SJ, Nashoba, Hopedale retain top-class status.


Byline: Craig Holt

HOLDEN - Yesterday's 51st annual Wachusett Invitational cross country meet can be summed up in four words - new course, same results.

Each class had repeat winners, with second-ranked St. John's capturing Class A, top-ranked Nashoba Regional Class B, and ninth-ranked Hopedale Class C. The Pioneers and Chieftains also had the top two finishers. Nipmuc Regional had the top two finishers in Class C. The race was held at Wachusett Regional's new 3.1-mile course.

St. John's dominated Class A, placing five runners in the top 10 and scoring 21 points. Runner-up Wachusett amassed 92 points, followed by South High with 145. Fourth-place Shepherd Hill Regional totaled 155 points and Tantasqua Regional rounded out the top five with 173 points.

Senior Cameron Tieuli finished first in 17:11. Teammate Kevin Turner was second in 17:12. Other St. John's runners in the top ten were senior Chris Tieuli (4th, 17:30), junior Ben Perron (5th, 17:43), and junior Peter Zona (9th, 18:07).

"I wanted to take it out hard today because I had been getting out slow in my other races, and when we got to the woods 3-4 of us (Perron, Turner, Chris Tieuli) were pretty much in a pack together," Cameron Tieuli said." Then going up the big hill, less than a mile in, Perron passed us. Turner and I pushed it on the downhill and passed him. Second time in the woods, Perron passed us again, but on the downhill, Turner and I passed him. I haven't lost before to Turner in cross country, so I knew the last 800 meters would be interesting."

"That's a key for us, racing together and pushing each other," Turner said. "Our team is doing really well. We placed second in the Ocean State Invitational and definitely have a shot at states. We're looking forward to the Districts and we're also looking forward to racing Nashoba."

The other top-10 finishers were Tantasqua senior Drew Fuchs (3rd, 17:22), Wachusett junior Graham Bennie (6th, 17:47), South High senior Craig Remillard (7th, 18:03), Wachusett senior Shane Michniewicz (8th, 18:05), and Marlboro junior Mike Bryant (10th, 18:14).

Nashoba, the unbeaten and defending Central Mass. Division 1 champion, scored 35 points. Hudson placed second with 73 points. Westboro (3rd, 85 points), Groton-Dunstable (4th, 107 points), and Oakmont (5th, 19 points) completed the top five.

Chieftains junior Brendan Aylaian finished first in 16:16. Teammate Coby Horowitz, a junior, placed second in 16:22. Nashoba also got a sixth-place...

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