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Boys' cross country finishes season undefeated, looks towards playoffs

Coach Lou Pearlman looks on as his runners explode off the starting line Wednesday, Oct. 20 at Cold Spring Park. (Photo by Andrew Hirshberg)

Boys’ Cross Country finished their regular season with a perfect 9-0 record, bouncing back from a disappointing 2020 season. 

Last year during COVID-19, the team found it difficult to gain momentum throughout the season according to Lou Pearlman, the head coach. They struggled to win meets, and none of them were critical as there was no postseason.“The turnaround has been incredible with the hope that things were going to get better, and thankfully they have,” said Pearlman.

He added, “I have been at Newton North for four years now, so I have known these kids from the 9th grade and I always knew that they had a lot of potential.” 

Outside of their normal practices after school, the Tigers have added extra training every Saturday that helped them prepare for upcoming meets. According to Pearlman, this strong training regimen allowed the athletes to improve throughout the season. 

“You want to get the kids that always show potential to buy into doing the amount of work in order to get better, and they really did,” said Pearlman.

During the season, the team emphasized bonding and camaraderie. According to junior Jack Mantell, a captain along with juniors Tyler Tubman, Alex Hrycysyn, and senior Samuel Bronstein, they have developed chemistry by encouraging lighter training days and hosting various team activities. 

“We’re making that a huge focus,” said Mantell, “We’re doing more merch, as well as doing more fun runs on our easy days. We’re really trying to focus a lot on team spirit and keeping everyone together.”

While many of the players will stick around for next season, the team is set to lose several core pieces, including Bronstein, who will graduate. “He’s a great captain and a great kid,” said Pearlman, “He’s been great for us the last few years.” Senior Will Heesplink, a top contributor to the team, will also be departing.

After finishing, first, in their division, the team has begun preparations for the postseason. They already placed second in The Bay State Championship on Oct. 31. 

“We’ve got a chance to win it all this year,” said Mantell,, “If we do win the state, it will be the first time a North team has done it since 2004. We’ve got a damn good team this year. Keep an eye on us.”

Boys cross country competes next in the Eastern Massachusetts Championships on Saturday, Nov. 13, in Wrentham.

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