At the Penobscot Valley Middle School Cross Country League Coastal Championship on Thursday, October 18, Bay School took home not one, not two, but three titles.
The school’s girls team and boys team both took first place, and the school was awarded the Good Sportsmanship Award.
Bay School’s average time for the boys team was 12:00.36 minutes for the 1.9 mile course. The team score was 22. The average for the girls team was 13:10.27 and the team score was 43. In cross country, the top five runners count toward the team’s time and average, but all can work their hardest to knock runners from other schools down the ranks. The top girl runner for Bay School was Zeya Lorio who came in fifth at 13:00.17, and the top boy runner was Garrison Looke, who came in second with a time of 11:27.75.
Anne Piazza, coach of the two teams, said Bay School’s cross country program is unique. The decade-old program works with the soccer team, with about a 90-percent crossover in players between the two teams. The teams practice together, with the cross country students participating in soccer drills and the soccer players practice running. The technique, she said, gives students a lot of fitness training but doesn’t overwork them.
“It’s a great model for kids that age,” said Piazza.
This year’s team was strong for a number of reasons, but primarily because the students are experienced. Much of the team was made up of eighth-graders, said Piazza. “This means they’re older, more mature. They make good role models for the younger kids.” And the timing and luck just worked out right this year, she continued.
“The goal of every coach is to have kids peak at the right moment. The stars aligned for us,” said Piazza. “Each one of them did what they were asked to do.”
Blue Hill Consolidated School also participated in the championship. BHCS took third place for the girls with a team score of 99 and an average time of 13:56.37 and eighth place for the boys with a team score of 209 and an average time of 14:21.09.