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From the Worcester Telegram June 13, 2021

For the first time in school history, Whitinsville Christian, with only 12 girls participating, captured the Class C title, holding off a challenge from perennial power Lunenburg, 108-94.

“To be honest, no,” replied senior captain Karen Bekhet when asked if she thought the Crusaders could win. “I didn’t expect it. Our coaches expected us to work hard. It feels great we did this with the help of our coaches, friends and family. It was a great day.”

Bekhet, a two-year captain who aspires to join her teammate Joe Thumann by going to nationals next month in Eugene, Oregon, won the shot put (33-7) and discus (106-2).

Junior CeCe LaBonte won the 400 hurdles (1:09.86) and triple jump (34-10), and ran a leg of the 400 sprint relay, which won in 53.22.

“It’s like being an underdog, I guess,” LaBonte said. “I feel like we worked really hard this season. I think it was a great team finish. All of our hard work paid off.”

LaBonte never imagined being a part of winning three events.

“I was hoping to medal today,” she said.

Whitinsville Christian's Kira Simoncini stays ahead of competitors during the 100-meter dash at Saturday's district class meet.

Whitinsville Christian junior Molly Lashley, one of the top cross-country runners in the region, won the 2 mile in 11:06.91, breaking her personal best by 5 seconds.

“My freshman year, coming here, I think we only had four girls who qualified,” Lashley said. “I just knew there were only a few of us. In track, I think it’s really cool (to win). Just being from a small school and to be able to pull all good athletes together is really cool.”

“For a little school like ours, we’re thrilled,” said assistant coach Baird Lashley, who is Molly’s dad. “Two years ago, we knew we had something special on the horizon. We’ve had over 150 (personal records) this season. I think every kid, even those who didn’t qualify, all contributed. These are 12 kids who encouraged each other. They made each other do well.”

Top WCS finishers in the meet were:

  • 400m hurdles — 1. Cece LaBonte, Whitinsville Christian, 1:09.86
  • 2-mile — 1. Molly Lashley, Whitinsville Christian, 11:06.91
  • 4 x 100 — 1. Whitinsville Christian, 0:53.22 (Alyssa Worley; Jillian LaBonte; Kira Simoncini; Cece LaBonte)
  • Triple jump — 1. Cece LaBonte, Whitinsville Christian, 34 feet 10 inches
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