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Cross Country Wins 19th EIL Championship Title

Friday, November 5, 2023—Winsor cross country earned their 19th Eastern Independent League Championship at Great Brook Farm over the weekend. The team finished first with a score of 68 points, beating second place Portsmouth Abbey by 14 points. Longtime coach Moriah Musto praised the athletes’ efforts calling the meet “a master class in defending their title.” It is Winsor’s ninth straight undefeated EIL season, including a nail-biting finish in 2022 and a muddy course in 2021

Gracie Zhou ’26 took the individual crown to win the first race of her life and become the fifth Winsor runner to earn the EIL title. As the race started Pingree School, Berwick Academy, Dana Hall, Newton Country Day, and Portsmouth Abbey runners crowded the front. 

Winsor runners ran with incredible patience but asserted themselves in the first mile: Zhou was part of the front pack of four with Serena Toscani ’25 and Suzanne Pogorelec ’24 in the top 15. Lara do Rosario ’26 and Ryan Fantasia ’24 were both running in the top 25 with incredible back up from Lily-Rose Pepin ’27, Caitlin Wang ’25, and Julica Hatabu ’28. The many blue jerseys made it a little bit challenging to discern who else was in contention, but Winsor was clearly running exactly where they needed to be. As the race continued, Zhou and Dana Hall’s undefeated number one broke off, while Toscani and Pogorelec found themselves battling four strong Portsmouth Abbey runners in the top 15. Pingree and Berwick each had three runners in the top 15 to further press Winsor. 

Still, Winsor’s front three fought for every position with Zhou moving into first in the final 300 and Toscani and Pogorelec fighting hard to finish 11th and 13th. “Our depth sealed the win,” explained Coach Musto. With do Rosario and Fantasia shutting down scoring in 20th and 23rd, and then Pepin and Wang perfecting displacement at 24th and 25th spots, Winsor had seven runners in the top 25, and Hatabu took 26th just for good measure, which gave Winsor eight runners over the finish line before any other team's fifth. 

While no official JV score was kept, Winsor swept the first seven positions in the JV race, led by Hatabu (35th) with Aurora Ye ’29 (36th), Berit Morissey ’27 (42nd), Julia Oh ’26 (44th), Chrissy Mayer ’28 (45th), Carmel Harrison ’27 (46th), and Anna Oh ’28 (47th). While Amber Bai ’25 (58th), Emily Zhang ’25 (60th), Olivia Paterniti ’26 (65th), Shirley Yang ’27 (66th), and Grace Murphy ’27 (70th) all finished in the top half of the field of 140 runners and Jacey Jiang ’25 (76th), Jacqueline Bellivea ’27 (83rd), Julia Reynolds ’25 (98th), Angeliki-Agape Volandes ’28 (105th), Nora Furlong ’25 (106th), and Injila Chowdhury ’27 (140th) all running seasonal or personal bests as well. 

Teammates Meg Madison ’24, Alicia Wu ’24, and Ayaka Hatabu ’28 all supported the team on the course while parents and alums came out to cheer. “The day was an incredible accomplishment, and I hope the entire team is still celebrating everything we put together to earn this special win,” added Coach Musto. 

Next on the horizon, the cross country team will compete at the Loomis Chafee School in the Division 1 NEPSAC Championship.
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