EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 8, 2012

O'Donnell at his best, cops Division 1 title

By Dave Dyer ddyer@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — WRENTHAM — Mike O’Donnell had two goals yesterday at the Eastern Mass. Division 1 meet, and he reached both in rousing fashion.

“I wanted to beat him (Lexington rival Nathaniel Adams) and win the race and I wanted to be under 15:45,” said O’Donnell.

Mission accomplished big time.

O’Donnell made a move midway through the race, going straight with a surge when Adams swerved slightly, and then surged to victory with a brilliant time of 15:27, a personal-best by 23 seconds and a 29-second improvement on the same course in a month. He was a comfortable 16 seconds ahead of the runner-up Adams.

In the proud tradition of Methuen cross country, it’s the first time a Ranger has won the Eastern Mass. Division 1 race.

“I’m ecstatic, overwhelmed and every other emotion you can think of,” said O’Donnell, who lost to Adams earlier in the year and split with him last year.

With this highlight behind him, O’Donnell is now looking forward to the All-State Meet next Saturday in Northfield.

“I feel good and I’ll be ready for next week,” he said. “That’s what I’ve been working for — to finish in the top two or three.”

Unfortunately, O’Donnell won’t be joined in the race by his young teammates as the Rangers struggled as a team, finishing 12th.

Lowell dominated the team battle, finishing first with 47 points. St. John’s Prep, led by Tim Loehner in 11th and West Newbury’s Liam Dow in 16th, nailing down the fourth spot.

Andover’s Max Galat was 34th for the Warriors and Haverhill’s Christian White came in 41st.

In Division 2, which was won by Chelmsford, Central Catholic came in ninth and North Andover was 13th. Nick Bowden and Danny O’Connell led the Raiders, finishing 17th and 22nd respectively. Zach Fraelich was North Andover’s top finisher, in 33rd.

In Division 4, Greater Lawrence had perhaps its best state-meet performance ever, coming in ninth, which takes some of the sting out of just barely missing out on a State Vocational Meet title last week.

Hansel Santo-Lara and Yosvaldy Tejeda came in together at 36-37 in 17:21 and 17:22 respectively to pace the Reggies.

“We’re really happy with the way we ran and we’re looking forward to the next couple of years,” said Greater Lawrence coach Jay Santomassino.

In Division 5, sophomore Alex Demeule led Pentucket, coming in 25th, and North Reading junior Eli Spicer was 30th as the Sachems captured 11th, five spots better than the Hornets. Newburyport rolled to the title.

Eastern Mass Meet

at Wrentham (3.1 miles)

Division 1 team scores (23 teams): 1. Lowell 47, 2. Newton North 122, 3. Lexington 142, 4. St. John’s Prep 157, 5. BC High 168, 12. Methuen 304, 18. Andover 455, 20. Haverhill 491, 22. Lawrence 592

Winner and top local finishers: 1. Mike O’Donnell (Meth) 15:27.1, 11. Tim Loehner (SJP) 16:14.1, 16. Liam Dow (SJP) 16:30.5, 31. Tom O’Shea (SJP) 16:46.0, 34. Max Galat (And) 16:48.1, 41. Christian White (Hav) 16:57.2, 59. Edward Quezada (Law) 17:18.4, 69. Matt Marchand (Meth) 17:25.2, 71. Cam Pavao (Meth) 17:26.9, 79. Jeff Reddy (Meth) 17:33.1, 90. John St. Hilaire (Meth) 17:40.8, 92. Nick Comei (Hav) 17:42.2, 94. Juan Lopez (Hav) 17:45.2, 96. Devin Allen (Meth) 17:50.1

Division 2 team scores (23 teams): 1. Chelmsford 53, 2. Cambridge R&L 87, 3. Lincoln-Sudbury 104, 4. Mansfield 130, 5. Masconomet 160, 9. Central Catholic 188, 13. North Andover 407

Winner and top local finishers: 1. Sam Stubbs (Cam) 15:59.9, 17. Nick Bowden (CC) 16:42.8, 22. Danny O’Connell (CC) 16:53.5, 33. Zach Fraelich (NA) 17:12.6, 38. Simon Serrano (CC) 17:16.9, 52. Matt Elia (CC) 17:30.6, 64. Adrian Fluery (CC) 17:41.6, 74. Nick Kirkham (CC) 17:55.4, 87. Andrew Devaney (CC) 18:16.4, 89. Jacob Johns (NA) 18:18.3

Division 4 team scores (27 teams): 1. Pembroke 36, 2. Bishop Feehan 48, 3. Sandwich 121, 9. Gr. Lawrence 310, 26. Whittier 841

Winner and top local finishers: 1. Paul Hogan (Burlington) 15:31.5, 36. Hansel Santo-Lara (GL) 17:21.3, 37. Yosvaldy Tejeda (GL) 17:22.8, 60. Brad Andrews (GL) 17:51.0, 78. Stanley Martinez (GL) 18:27.6, 99. Miguel Cumba (GL) 18:50.4

Division 5 team scores (32 teams): 1. Newburyport 51, 2. Coyle & Cassidy 112, 3. Weston 144, 11. Pentucket 266, 16. North Reading 480

Winner and top local finishers: 1. Peter Hale (Swampscott) 15:46.7, 25. Alex Demeule (Pent) 17:16.0, 30. Eli Spicer (NR) 17:21.5, 38. Ian Mitchell (Pent) 17:31.7, 61. Tyler Reiss (NR) 18:02.3, 63. Drew Capener (Pent) 18:03.3, 69. Tom Labrecque (Pent) 18:12.8, 71. Jeremy Binding (Pent) 18:17.7, 73. Devin McKee (Pent) 18:18.9