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Boys' state cross-country championships

Feehan wins in photo finish

Brookline rules Division 1 in state cross-country championships

By Alex Prewitt
Globe Correspondent / November 20, 2011

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When the results went up, Bob L’Homme released a shout, directed toward no one in particular.

“Told you we had a knack for these close ones,’’ the Bishop Feehan coach said, bounding down a hill to tell his team the news.

Bishop Feehan placed four runners in the top 17, overcoming three Pembroke top-10 finishes, to win the MIAA boys’ Division 2 cross-country state championships at Franklin Park yesterday. The Shamrocks finished with 59 points, 2 better than the defending champs, while Sandwich (112) came in a distant third.

“It’s a real sweet victory. This is one of the happiest ones I’ve ever had,’’ said L’Homme. “Everyone picked it up, and they came through.’’

The Shamrocks finished 6 points behind the Titans at last week’s Division 4 EMass championship, but they turned it around yesterday.

Michael Wood (11th place, 16 minutes 36 seconds), Rich Moschell (12th, 16:36), Mike Hanley (16th, 16:44), and Evan Grandfield (17th, 16:46) gave Bishop Feehan its sixth championship in program history.

Pembroke’s Wesley Gallagher (15:43) repeated as the individual champion, outkicking Wakefield senior Stephen Robertson (15:44). Lenox Memorial’s Scott Carpenter came in third at 15:52.

“People know me for my kick, and I really used that today,’’ said Gallagher, who won last year’s title by 0.3 seconds. “At the end, I was in so much pain, and then the pack started to slide away, but I knew I couldn’t let my teammates down. It feels good, but I’d give up all my individual championships for a team one, no doubt in my mind.’’

In Division 1, Jonathan Green of St. John’s (Shrewsbury) felt solid at the mile, but not totally comfortable. But when it came time to make his move, the junior made it count.

Green, who finished seventh in 2010, led a stacked field and staved off a kick by Marshfield senior Joel Hubbard to win in 15:40.

“I knew Joel has a very quick kick, and I knew something was going to happen, because he was only 20 or so meters behind me,’’ said Green. “To be honest, I felt comfortable once I took a lead, but before that I didn’t know if I had a chance or not.’’

Hubbard came in second at 15:41, and Colin Bennie of Wachusett placed third in 15:45. The top eight runners finished under 16 minutes, and Green, Hubbard, and Bennie posted times that rank among the top-20 Division 1 times ever at Franklin Park.

Brookline won the team title handily, with 110 points. Lowell (147 points) was second and Oliver Ames came in third (177).

Despite not placing a runner in the top 10 and only two in the top 20, Brookline, the EMass champions, won its second straight state title. Chernet Sisay finished 12th in 16:10, two spots worse than his showing last year, and teammate Mark Perry (16:10) came in 13th.