Tigers face tough test against Bay State rivals, captain says

The Newtonite

by Gloria Li
Boys’ cross-country, 5-0, sees its toughest opponents this season as being Walpole and Brookline, according to senior Justin Keefe, a captain.
“We beat Walpole last year, but this, year since we’ve lost many outstanding runners, we may have a more difficult time against them,” Keefe said.
Keefe also noted that Brookline usually wins States, and he said that the team “always proves to be a challenge.”
The Tigers are trying to close the gaps between some groups of runners who have potential and help them catch up to the stronger, more experienced members,according to Keefe.
This is especially an issue because some of the most prominent runners and able leaders, Ezra Lichtman and Dan Ranti, graduated last year.
Now, it is Keefe’s turn to lead the team.
At the team’s first meet ,Tuesday, Sept. 13 against Weymouth, Keefe placed first.
He also came in third place in the league meet and fifth in the State Coaches Invitational last year.
Keefe said he is hoping for a place in the top 10 at States this year.
Coach Jim Blackburn said, “Keefe is definitely the strongest on our team this year.
Out of the 50 members that we have, there were five who have scored for varsity, and Keefe was the number one of those five.”
The other four members of varsity are juniors David Demarest and Jonny Long and sophomores Gabe Montague and Mike Schlichting.
Blackburn said he expects Keefe to win the league’s Most Valuable Player this year.
Keefe said the Tigers are looking to improve their standing by putting forth their best effort during the season.
We’re looking to claim a victory against Wellesley Wednesday, and Needham and Walpole Wednesday, Oct. 12, he said.
Keefe described the team as being “a lot more motivated this year than in past years.”
That being said, Keefe said he believes that there is much to be improved upon including racing tactics and strategies.
Blackburn said, “We hope to win all of our meets this season and we also hope to beat Brookline, which has been one of the toughest teams that we’ve lost to in past years.”