For the second year in a row the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School cross country team has produced a banner season.

Saturday afternoon in Wrentham, the boys varsity squad finished at the top of the pack, winning the division five South Sectional championship with every member of their team finishing within the top 50 runners in a field of hundreds.

Meanwhile, the varsity girls finished sixth overall, and during Saturday’s award ceremony learned they too had qualified for next weekend’s all-state meet in Gardner after final results from around the commonwealth gave them the last wild card spot among division five schools.

Girls teams at September invitational. Vineyard girls won a wildcard spot and will also compete next Saturday in Gardner at the all-state finals. — Jeanna Shepard

Saturday’s result flipped the script from last year, with the boys accomplishing the same feat as last year’s girls squad, capturing the first South Sectional division championship in boys MVRHS cross country history.

Who would have thought that in a year’s passing Coach Joe Schroeder’s teams would earn the same placement but flipped? “No one,” Coach Schroeder said with a chuckle. “The girls ran really well. They just ran their hearts out. I’m really psyched for them.”

All season the girls battled through adversity that came with nagging injuries that hampered the squad. But on Saturday, the team spirit was anything but down. “[They said] let’s just give this a ride, no matter what condition you’re in. We’re going to toe it up to the line and give it our best shot because we’re the defending champs, and they ran so well as a team,” Coach Schroeder said.

The Christy sisters, Eloise and Adrienne, posted the best times among their team finishing sixth and 11th. Then came Yayla DeChiara, who finished 48th, senior and team captain Catherine Cherry at 51, Amber Cuthbert 80th, Kaitlyn Freeman 98th and Margaret Sykes rounded it out for the Vineyarders, finishing at 113 in a field of just over 150 runners.

For the boys, qualifying for all-states “was a matter of placing first, second or third because it was that tight,” Coach Schroeder said. When the final point differential comes down to only nine points between first and second and 15 between second and third, a matter of flipping two places in the final results could mean the difference in qualifying.

It took outstanding effort from every member of the boys team to earn the top spot on Saturday. And every one of them delivered. Peter Burke, the squad’s undisputed leader, finished sixth overall and was followed by Zach Utz, who placed 10th and bested his personal record by a scorching 25 seconds. Then came Borja Tolay, finishing in 15th, Isaac Richards at 17th, Vito Aiello in 26th, Kieran Karabees in 41st and finally Nate Porterfield, who solidified the win by placing 46th.

“The guys, especially the seniors, from the beginning of the season were so motivated. Peter has been our leader and that didn’t change today,” Coach Schroeder said. “Our most consistent guys are Borja and Isaac. They needed to be consistent and they were, they were on top of it. Vito and Zach ran out of their minds today. Zach ran 25 seconds faster than he ever has in his life, and he hosted the pasta dinner last night. So, we’ll be going back to his house this week,” he added with a laugh.

Next Saturday in Gardner, the harriers will run at the Gardner Municipal Golf Course for the All-State Championship against 20 other qualifying teams. The girls will start the action, taking off at 11 a.m. with the boys to follow starting at 12:20 p.m.