Every holiday season, the best teams in prep school hockey descend upon the rinks of Milton and Nobles for a chance to claim the coveted championship titles of the Flood-Marr Tournament and the Harrington Invitational Tournament.
The annual Flood-Marr Holiday Hockey Tournament is named for Dick “Lefty” Marr and his college roommate, longtime friend and rival hockey coach Dick Flood. Lefty Marr, who just passed away on November 11, was a member of the Milton faculty from 1957 until 1980, during which time he headed Forbes House and coached the boys’ hockey team. After leaving Milton, Lefty went on to head Aspen Country Day School in Colorado; he then taught and coached at Tabor Academy for 19 years. This year’s tournament, the 52nd annual, will include a tribute to Lefty and a moment of silence in his honor, preceding the puck drop on Saturday morning. This three-day competition for boys’ teams includes Nobles, Hotchkiss, Andover, Westminster, Deerfield, Kimball Union, Salisbury and Milton.
On the same weekend, the top girls’ talent takes to the ice at Milton and Nobles to compete in the 36th Annual Harrington Invitational. Milton will battle Nobles, Lawrence, St. Paul’s, St. Mark’s, BB&N, Westminster and Williston-Northampton.
The tournaments run from Friday, December 16, through Sunday, December 18.
Two members of Milton’s boys’ varsity soccer team represented their respective home countries in the Caribbean Finals of the CONCACAF U17 World Cup Qualifying held in September in Trinidad. Brandon Jones ’18 played center back on the U17 Bermuda national team, and Jeremy Verley ’19 played midfield for the U17 Jamaica national team. Coincidentally, the two teams faced off in the first round of the tournament and Jamaica won the game.
“The tournament was the closest I’ve felt to playing on a professional soccer team,” says Brandon. “The whole process of training and playing games in front of a huge crowd was really exhilarating.”
Jeremy’s team, which he captained, made it to the semifinals after a draw with Haiti and a win against Trinidad. They lost to Cuba in the semifinals, but they beat Curaçao in the third place game, earning them a spot in the final rounds next spring.
“I love that soccer is a team sport; it takes more than one individual to win,” says Jeremy. “Soccer brings together all kinds of people from different backgrounds. On my team, we were from different parts of Jamaica, and we ended up having such great chemistry on the field.”
CONCACAF is the soccer federation for North America, Central America and the Caribbean that governs all international competitions. The CONCACAF final rounds that Jeremy is competing in are the final qualifying stage for the World Cup at the U17 level. U17 is the youngest age group with a World Cup competition, making it the highest-level youth competition in which players can compete. Chris Kane, Milton boys’ varsity soccer coach, says it’s “pretty incredible that we had two players in the tournament, and it’s amazing that Jeremy may have a chance to captain a team to the full World Cup next summer.”
by Julia Lebovitz ‘17
An exciting season is underway for the boys’ varsity baseball team, with many close games. The most exciting accomplishment of the season occurred on April 30 against Lawrence Academy when Matt Tabor (II) pitched a perfect game, one of the most challenging and impressive achievements in sports. A perfect game is defined as a game in which no runner reaches first base.
“Pitching a perfect game is a once in a lifetime experience,” says Sam Murray (II).
In fact, Matt is the first pitcher Mr. Petherick has coached who threw a perfect game. Matt said that he did not have high expectations going into the game because Lawrence was undefeated. Instead, he “was focused on being the best I could be and going out to get a ‘W’.”
Matt says it was not until the fourth inning when he realized the possibility of pitching a perfect game. However, he stayed focused on winning the game, rather than fixating on throwing a perfect game.
“It was honestly such a surreal experience, and I couldn’t have done it without the support and play of the guys behind me. Isaac Fossas (II) and Gavin Baker Greene (I) made huge plays that saved the perfect game,” says Matt.
Sam Hitt (I) says that Matt had “many great outings this year and has been vital to the team’s winning record.” Sam also described Matt as one of the best pitchers in the ISL. Matt’s ability to throw 85 miles per hour pitches has helped the team in countless ways so far this season. According to Matt, who committed to play Division 1 baseball at Elon, the rest of the baseball team’s season looks very promising. The game against Lawrence will definitely be remembered as a career highlight for not only Matt, but also the entire baseball team.
A version of this article was originally published in the Milton Measure.
Milton’s boys’ hockey team beat #2 seeded Kimball Union Academy 3-1 on Saturday in the Elite Eight semi-finals to advance to the New England Prep Hockey Championship game against The Gunnery Highlanders on Sunday, March 6, at St. Anselm College. To advance to the semi-finals, the team beat Phillips Exeter 5-2 in the Elite Eight New England Quarterfinal Playoff game.
The boys’ hockey team capped off a remarkable season (19-5-2). Ranked in the top five of New England Prep Hockey all year, the team had an exciting home win against Noble and Greenough in their last game of the regular season (8-5). This win earned them a shared ISL championship title with Thayer Academy.
“The team is a really close group of guys, both on and off the ice,” says team captain Andrew Dumaresque (I). “Our depth of play is something we didn’t have last year. We have a lot of players who can score. And we have great goaltending by Ethan Domokos (II).”
The girls’ team lost their game quarterfinal game against Williston-North Hampton (1-3), but it was their first playoff appearance in 15 years reflecting the continued growth of the girls’ hockey program. The team skated a solid season (16-11-0). The girls had some big wins over top 10 teams and received a top 10 ranking a few weeks ago in the HNIB Prep Divison I Poll.
Coach Ryan Stone says there was “great leadership” from Kelli Quinn (I), Anna DiGravio (I), Anne Malloy (I) and Maria DiMartinis (II) as well as “an influx of talented young players, including five freshmen who all played significant roles.”
Every holiday season, the best teams in prep school hockey descend upon the rinks of Milton and Nobles for a chance to claim the coveted championship titles of the Flood-Marr Tournament and the Harrington Invitational Tournament.
Now in its 51st year, the Flood-Marr Tournament is a three-day competition for boys’ teams, which this year includes Nobles, Hotchkiss, Andover, Westminster, Deerfield, Kimball Union, Salisbury and Milton.
On the same weekend, the top girls’ talent takes to the ice at Milton and Nobles to compete in the 35th Annual Harrington Invitational. Milton will face off against Nobles, Lawrence, Pomfret, St. Mark’s, BB&N, Westminster and Williston-Northampton.
The tournaments run from Friday, December 18, through Sunday, December 20.
The Milton Academy varsity boys’ soccer team capped a historic season with a thrilling 2-0 win over Northfield Mount-Hermon in the Class A New England finals. The spectacular championship contest pitted two teams of immense quality and admirable styles. Following a strong start that saw Milton gain the better of the initial possession, NMH slowly gained more and more of the ball through its tremendous work rate and excellent ball movement. Both teams probed the margins of the field looking for openings, but few were to be found as both backlines stood tall.
The half ended with the score tied 0-0, “which was a fair score line given the balanced play in the half,” noted Head Coach Chris Kane.
Milton was able to come out of the half with great energy and looked primed to take the lead when Jerry Ozor drew a penalty in the fifty-second minute. However, NMH keeper Will Desautels made an amazing save to keep the game level. Milton stayed on the front foot and was able to break through five minutes later after a nice build up led to Luca Levee (I), scoring a beautiful half-volley off a feed from Jerry Ozor (I).
NMH dug in and continued to press forward looking for the equalizer. Keeper Jeremy Cowham (I) and the Milton backline stood strong, in spite of the impressive onslaught of pressure from the Hoggers. In the end, the Mustangs were fortunate to seal the win with a goal in the ninetieth minute from Amos Shapiro-Thompson (III).
“It was an entertaining and thrilling contest between two teams with a great deal of mutual respect and it was a great showcase of quality NEPSAC soccer as well as excellent sportsmanship,” said Coach Kane. “Both teams should be proud of their great work in this game and throughout the entire fall.”
The win caps off an amazing and historic season for the Mustangs. Over the course of the season the team remained undefeated and untied, despite a rigorous 22-game ISL and out-of-league schedule. To add to this feat, the Mustangs have not allowed a score since September, shutting out their opponents in the last 18 contests. This is the first time that a team has gone 22-0 in the 67 years of ISL play. The Mustangs are incredibly proud to earn both the Gunmere Cup (ISL Champion) as well as the Stewart Cup (New England Class A Champion), and even more proud to have been awarded the Blood Trophy, the league sportsmanship award. Certainly a season to remember!
Milton’s varsity football team capped off the storied Milton-Nobles rivalry weekend with a 24–13 win, finishing the season with a record of 6–2. That success earned the team the number two spot in the Independent School League and a NEPSAC Bowl bid. Solid defense and an excellent ground game were key components in the Mustangs’ victory over the Bulldogs.
The bowl game invitation was also enabled by a come-from-behind victory over perennial powerhouse Governor’s a week earlier. Trailing 14–13, with time running out, Milton drove the ball down the field to earn the 20–14 victory.
The Mustangs will travel to Avon Old Farms on Saturday, November 21, to face Brunswick in a NEPSAC Bowl game at 1 p.m. The winner will be crowned New England Prep Champions.
Photo courtesy of Evan Scales (II)
The boys’ varsity soccer team has had a perfect season. They are undefeated and earned the Independent School League Championship title. Their accomplishments are historic: They are the second team in ISL history to finish with a 15-0 record. Most important to Coach Chris Kane, however, is that this week the league bestowed on his team the ISL sportsmanship award. The New England championship playoffs are this week. The Mustangs are ranked number two in the nation for prep high schools. They beat Belmont Hill 4-0 in a quarterfinals round yesterday and move on to the semifinals this weekend.
The best way to understand why this team is so good is to go down to the field and watch. Their play is fluid and focused, the ball passing quickly between Milton’s players, rarely leaving their possession. As fast as their game appears, they are actually taking their time and keeping it simple, wearing their opponents out. Players on the field talk to each other, constantly, and teammates on the deep, talented bench encourage and support. A goal is cause for quick celebration, but then it’s back to focus, attention and steady play.
“The players know that consistency and focus are key elements to success, and they know not to take anything for granted,” says Coach Kane. “This year, the team’s talent, attention and investment have been phenomenal. It’s easy to lose focus over a long, 19-game season, through a 90-minute game, through six days together every week. They’ve done an incredible job of keeping that focus high, that intensity high, and that competitiveness high. They also bring that focus and attention to other areas, on and off campus.”
Five seniors are four-year varsity team members. These include team captains Adam Bramson (I), Shay Quintin (I) and Luis Viceira (I). They say this year’s team is the result of four years of hard work, discipline and maturity, under the strong leadership of Coach Kane.
“Our biggest challenge this year was not repeating last year, when we went into some games underprepared,” says Adam. “We lost title games against teams we should have beaten. This year, we knew how good we were and it was about not letting up in games. We had no slip-ups.”
“We have so many seniors that play a big role on the team,” says Luis. “They push each other and the younger players to play their best. And with a continuing core of players each year, it’s all resulted in great team chemistry.”
The captains name a win against the defending Class A Champions, Berkshire, this season as a turning point. Last year, Milton lost to the team 4–0. This season’s 3–1 win was an invigorating boost that reinforced what they were capable of. “We felt on top of the world,” says Adam.
In many games this season, Milton was dominant from the first few seconds until the final whistle. Coach Kane made sure to take advantage of all the team’s talent.
“Out of respect for our opponents, we take our starters out if we have a big lead,” he says. “We get the younger, less experienced guys out there when situations allow, and it’s great for their development. We had 15 straight shutouts to end the year with our bench playing significant minutes, in many, if not all of those games. I’m most proud of the fact that the season was truly a team effort. Every single player on the team contributed to those results.”
This summer, five members of Milton’s sailing team competed in the International Sailing Federation’s 2015 team racing world championships in Rutland, England. They won the gold medal in their division and took the final gold honors in youth racing—a huge achievement in an event considered to be the pinnacle of international, dinghy team racing.
The idea of competing in this big event percolated last spring when brothers Eli and Henry Burnes (II) started talking about it with teammates Ginny Alex (II), Peter Barron (II), and Charlie Hibben (III). The race requires Firefly dinghies, so the group practiced for several days at M.I.T.’s sailing center. M.I.T. is the only school in the U.S. that uses these two-sail boats in competition.
At the competition, the team broke into pairs for the three boats vs. three boats team races—Ginny and Charlie; Peter and Eli; and Henry and Paige, a California student who filled in for a Milton team member who was unable to make it.
After two round robins, the field was split into two divisions—gold and silver. All the youth groups and some adult teams ended up in the silver division. Over the course of a week, they competed in 50 races that last about 11 minutes each. “It was a lot more racing than any of us had done in the past,” says Ginny. Charlie concurred, calling the whole experience a “sailing education.” After winning the silver division, the team earned a bye and watched the two remaining teams race for the competing spot. Milton took to the water against that winning team and swept them in three races, winning the overall youth racing award.
Peter says he was very surprised that they won against some of the adult teams during the silver division races, particularly the teams from Australia. All the team members said the best part was after the last race when they headed back to shore.
“All the other racers came down to the beach, shook our hands and gave us hugs,” says Ginny. Peter adds, “They helped us pull our boats in. We’ve never experienced that before at races, and it was really memorable.”
During the annual M-Club Dinner on Wednesday, Class I students were presented awards for their outstanding performance in athletics.
Football standout Robert Gilmore received the Robert Saltonstall Medal. Over Milton’s history, the Saltonstall has indicated “a distinguished record in all-around physical activity, with emphasis on leadership by example, conscientious training, good body mechanics, and observance of the code of the true sportsman.” In addition to his feats on the football field, Robert broke the School’s long-standing discus and shot put records in track and field.
Nicola Young, an outstanding athlete in soccer, basketball and track, received the Priscilla Bailey Award. The award recognizes a girl who “has been a most valuable asset to Milton Academy athletics and community, and who demonstrates exceptional individual skills and teamwork as well as sportsmanship.”
Jonathan Lawson, who was a football ISL All-Star, received the Alfred Elliott Award. This award honors a boy whose “extraordinary self-sacrifice and unselfish devotion to the best interests of his teams;a boy who, regardless of skill, with inspiring example—either in practice or in competition—has given most unsparingly of himself for the good of all.”
Erika Lamere, who played field hockey, basketball and softball, won the Dorothy J Sullivan Award. This girls’ award signifies “good sportsmanship, leadership, dedication and commitment to athletics at Milton,” as well as being an “inspiration and model for others.”
Jamie Murray was honored for her ISL League MVP for Volleyball. Coach Scott Bosworth received the Marijke D. Alsbach Coaching Award. The ISL Award for Excellence, which is a new award this year, went to Rachel Sun and Christopher Lewis.
Also honored were three-sport varsity athletes:
Laura Barkowski: Cross Country-Swimming-Lacrosse
Jeff Brown: Football-Basketball-Track &Field
Erika Lamere: Field Hockey-Basketball-Softball
Serena Lan: Cross Country-Swimming-Track &Field
Jonnie Lawson: Football-Skiing-Baseball
Cass Rice: Field Hockey-Ice Hockey-Lacrosse
Rachel Sun: Cross Country-Basketball-Softball
Davis Tantillo: Cross Cross-Skiing-Sailing
Jared Turner: Soccer-Basketball-Baseball
Niki Young: Soccer-Basketball-Track & Field
And All ISL Awards:
Boys’ Cross Country
Girls’ Cross Country
Jamie Murray **(ISL MVP)
A look on the ACC wall before and after spring break would find new names and faster times after nearly half of the former swim team records. This winter, the boys’ and girls’ swim team broke ten of the 22 posted records.
Lilly Vivado (II) led the way, rewriting the record board in five individual events. In the 200 freestyle, Lilly broke the 2004 Milton record by over seven seconds and set a New England Prep School record of 1:49.53, touching out the previous record holder by 0.3 seconds. Lilly also won the 100 butterfly at the same meet; her time was more than four seconds faster than the 1995 record. Earlier in the season, Lilly broke the records for the 100 backstroke by nearly three seconds, the 200 individual medley record by over five seconds, and the 500 freestyle by over 23 seconds.
Casey DeLano (III) also had an impressive season, breaking Milton records in two individual events. At the New England Prep School Championships, Casey finished third in the 100 freestyle with a Milton record time of 53.40. At the same meet, Casey placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:09.43, 2 seconds faster than the 2000 Milton record.
In the relay events, the girls team set two new records. As a team, Jessica Xu (II), Kali Tyler (II), Lilly Vivado and Casey DeLano swam a record breaking time of 1:39.69 in the 200 freestyle relay. This was just over three seconds ahead of the 2014 record of 1:42.72. In the girls 400 freestyle relay, team members Casey DeLano, Lilly Vivado, Jessica Xu and Elise Atkinson (II) combined for a time of 3:40.77, almost four seconds ahead of the 2005 record of 3:44.69.
The boys 200 Medley relay team contributed the tenth record breaking swim to the team’s 2015 season. The team of JJ Batt (III), Harrison Jia (III), Robbie Warming (II) and Thomas Hannah (III) dropped two seconds from their prior best time to break the record with a time of 1:42.00.
If breaking four school records so far this season wasn’t enough, the boys’ track and field athletes made sure to make their mark in Milton’s history books by winning the team’s first ISL Championship in 24 years. The Mustangs scored 100 total team points in this weekend’s ISL meet, pulling out a nail-biting win over tough ISL competition—including last year’s champion, Thayer. During the course of the day, 11 athletes on Milton’s squad accomplished at least one personal record. The team’s victory was decided in the final event, where Captain Bobby Gilmore (I) placed 2nd in the Discus.
“Before the final round of throws, Bobby completed the biggest pressure throw of his life,” said assistant coach Steve Darling. “After fouling his first two attempts in the prelims, his third throw landed at 120′ and allowed him to advance to the finals. Had Bobby fouled on his third attempt, he would not have made the finals and the team would have lost by one point. In the finals, Bobby landed a throw at 143′, securing 2nd place and the team victory.”
During the regular season leading up to the ISLs, the boys shattered four school records. Domenic Cozier (II) finished the 100M in 11.04 seconds; Domenic Cozier (II), Mike Silva (III), Chris Lewis (I), and Clay Desir (I) ran the 4 x 100M Relay in 43.79 seconds; Jeff Brown (I) threw the javelin 189′ 11″: and Captain Bobby Gilmore (I) reached 151′ 1″ with the discus.
Milton seniors Bobby Gilmore and Jonnie Lawson will be honored as top scholar-athletes at the 40th awards dinner of the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame on May 3. The Scholar-Athlete award is one of the most prestigious in high school football.
“This is definitely a huge highlight of my time with Milton football and I was really excited when Coach Mac told me. And I was equally happy for Jonnie too,” says Bobby, who played offensive tackle and defensive end. Bobby’s athletic talent was recognized several times over the past year;he was named ISL All-Star, all New England, NEPSAC Lineman of the Year, All-State, Boston Globe All Scholastic and Boston Herald All-Star. He will attend and play football at Harvard University this fall.
Jonnie, who was also named an ISL All-Star, played defensive end, left guard and long snapper for Milton. Jonnie will play college football but he is still deciding on which school. He said the highlight of this year was Milton’s 40-7 win over Nobles Greenough at the last game of the season. “We had a lot of fun this season; it was solid team and such a good group of guys.”
The National Football Foundation High School Scholar-Athlete Awards honor the best of the best at the high school level. Representing thousands of high school players across the nation, 3,300 scholar-athletes are selected each year by 120 local chapters of The National Football Foundation for their superior academic and athletic performance as well for their leadership and community service. A committee of college and high school administrators and members of the media selected the 33 Eastern Massachusetts awardees.
Colby Parsons (I) and Sam Rochelle (II) wrapped up their excellent diving season by placing 3rd and 4th place respectively at the New England Diving Championships. There were 29 divers from New England Prep Schools, diving 11 dives each.
“We dove really well and it was something we could both be proud of,” says Colby. “Sam was so energized. This was his first New England’s and that translated into an exciting event for him.”
Both Colby and Sam are former gymnasts, who started diving at Milton under the guidance of Coach Suzanne Debuhr. Gymnasts make natural divers, but there are key differences in the two sports. Colby says some of “the hardest challenges are learning to land on your hands or head and learning to use the board to your advantage.”
Prior to New England’s, Colby and Sam took 7th and 8th place at the Easterns Swimming and Diving Championship in Philadelphia, a much larger event that includes both private and public schools from around the East Coast.
“Both of us were very pleased. It was a much larger and competitive meet, and we both dove to our potential,” says Colby.
The varsity girls’ hockey team ruled the rink at the Phillips Exeter New Year’s Tourney, winning all four games in the weekend tournament to clinch the championship. It was their first tournament win in the past five years.
After winning games against Stanstead College (2-1) and Brooks School (5-4), the team beat Rice Academy 3-2 in a three-player shootout where goalie Hannah Congdon (III) stopped all three shots and Captain Katherine Flaherty (I) scored the lone Milton goal. During the game, Maria DiMartinis (III) scored both Milton goals and Hannah made 24 saves.
That shootout win gave Milton’s Mustangs the top seed in the championship game against Rivers School, where they beat Rivers 3-1 on goals by Anne Malloy (II), Maria DiMartinis (III) and Jen Costa (III). Hannah made 20 saves in goal.
“It was an impressive weekend,” says Coach Ryan Stone. “We played as a team throughout. We showed great resilience, coming from behind to win in our first two games. There was awesome effort throughout the entire weekend and other coaches remarked on how hard our team worked. I am very proud of the team’s effort and look forward to our continued improvement as a program.”
Every holiday season, the best talent in independent school hockey gathers on the rinks of Milton and Nobles for a chance to claim the coveted championship titles of the Flood-Marr Tournament and the Harrington Invitational Tournament.
Celebrating its 50th year, the Flood-Marr Tournament is a three-day competition for boys’ teams, which this year includes Deerfield, Kimball Union, Salisbury, Nobles, Hotchkiss, Phillips Andover, Westminster and Milton.
On the same weekend, the top girls’ talent take to the ice at Milton and Nobles to compete in the 34th Annual Harrington Invitational. Milton will skate against BB&N, Westminster, Williston-Northampton, Nobles, Lawrence, Pomfret and St. Mark’s.
The tournaments run from Friday, December 19 through Sunday, December 21.
Squash players Ranim Mohamed (III) and Caroline Spahr (Grade 8) won their respective divisions (U17 and U15) at the Baltimore Junior Championship Tournament. This is one of the biggest events on the national squash calendar and both players beat a handful of players ranked in the top 10 in the country on their way to victory.
“Ranim and Caroline are two of the best squash players competing in the U.S. and I am incredibly proud of the fact that they were both able to win their respective divisions at the Baltimore JCT,” says Chris Kane, the girls’ varsity coach. “Both are talented and dedicated athletes who have worked incredibly hard for their success. They both represent the ideals of the student-athlete and match their work on the court with sportsmanship and equally dedicated work in the classroom.”
Both Ranim and Caroline starting playing squash when they were young and they both say the best part of playing squash is “winning!” Ranim is a new sophomore from Alexandria, Egypt. She has had numerous top placements in national tournaments. Caroline competes on the Middle School team and is looking forward to playing for Coach Kane when she moves to the Upper School next year.
With chanting fans packing the ACC, the atmosphere was electric as the girls’ volleyball team faced off against Nobles and Greenough in the final game of their regular season. The Mustangs blocked and spiked their way to a thrilling 3–0 victory. With only two losses to ISL teams this season, this win clinched the league championship title and earned the team a spot in the New England playoffs.
“For that hour and a half, the girls were rock stars out there,” says Derek Palmore, varsity coach and Middle School faculty member. Last year the team finished strong, but this season surpassed all expectations.
“The girls sustained such high-level play this season,” says Coach Palmore. “As a team, they had incredible turn around and recovery time. So if we found ourselves down a few points or lost a match, the team did a great job moving forward quickly.”
This marks the first time in over a decade that the team has made the playoffs. Though they fell to Phillips Andover in the first round, captain Marina Fleites (I) credits both Coach Palmore and Assistant Coach Fang Yuan with bringing the players up to their A game.
“In practices, we would split up,” she says. “Defense players went with Coach Fang, because that is his specialty. Coach Palmore focused on offense. This way we worked on a lot more technique, got specific feedback, and then brought it all together as a team.
Most players pick up the sport in high school, because volleyball programs are not as entrenched in New England as they are in warmer parts of the country. Marina is the most seasoned veteran on the team, playing since her freshman year.
“I’m so excited we made post-season,” says Marina. “I remember as a freshman looking up at the banners hanging in the ACC, and all I wanted was a banner for volleyball. And now we have one! I am so proud of the team. Everyone played amazingly well against Nobles, and the energy of the crowd certainly helped.”
On October 25, Josie Wilson (I) broke the five-year girls’ course record in cross country with a time of 19:36 at Cunningham Park, beating the old record by seven seconds. This is Josie’s first season with the team; she previously spent her fall season on the varsity soccer fields. The weather challenged Josie and her teammates on Saturday; occasional downpours soaked most of the course in several inches of water. Milton’s newest record holder talks running and strategy:
Q: Why did you decide to make this your first season running cross country?
JW: I’ve always liked to run, and I have run distance track at Milton since freshman year. Last year my times in track improved significantly. This was the first summer in four years that I didn’t spend at sleep-away camp, so I decided to sign up for a running program called Emerging Elites, to stay in shape. After a summer of training, I realized that I was probably better at running than I was at soccer. I had played soccer for fourteen years, and I loved being a part of the “Wolfpack,” so it was a difficult decision for me to make. I ultimately decided to join the cross country team because I’d put a lot of time into training, and it seemed like a waste not to do anything with it. I wanted to see how strong a runner I could become.
Q: When did you realize you might have a chance at the course record? Was that your goal coming into the season?
JW: I realized that I had a chance at the School record after the first home meet, when I ran a 20:03. I knew that the school record was 19:43, so I realized the time was within my reach. After that meet, breaking the record became one of my goals.
Q: When during the race did you realize you might break the record?
JW: I knew Saturday was my last shot. I was feeling great, had a good warm up, and was ready to go. I felt really good during the race. I knew my mile splits had to be between 6:14 and 6:18, but when I came to the first mile, I thought my coach called out “6:40″ when he actually said 6:14. I tried to keep calm and stick to my race plan. I guess it worked! The one place on the course where I realized that the record was actually within reach was at the beginning of the pavement before turning onto the field. My goal was to be at the pavement before 18:00, leaving me with enough time to finish. When I looked at my watch, it said 17:42, so I knew that if I kept running hard, I was probably going to break the record.
Q: Did the weather conditions on Saturday change your race strategy?
JW: The weather conditions were interesting, to say the least. About 15 minutes before the race, it started pouring. I think it was the hardest rain I’ve ever been in! I tried to stay dry by warming up under the trees, but I inevitably got soaked. I kept my race strategy the same, though. I was going to go out controlled, pay attention to my form, and try to focus the whole time. When we lined up at the starting line, the rain stopped, but the course was drenched. A good portion of the course is in the woods, and the trails had three or four inches of water on them. I couldn’t see my shoes for the majority of the race because they were underwater. Looking back, the weather probably helped me. Every circumstance battled against my breaking the record: I was soaked, the trails were underwater, and the course was slippery. In that way, the weather took the pressure off and allowed me to run my race.
Q: The record you broke was five years old. How long do you think it will be before a runner breaks it again?
JW: I’m not sure how long it will stand.. I would like it to stand for a little while; it’s cool to say that I hold the School record! But I would also like it to be broken, so that another person gets to experience what I felt on Saturday.
On a day when New England fall weather unleashed its best and worst—brilliant sun, torrential downpours and a double rainbow—the varsity football team tore its way through the mud to a historic 500th win, in a victory over St. Paul’s School, 42–12.
Quarterback Mike Silva (III) rushed nine times for 172 yards and had two touchdowns. Running back Domenic Cozier (II) rushed 16 times for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Jude Simplice (I) tallied the sixth touchdown for the Mustangs.
Both Mike and Domenic say they were aware all week leading up to the game about the possibility of the historic win, but during the game their focus was just on playing well. “It wasn’t until the last two minutes of the game that I remembered we were going to get our 500th win,” says Mike.
Mike says that although the team got off to a slow start this year, they’ve improved every week, working hard and pulling together. His highlight of the season so far was playing a Friday night game against Roxbury Latin under the lights at Milton High School. “The atmosphere was great, and everyone came out to cheer us on,” he says.
Domenic says the “biggest challenge is this weekend when we play Governor’s Academy.” A win would give the Mustangs a shot at playing in a post-season bowl game. Milton’s football program, which began in 1892 with an undefeated season (2–0), now holds an overall record of 500 wins and 293 losses.