By Dan Guttenplan
---- — A group of Newburyport seniors that has posted a record of 43-1 against Cape Ann League opponents will compete in a statewide competition for the final time today.
The Newburyport boys-cross-country team, fresh off its third consecutive Eastern Mass. Division 5 championship in a row, will race at the Division 2 All-State Championships at Gardner.
Seniors Tim Englehart, Tyler Newfell, James Nutter, Chris Orlando and Max Vye made Newburyport’s 10-man roster, along with junior Nick Carleo, sophomores Peter Conway and Joe Molvar, and freshmen Jack Carleo and Josh Molvar. Seven Newburyport runners will race, and the top five will count toward the team’s official score.
Vye, Orlando and Jack Carleo will not race tomorrow. Vye is struggling with a leg injury, Orlando has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, and Carleo will serve the role of spectator his freshman year.
Last weekend, the Clippers won a D5 team championship for the third year in a row at the sectional championship meet at the Wrentham Developmental Center. Nick Carleo nearly took home an individual sectional title, placing second in 15:28.7. The winner, Michael Wyman of Old Rochester, finished in 15:27.0. Newburyport’s official runners included Englehart (6th, 16:35), Joe Molvar (8th, 16:36), Newfell (10th, 16:38) and Vye (21st, 17:02).
“(Vye) gutted it out last week, but he’s really struggling with a leg injury,” Hennigar said. “Chris had worked so hard, and was having such a great season. The win Saturday helped him as much as anybody. He was blaming himself for what happened at the league meet (when the Clippers finished fourth).”
Carleo’s entry time of 15:28.7 ranks fifth among all Division 2 runners. Burlington senior Paul Hogan is the top-seeded runner after finishing in 15:08.6 last weekend in Wrentham. At the Division 2 All-State Championships last year, Carleo placed seventh and was the top sophomore. Only three of the six runners who placed ahead of him will return.
The highlight of Carleo’s season to date came September 18 when he broke a 23-year-old Maudslay State Park course record. By finishing in 14:59. Carleo crushed the previous mark of 15:12, set by Hamilton-Wenham standout Darin Shearer in 1990.
Along with the 43-1 record against CAL opponents, this year’s seniors have won four straight CAL titles and three consecutive EMass. Divisional titles.
“They’ve been a product of the success over the years,” Hennigar said. “They were young kids when Greg Englehart, Chris Suprin and Keith Conway were the leaders. They learned a lot from them. This year, it was their turn, and they assumed that role and worked hard all summer. If you can get a culture going, it feeds off itself.”
Englehart and Newfell are coming off the best races of their respective lives at the Division 5 Championships.
“Tim had the best race of his life, and Tyler was exceptional,” Hennigar said. “Those seniors were huge difference-makers.”
The Amesbury boys and girls teams will also both compete in the Division 2 All-State Championships. It marks the first time in school history both the Amesbury boys and girls qualified for the All-State meet during the same season.
Off for a final run What: The Division 2 All-State Cross-Country Championships Where: Gardner Municipal Golf Course When: Today, 11 Which teams: Newburyport boys, Amesbury boys, Amesbury girls