By Dan Guttenplan
---- — AMESBURY — The Newburyport boys cross-country team put the finishing touches on a perfect dual meet season yesterday, setting the stage for a run at an Eastern Mass. Division 5 championship for the third year in a row.
The Clippers (11-0) beat Amesbury 17-42 at Woodsom Farm, capping their second undefeated season in a row. Newburyport has not lost a dual meet since October of 2011.
“That’s a good accomplishment for them, obviously,” Newburyport coach Don Hennigar said. “They have other things they want to accomplish, but this is a good first step.”
The Clippers will move into the championship portion of their season Saturday when they look to defend their Cape Ann League Open title at Bradley Palmer State Park in Hamilton. Then, they will look to three-peat as Division 5 champions Nov. 9 at Wrentham Development Center.
The bad news for the Clippers is that they will likely be without their No. 2 runner, Chris Orlando, during the championship portion of the season. Orlando was diagnosed with Lyme disease two weeks ago.
“We’re in good shape, but we would be in better shape with (Chris),” Hennigar said. “It’s not going to help our cause, but we’re deep. We have other guys who have to step up. We’ll find out at CALs if we can get it done. If we can, that will be a real positive for us.”
Nick Carleo placed first yesterday for the Clippers in 15:48 at the 2.9-mile course. Joe Molvar (2nd, 16:04), Tim Englehart (3rd, 16:10), Tyler Newfell (5th, 16:36) and Josh Molvar (6th, 16:37) rounded out the scoring for the Clippers.
For Amesbury (5-6), Jimmy Stone (4th, 16:26), Patrick McCue (7th, 16:40), James Worthen (8th, 16:42), Cole Legg (12th, 16:42) and Liam Gallagher (13th, 17:06) factored in the scoring.
The Newburyport girls team finished its dual meet season with a 9-2 record thanks to a 28-31 victory over Amesbury (5-6). Amesbury’s Julia Shorter (1st, 18:06) won the race in 18:06. Newburyport’s Kristen Mackie (2nd, 19:17), Kelly Conway (5th, 19:52) and Rachel Haley (6th, 19:59) helped break up the Amesbury pack to secure the win. Amesbury’s Samantha Stone (3rd, 19:23) and Hailee Gibadlo (4th, 19:43) put the pressure on the Clippers.