DALTON -- After the first meet of the cross country season, Larry Bell knows one thing for sure: It's going to be an interesting season.
Just minutes after watching his girls' team beat Wahconah 15-49 and barely edge out Lenox 25-30, the Greylock coach is excited about what the season has in store.
"We just have a great league in terms of individual runners, teams and there are some great coaches out there," Bell said. "It's a blast. You don't sleep too well, but each meet is a blast."
That talent was out in full force for both the girls and boys races on Friday at Wahconah High School.
For the girls, Hoosac Valley junior Kalyn Alibozek beat Emily Kaegi of Greylock, by 22 seconds. Kaegi is the defending Western Massachusetts champion. As a team Greylock swept both its match ups while Hoosac split, beating St. Joseph's and losing to Lenox. Lenox went 1-1 on the day.
On the boys side, Lenox put an end to a 37-race unbeaten streak for Greylock. Lenox's Scott Carpenter won the race by almost 45 seconds, and teammate Tucker McNinch finished second. Greylock got personal records from both Will Kirby and Carter Stripp, who finished third and fourth, but it wasn't enough as Lenox won 24-31.
"Lenox is for real," Greylock boys' coach Scott Burdick said. "They are a good team, and the team to beat this year. We were the last few year's but this is their year."
Lenox's Ben Herrick took seventh place overall
"It's definitely a disappointment," Greylock's' Will Kirby said. "It would have been great to go undefeated my senior year, but I feel like it's good to have a little bit of a reality check. I think it will be motivation to train a little harder."
Hoosac's Travis Ciempa took fifth behind the Lenox and Greylock combinations.
Lenox swept both its matches, beating Hoosac 19-38. Greylock also beat the Hurricanes, winning 21-37. The Mounties improved to 2-1 with a win over St. Joseph's who did not participate in the race.
"Nobody was going to beat Lenox today," Burdick said. "My boys ran really well, Lenox just ran a little bit better."
On the girls' side, the three time Western Mass. champion Mount ies kept their win streak alive.
"We really want to keep it going," Kaegi said. "But we are just going to go and take it one race at a time."
Her second place finish isn't a disappointment, but more of a motivater for the junior.
"It's not disappointing [losing to Alibozek]," she said. "It's just something to work for till the end of the season. She is really good. I just have to keep it up. Keep gaining on her and keep looking ahead."
While Kaegi and teammate Kat Chenail, who finished fourth, are focused on improving and keeping a long win-streak alive, Alibozek is hoping to maintain her top spot.
"I just have to keep practicing and keep pushing myself," Alibozek said. "I was really nervous heading in. You just have to push through it and you have to think you can win and try not to slow down."
She didn't slow down. About a mile into the race she was neck and neck with Lenox's Hannah McClusky. At the two-mile mark she had a 20 second lead.
"She's for real," Hoosac coach Ron Namislo said. "About 12 years ago, I had a girl go unbeaten. She has the potential to do that herself, she's just that good."
Opposing coaches have also noticed.
"Kalyn Alibozek, what a phenomenal story," Bell said. "She has just exploded onto the scene this year, and she is the real deal. She's going to put up some phenomenal times before she is done."