Photo: Senior Leah Brams finishing first, again, on her home course.
She has been a familiar figure along Belmont’s Clay Pit Pond course during the cross country season over the past four years: the quick leg turnover and powerful stride of the harrier with the French braid who was always in front of the pack during the girls’ varsity race.
Since the day she stepped on the starter’s line as a freshman, Belmont High’s Leah Brams has been untouchable running the 3.1-mile (five kilometers) course, only rarely being tested by girls who tried – but never succeeded – to run her down in the tree-lined allée leading to the finish line.
Brams ended her remarkable running career Monday going undefeated on her home course, and finishing first in the season’s final dual meet against Watertown on Tuesday, Oct. 26.
Brams isn’t one to think nostalgically about the venue.
“It’s more of relief that I never have to run around the Pond again,” said Brams after the race, although saying later that it will be “kinda sad.”
And while the senior was seeking to go out in style with a new course record, she just missed out on her goal finishing a solo run essentially in 19 minutes and 2 seconds, just four seconds from tying her PR.
Oh well, said Brams, she’ll just have to set her personal record at the Middlesex League meet on Monday, an event who won twice – as a freshman and sophomore – while finishing second last year.
In her four years, Brams has only lost one dual meet, in Woburn last year.
And this year’s league meet will see Belmont challenge Lexington – the only team to beat the Marauders in their 6-1 regular season – to earn the team’s first overall title in 15 years.
“I think we can beat them. We didn’t have our best times when they came here,” said Brams.
The Watertown meet saw Belmont flex its muscles, winning 17-44, taking the first four places and 10 of the top dozen.
Following Brams was junior (and Washington State transplant) Sara Naumann (2nd, 19:50), freshman Audrey Christo (3rd, 20:10), seniors Sophia Klimasmith (4th, 20:28) Meredith Hughes (7th, 21:10), sophomore Camilla Carere (8th, 21:25), freshman Eleanor Amer (9th21:26), and seniors Emma Chambers (10th, 21:32), Carly Tymm (11th, 22:21) and Diana Benea (12th, 22:39).