CRLS Places Third at Cross Country All-State Meet

Hannah Erickson, Contributing Writer

On November 19th, sophomore Aoife Shovlin made CRLS history with her addition to the school trophy display case: a first place cross country (XC) finish at the Massachusetts all-state meet. With her time of 18:12, Shovlin’s win propelled the girls cross country team to a third-place finish, another CRLS record. 

Only recently has the CRLS girls team emerged as a cross-country force; the team has failed to qualify in an all-state meet since the early 2000s. “We knew the team was capable of that race but to actually put it together at that level is always very impressive,” Coach Ian Woodhouse told the Register Forum.

Having earned coverage in the Boston Herald, Bay State Running, and the Boston Globe, the team has much to look back on from a great season.

Though Shovlin had been among Massachusetts’ top runners all season, her win in the 5K was far from guaranteed: a week ahead of the All-States meet, the Boston Globe’s race predictions listed no fewer than eight viable contenders for first place. “The individual win is anyone’s to nab,” the Globe wrote.  

Despite the long shot, CRLS coaches had been optimistic about Shovlin’s chances. “I told Aoife that she should win the race,” Jamalh Prince told the Register Forum. Coach Ian Woodhouse agreed, “For Aoife, fighting for every spot meant fighting for the win… and I think she knew that [winning] was possible.” 

Shovlin’s plan for the race was simple yet effective. In a statement to the Register Forum, she said, I just wanted to stick with the leaders and try to out run them at the end of the race.” 

The coaches told the Register Forum that they knew they had a good team from the first week of practice, but the season had its ups and downs. CRLS lost several regular season dual meets early on through a combination of COVID outbreaks and injuries. According to a study conducted by the Athletic Health Care System, girls cross country is the most injury-prone high school sport, and the CRLS team bore out the statistics: six of the seven varsity members were injured throughout the season. Hazel McDiarmid ’26, a runner in the all-states team, told the Register Forum, “The majority of us had injuries that took us out of training, even into championship season.”

But the team posted wins when it mattered, with an especially strong showing at larger meets. Coach Ian Woodhouse credits the Bay State Invitationals meet at Fort Devens as a turning point in the season. “I realized we had a real shot at being one of the very best teams when we ran at Devens in October and beat Brookline,” Woodhouse said. 

CRLS XC runners credit team spirit and feelings of mutual support to their emergence as a top team. Eliza Dickie ’24 told the Register Forum, “Since every CRLS XC team practices together, everyone bonds… we all want to win for each other.” “I know every one of us always has each other’s back,” Audrey Jordano ‘25 agreed.

Having earned coverage in the Boston Herald, Bay State Running, and the Boston Globe, the team has much to look back on from a great season. And what is Coach Jamalh Prince looking forward to in the coming years? Winning that elusive state title.