's lone individual qualifier on the girls side. Pinkham broke the top 40 in the standings, placing 39th with a time of 20:36.6.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261


Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy