NORTHFIELD -- After five years and a combined five Western Massachusetts titles, a couple of well-established Mount Greylock seniors bid farewell to their respective programs after Saturday's MIAA Division II State Championship Meet.
Kat Chenail and Will Kirby ran in their final race Saturday and both set personal records at Northfield Recreation Center.
"For me, it was less about it being states and more about it being my last race ever," Kirby said. "I mean I was planning on leaving my high school career out on that course. I really gave it everything I had."
Last week, Kirby led the Mounties to their third straight Western Massachusetts title. He finished fourth, with a time of 17:44.85. He wanted to top that time on Saturday -- and did.
He was the second North County runner to cross the line and finished in 46th overall place. He chopped 12 seconds off his previous time, finishing in 17:32.09.
Chenail and her Mountie teammates just missed a third straight Western Mass. title last week, losing to Lenox by nine points. Before her career was finished she wanted to make sure she got a little revenge.
"I almost think it's that there is less pressure this week," she said. "There wasn't that team pressure I mean, we still wanted to beat Lenox -- and I think we did. But there are just so many people out there that you have no idea where you are. You just run your best time."
The Mounties grabbed a little revenge for last week's loss to the Millionaires, finishing seventh overall while Lenox was 15th. Chenail was the only senior to run for the Mounties on Saturday. She helped lead the charge, finishing as the second Mountie across the finish line.
"I hope she helped bridge some of the championships to the next year's runners," coach Larry Bell said with a laugh. "Last week she dropped a minute off of her [personal record], and this week she chopped another 25 seconds. When you're already among the leaders in Western Mass. that is just unheard of.
"Part of her legacy is naming me ‘troll man' and teaching the younger girls how to goof off and be obnoxious. But hopefully, it will include her training habits and racing, as well."
Like Kirby, Chenail wanted to soak up every last second of her high school career.
"I told coach Bell I was being nostalgic today," she said. "I wore my 2008 top 5 shirt and my 2008 states sweatshirt. I was really just looking back at who was on the team then.
"It's just so weird, we have a seventh-grader on our states team this year, and when she's a senior she'll have a sweatshirt with my name on it and everyone will wonder who that is."
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