Westfield- On Halloween day, the Northampton High School Blue Devils headed to Westfield, Massachusetts to compete in the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Conference Championship. The Blue Devils were the defending champions of the PVIAC championship. Varsity Senior Erica Dean said “ Even though we graduated two very important seniors last year, other runners have stepped up so we still have a strong pack of girls.” Dean placed fifth overall on Saturday which helped the Lady Blue Devils to victory. Dean expressed that “Winning this PVIAC was even more exciting because we weren’t expecting it. We knew it would be a very competitive meet so we worked together to race our best.”
Both the Men & Women’s Varsity Cross Country had a loss during the regular season. Dean said “ We were all disappointed when we lost to Hampshire Regional High School, but we used it as motivation to train and race harder.” Varsity Senior Liam Sullivan said “It was sort of a wake up call (losing to Amherst Regional). It motivated us for the weekend.” Sullivan placed first at PVIAC and made the Blue Devils win the meet by 2 points.
“I placed third in this meet last year, so I didn’t want to fall short again. I’ve been running well lately and was the favorite heading in. I had to live up to expectations, but my team also needed me to perform well.” said Sullivan.
The Men Blue Devils had four in the top twenty-five at the meet.
Here are the results for the Northampton Men’s PVIAC race:
1st Liam Sullivan 15:50, 10th Ethan Milsark 16:35.82, 22nd Jonathan Dean 17:15.48, 23rd Philip Hempstead 17:19
Here are the results for the Northampton Women’s PVIAC race:
5th Erica Dean 19:21, 11th Leila Markosian 19:56, 12th Evelyn Burke 20:00, 13th Stephanie Jordan 20:00, 14th Mairead Blatner 20:04, 20th Emma Yount 20:19, 24th Lauren Munster 20:30, 25th Tori LaVerdiere 20:33
Brandon Palmer, the coach for the Northampton High School Men Cross Country team said, “There’s nothing soft about HAMP, we prove it week in and week out that we’re the program on top… Most importantly we want our athletes to represent the Northampton community members and their efforts to reflect that.” Palmer has been the Cross Country Coach of the year the past four years and has a huge impact for the cross country teams. Palmer is also the Girl Indoor Track, and Spring Track and Field coach.
Join the Blue Devils on November 14th, 2015 for the Western Massachusetts Championship meet at Stanley Park in Westfield, and on November 21st, 2015 All-State Meet.