By Jane Banahan, Staff Writer
From summer workouts beginning in July until the championship season in November, the 2017 cross country season was a success on the varsity, junior varsity and freshman levels. The varsity team continued its dual meet win streak, finishing with an undefeated record that commenced last year, making them defending champions of the Shore Conference B-Central division.
With new freshmen joining the veteran runners, coaches Tony Avallone and Maria Crowley agree that the team has come together to work as one group striving for greatness.“They are a team; they understand that there is no I in team. One of the true joys of this year is watching them become teammates,” Avallone said.
The runners all practice together, and Avallone appreciates the versatility of the JV and freshman girls. “They bounce back and forth from the JV and the varsity. Those runners might be considered JV in our program but would be considered varsity anywhere else,” Avallone said.
The team began their season with workouts early in the summer. “It was nerve wracking at first,” said freshman Ally Lawson, “but I immediately fell in love with the cross country team.”
The initial goal for the freshman runners was to be the first freshman squad at Trinity Hall to win the Catholic Track Conference Championships, and on Nov. 4, they accomplished that goal. The freshman team’s accolades also include wins at the Monmouth County Championship on Oct. 17 and the Shore Conference Championship on Oct. 26. The varsity team, led by senior captains Bridget Andree and Lexi Salerno, also had a successful season, which extended several weeks into November. At the Non-Public B Group race at Holmdel Park on Nov. 11, six runners finished in the top 40 for the 5,000 meter run, with an average time of 21:31 for the top five Monarch finishers, to finish second overall to Villa Walsh. This impressive finish allowed the varsity team to achieve its goal of qualifying for the prestigious Meet of Champions the following weekend at Holmdel Park.