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Belmont XC Ran Away From Spy Ponders

Brams sets course record; Boys benefit from a holiday, Arlington AD's situation to gain the upper leg on Spy Ponders.

Every time Belmont High School's Leah Brams runs, people are reminded of a Ben Affleck film.

"Gone, Baby Gone."

The freshman harrier smashed her course record by nearly a minute on Thursday, Sept. 27, as the ninth grader cruised over her 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) home course in 20 minutes and four seconds to finish first going away in a duel cross country meet with Arlington High School (0-3) at Clay Pit Pond.

The Marauders, which defeated their neighbors, 23-3 are now 3-0 in duel meets.

Challenged early by Arlington's senior standout Claire Doyle, Brams kept up a blistering below 6:30-per-mile pace and kept increasing her advantage over Doyle at every mile, winning by 50 seconds. Both runners bested Brams old course record of 20:58.

Belmont's junior pair of Julia Lenef and Lia Aftandilian secured third and fourth places with big improvements to their times, with Lenef taking a minute off her previous best time coming in at 21:50 with Aftandilian trailing by 21 seconds.

After the Spy Ponders' juniors Josie Jacob-Dolan (22:23) and Kira Fullerton (22:51) picked up fifth and six places, Belmont once again showed its overall depth by placing six of the next seven finishers: seniors Maddie Synder (23:01) 7th and Olivia Laing (23:37) 9th; freshman Madison Kelts (23:38) 10th; senior Jessamyn Biette (23:39) 11th and junior Alexis Kaihlanen (23:39) 12th and senior Chenoa Schatzki-McClain (24:02) in 13th.

Belmont's Boys were prepared for a battle against a very strong Arlington team when a combination of the Jewish holiday and the problems the school and town are having with Arlington High's suspended athletic director gave the Marauders the upper leg in their meet.

Due to the distractions in the AD's office, a scheduling change due to Belmont schools observing Yom Kippur was never processed. So the Arlington coach was preparing his team for a Tuesday meet when it was rescheduled for Thursday. Rather than revamp his schedule, the Spy Ponders' coach had his varsity runners run a simulated meet on Tuesday.

At Thursday's meet, the coach placed some of his less experienced varsity and several talented junior varsity runners up against Belmont's best. The result was a Belmont victory, 20-37, keeping the Marauders unbeaten this season (3-0) in duel meets.

Belmont took the first three slots with junior Lewis Sillietto (17:34), sophomore Tim Siracusa (18:02) and junior Glider Imboywa (18:27), taking the maximum 6 points.

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