The Boys’ Latin cross country team won both the 2014 and 2015 MIAA B Conference championship for cross country. They returned to Stevenson University on Tuesday, Nov. 1 2016, to compete against Park and John Carroll high schools for the opportunity for a third straight title.
Boys’ Latin went into the meet with a record of 1-0 versus Park and a 0-1 record versus John Carroll with a single point separating each team in their previous meetings. This was predicted to be a very close meet between Boys’ Latin, the reigning champion, Park, with the best overall player in the B-Conference, and John Carroll, the only team to beat Boys’ Latin in the regular season.
Two senior captains of the Boys’ Latin team Matt Purnell and Garrett Voigt had some pretty positive thoughts before heading out to Stevenson for the winner takes all championship.
“I feel pretty good about today. I’m nervous, but we have a good chance to pull out the win. The one loss to John Carroll was the worst run of the year for the team because it was the first race of the season and wasn’t 100% our best effort because it was our first race. We are more confident against John Carroll. We are more worried about Park because they have the best runner in the B conference and they group together well, but we beat them once already. Mikey Petillo and Michael Ubriaco can be the difference-makers. If they can show strong we have a very good chance,” Purnell said.
“It is nerve racking but a lot of this is expected. We have a big target on our backs with lots of pressure being the two-time reigning champions, but I’m very excited. I’m going to take it like every other race. It is a mental sport more than a physical sport and you never know when people will crack,” Voigt offered.
In the end, Park took home the trophy thanks to the outstanding time of 16:38.4 by their best runner Tim Barrick.
Purnell shared some thoughts on the outcome of the championship:
“I don’t think there was anything we could have done better. Park just flat out beat us. It was the best race everyone on varsity has ever raced with all of us finishing below 19 minutes. Park just did amazing; we couldn’t have done anything about it.”
Purnell finished with a time of 18:59 while Voigt finished with a time of 17:05.