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The Arlington Catholic girls' cross-country team topped its fourth straight undefeated league championship with an even bigger accomplishment: qualifying for the All-State meet for the first time in school history.

The Lady Cougars earned fourth place overall as a team in Division 5 of the Eastern Massachusetts Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 10, in Wrentham, head coach Jack Dempsey said. The team's top-five finish earned the girls a trip to the All-State Division 2 Championships Saturday, Nov. 17, in Northfield.

Senior captain Janelle Solviletti (Billerica), fresh off her first-place finish at the State Coaches Invitational meet last week, continued her strong running by placing a solid fifth in the field of more than 200 runners. Junior Hannah Kirby (Wilmington) ran her best race of the season and finished 17th.

Junior Kaitlin MaCauley (Waltham), despite running with a severe hip injury, placed 31st, giving the AC girls the boost they needed to qualify for the States. She was followed by sophomore Kathleen McLaughlin (Waltham), who also ran her personal-best time and placed 34th.

Medford junior Olivia Stewart was 82nd, senior captain Lauren O'Neil (Stoneham) 105th and Medford junior Olivia Liberti 113th. All ran strong performances to help the Lady Cougars into next week's competition, Dempsey said.

In the boys' division, senior captain Kevin Connors (Belmont), who also won his race at the Division 2 State Coaches Invitational last weekend, placed 10th in Saturday's strong Division 5 field to qualify as an individual for next weekend's All-State championship meet.

While the Cougars didn't qualify as a team, it finished in the middle of the pack with a respectable 21st-place performance. Somerville junior Sebastian Bissereth finished 121st, Burlington junior Alan Judd was 122nd, Arlington junior Nick Canniff finished 152nd, Lexington freshman Mike Venditti was 157th, and Medford junior Mike Kumar placed 188th.


The author is the publisher of InsideMedford.com .