More Than Just Running: Holyoke Boys Cross-Country Win Western Mass Title

Sara Morin was on-hand at Stanley Park to see the Holyoke boys cross-country team win Western Mass for the first time since the competition’s founding.


On Saturday, November 14th, seven of Holyoke High’s best runners braved the frigid weather and went to Stanley Park in Westfield, MA to compete in the Western Mass cross country meet. Western Mass consists of the best runners in the region, and is a very tough competition with many outstanding competitors. Holyoke was proud to send their top seven on the cross country team: Patrick Morrison ’18, Ethan Dupont ’18, Cameron Correia ’17, Joel Ramos ’17, Izaien Lugo ’16, Bryan Dec ’16, and James Curtin ’16.

Holyoke went to into the competition as a team to watch out for, as they had an outstanding season with a record of 7-1 overall. One of their top runners, Cameron Correia, even broke the Holyoke High School record for the 5K, with a time of 15:56. He was the first person from HHS to break 16 minutes during a 5K. Going into Western Mass, Correia had a good shot on being one of the top racers for the day.

The gun sounded shortly after 2:30 p.m. and they were off. The race was extremely close throughout the entire 3.1 miles and the crowd ran along the path, cheering on friends and family members, going from post to post. The boys ran through the beautiful trail and emerged from the woods with four competitors, all in a tight pack trying to outrun one another.

As they got to the finish line, it was clear that a boy from Northampton, Liam Sullivan, had the lead. With unbelievable times all season, Sullivan did not surprise anyone with his victory. Only a few seconds behind him, came three runners, two from Holyoke and one from Amherst. The three racers battled it out on the home stretch and in the end, the Amherst competitor, Owen Wright edged the two Holyoke runners by mere seconds to clinch second place.

Following Wright, came two strong competitors from Holyoke, Joel Ramos and Cameron Correia. Ramos ended his race with a time of 16:11, edging out Correia by only one second, who ended with a time of 16:12. Seconds later, Holyoke also claimed fifth place by Bryan Dec, with a time of 16:17. Then, one more competitor from another school finished, and yet another Holyoke student crossed the finish line! Izaien Lugo stole seventh place with a time of 16:25. The last two Holyoke competitors, Ethan DuPont and James Curtin, also contributed times of 17:52 and 18:22, respectively.

The team knew right away how the individual competition results came out; however, the team results were still being calculated. After clinching 4 spots out of the top 7 finishers, everyone knew it came down to sophomore Patrick Morrison and if his time was fast enough. The anticipation was high, as teams huddled around waiting and waiting for the results to be announced. Everyone waited around the finish line and then the results were finally given. Morrison’s time of 17:35, put Holyoke just over Amherst to take the victory. Through a sea of competitors, coaches, friends, and family, the voice of Holyoke’s coach Dave Reinhart was muffled by the crowd: “We did it! We won!”

Holyoke took first place as a team, out-competing top schools in the region such as Amherst and Northampton. Head coach Dave Reinhart told The Herald, “This has been the first time Holyoke has won Western Mass in 53 years. It takes a lot of focus all year to do what these boys did today. I could not be more proud of them.”

Overall, the fierce competition left everyone on their toes, but Holyoke was able to edge out the other teams and claim the Western Mass title for Holyoke High School. The boys who competed really proved that Holyoke High’s cross country team is really “More than Just Running,” it’s about passion, desire, strength, and team work. Next stop for Holyoke, states!