by Perrin Stein
Since girls’ cross country’s inception 36 years ago, Peter Martin coached the team, helping it win the Bay State Conference title 12 consecutive times.
At the end of last season, Martin retired, so this year, Brandon Mogayzel, who has been the assistant coach for the past six years, replaced Martin as head coach.
After learning of Martin’s retirement, Mogayzel decided to apply to coach the team this year because, he said, “I’ve been so invested in it that I owe it to the girls to make sure that the coaching they have had throughout their high school careers continues.”
As assistant coach, Mogayzel’s job was to train some of the runners, while Martin trained the rest. “This means my position as coach isn’t that different from assistant coach,” he said. “I just have a larger portion of athletes.”
So far this season, the Tigers, 3-2, are shaping up to be a promising team, Mogayzel said.
“Last year, we were barely in the top half of the Bay State Conference, so this year I want to do better. I am hoping that we can get a 7-4 or 8-3 record.” The Tigers finished last season 6-5.
Throughout the month of October, the team will focus on improving strength and endurance, according to senior Allie Phillips, a captain with seniors Rosie Sokolov, Becca Trayner and Melissa Weikart.
“We have about 15 girls all in the same level, and they run in a pack, so they can improve together,” Phillips said. “Working together to get better helps us rebuild the team because we lost some good seniors at the end of last season.”
The Tigers’ next meet is tomorrow at the MSTCA Bay State Individuals in Wrentham. This meet is split into three races: varsity, junior varsity and freshman, and anyone can participate.
“It gives people an opportunity to run a full 5K race, so they can gain experience,” Phillips said.
Wednesday the Tigers will face Wellesley. Last year, Wellesley placed second in the Bay State Conference, and when the Tigers faced the Raiders, they lost 33-35.