Plymouth North runners won both races during Tuesday's cross country season- opener but the depth of the Pembroke team allowed the Titans to take a pair of overall wins over the Blue Eagles. Pembroke won the boys race 25-31 and took the girls race by the score of 22-39.
PLYMOUTH - Plymouth North runners won both races during Tuesday's cross country season-opener, but the depth of the Pembroke team allowed the Titans to take a pair of overall wins over the Blue Eagles. Pembroke won the boys race 25-31 and took the girls race by the score of 22-39.
The loss marked the first time the Plymouth North girls has been beaten in a dual meet in three years.
Nick McNamee cruised around the 2.69-mile course at Pembroke High in a winning time of 14 minutes 52 seconds. Bryan Ryder was 12 seconds behind him in second place, but Pembroke started picking up points with a pack of their runners crossing the finish line in the next five spots.
Patrick Woomer (eighth place, 15:58) and James Doherty (ninth, 16:10) also finished in the top 10 for the Blue Eagles.
The girls race featured a great duel for first place between North's Elizabeth Marshall and Pembroke's Abby Obermann. Marshall was quicker to the tape by two seconds to take the victory.
"Liz was on her shoulder for most of the race and then she turned it on in the home stretch," Plymouth North Head Coach John Laverty said. "She's got a great kick at the finish line to rely on when she needs it."
Grace Curtin was the only other lady Eagle runner to crack to the top 10. She finished fifth in a time of 19:34.
"Pembroke is a good program," Laverty said. "We made some mistakes and I did not execute a good game plan during the race. We're very young, especially on the girls side, but there is some good talent that will get better the more they compete."
Plymouth North is the defending Patriot League girls' champions and they've been on quite a run as of late with five All-Scholastic runners graduating over the last two years. They will have a battle in front of them as they try to keep up the pace they've set in recent years and retain the team championship.
Marshall, Curtin, Kaitlyn Ryder and Ahna Mento all return with several younger runners being asked to step into scoring spots this season. Laverty is impressed with the consistently improving times of sophomore Faith Duquette.
The boys team is led by one of the top distance runners in the area in McNamee. He is off to a great start after finishing third in the elite high school race at the Falmouth Road Race and then setting a course and meet record on the way to winning the Martha's Vineyard Invitational last weekend.
"Nick's exceptionally talented but he also works extremely hard and he is very coachable," Laverty said. "You give him something to work on and he immediately processes it and puts it into action."
The Eagles have good depth and strong overall numbers in the boys program. Ryder came over from the soccer program this season and placed second in his first cross country race. Sophomore Patrick Woomer should also score points this season as he continues to move towards the top of the pack.
Plymouth North was back in action at Scituate High Thursday afternoon with more tough challenges coming soon.
"We've got Hingham and Duxbury the next two weeks, both good teams. We have our work cut out for us."
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