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Natick High Boys Cross Country finishes season with 12th-place finish at the NXR Northeast Regional Meet

The Natick High Boys’ Cross Country competed against the best teams from 8 different states in the Northeast for a berth at the Nike Cross Team Nationals in Portland, Ore. 
Natick was the 2nd Massachusetts team. Only Brookline (7th place) beat them and they are also Massachusetts All-State Champs. They beat Newton North (15th place) who finished 3rd at the All state meet this year.
Natick was represented by Ben Feldman and Nick Bianchi at the All States. Feldman, a senior who will be competing for UMass Amherst next year, wound up taking 10th place at the All-State meet. 


The boys’ other highlights include coming in 3rd at the BayState Conference Championships behind two of the best teams in the state of Massachusetts (Brookline and Newton North).
The NXR Northeast regional meet is not a school-sanctioned event so the athletes can’t represent the high school so they wore Natick Track Club uniforms. They were also one of the top public school teams in the event. Private schools have the advantage of drawing from many different towns and they even recruit athletes. 
Natick Boys Cross Country showed the utmost resilience although one top 5 runner Steven D’Alassandro, was not able to compete due to an injury.

The boys who competed were:
Ben Feldman-48th
Nick Bianchi0-76th
Sean Fleming-78th
John Bianchi-98th
Jacob Tobin-117th
Brian Arthur
Joe Vogel-47th in Open division
Will Catching-76th in Open Division
The NXR regional course at Bowdoin Park is one of the most challenging courses in the country. It entails running uphill for 1.5 miles and then downhill. The key to racing well there is to make it to the top of the hill without straining too much. However, this is easier said than done. Running a 5-minute mile pace uphill and not straining too much is somewhat of an oxymoron. Needless to say, it’s a tough one. It’s not a race where runners will get their personal best times but it represents the epitome of what XC is: hills, mud, speed strategy, and mental toughness.
All are back next year except Feldman, who will run XC and track at UMass Amherst where he will be studying Agriculture.

Courtesy photos from the event at Bowdoin Park and from the high school season.