Weymouth’s Corcoran eyeing a healthy run for Dartmouth cross-country

Jill Corcoran in action indoors.
Jill Corcoran in action indoors. –Doug Austin

Weymouth connection keeps Corcoran running

Kristen Mahoney
 could have shrugged off the love from the lowly freshman and continued on running at a record pace for Weymouth High.

A senior in 2008, Mahoney was the top runner on the school’s outdoor and indoor track teams and a fierce competitor on the cross-country team, earning Globe All-Scholastic honors as a junior. The 5-foot-5, 100-pound Mahoney ran like the wind.

But one freshman in particular kept bugging her. Jill Corcoran
couldn’t help it. She wanted to be exactly like her.

Instead, she became better.

“She always said she looked up to me,’’ Mahoney said. “But honestly, we were already equivalent. Jill was very mature for her age.

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“It was rare that a senior and a freshman would become friends, but I didn’t even notice the age gap.’’

Mahoney took Corcoran under her wing and trained with her. It didn’t take long for Corcoran to be just as good as her mentor.

Mahoney went on to have a stellar four-year career at Stonehill College, graduating this spring. She departed Weymouth with a few records, but by the time Corcoran finished high school those records were erased, including Mahoney’s 2-mile mark of 11:39, which she beat by 45 seconds.

“She was my role model,’’ Corcoran said.

“Well, Jill is probably more talented than me,’’ said Mahoney.

Corcoran graduated last year and took off for Dartmouth College. With her Globe All-Scholastic honors and three school records (5:04 mile, 10:54 outdoor 2 mile, and 11:14 indoor 2 mile), Corcoran arrived on campus with a lot of hype.

But she barely muddled through Dartmouth’s cross-country season last fall and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. A running slump, maybe.

As time went on, her body kept feeling worse. Track season came and she had enough.

“After one race I almost collapsed at the end,’’ she said. “I got my blood tested and my iron levels were low. They put me on medicine and my iron got better but my thyroid went in the exact opposite direction.’’

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She had hyperthyroidism.

“It was really hard mentally and physically to try to feel good,’’ Corcoran said. “In high school I was never injured, never got sick, nothing. It was a learning experience to know you’re not Superman.’’

Corcoran took the spring off, red-shirted her track season and got some rest. This summer, she was determined to get back to full strength. So she called up her old running buddy. Mahoney happily answered and the two ran through the parks of Hingham and on the beach in north Weymouth all summer.

Mahoney, her college career finished, is running about 45 miles a week. Corcoran, though, is up to 60.

“She’s training more miles than she ever has before,’’ Mahoney said. “She’s so motivated. She wants to come back and prove that she’s still an awesome runner.’’

“I’m starting to feel really good and it’s so exciting,’’ said Corcoran. “I was sort of embarrassed, almost. I was expected to come in and make an immediate impact on the team. I was letting everyone down.’’ But

her coach, Mark Coogan, “has been really supportive,’’ she said, “and we knew if I worked hard, we could fix it.’’

Mahoney thinks Corcoran has a chance to be an elite runner.

“The Dartmouth program is so good, so no matter what, just being on that team is hard enough,’’ Mahoney said. “But I think she definitely can be one of the best.’’

At home on defense

Robbie Lynch
 was also well known around Weymouth, but for laying his body on the line in every soccer game.

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Lynch, a Globe All-Scholastic as a senior in the fall of 2010, was the orchestrator in the midfield, often running from end line to end line and perfecting the slide tackle (albeit with a fair share of yellow cards).

But at Brandeis last fall, an injury presented Lynch with an opportunity to play defense.

“At first, I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t a huge fan,’’ he said. “I wanted to go in hard to tackle early. But my coach wanted me to play my role. It took me a couple games to adjust to that, and once I got used to it, I started to like it a lot.’’

After playing in a summer league in Orleans, Lynch will return to Brandeis on Monday expecting to play defense or somewhere in the midfield.

Finding his comfort zone

Canton High’s Drew Blake
, who led the varsity baseball team with a .389 batting average as a sophomore two years ago, had been struggling to find a groove at the plate.

He hit just .250 during the high school season this spring before hitting .299 for his American Legion team, more than 100 points below the previous summer’s average.

But at the recent Summer Rivalry Classic at Bentley University, he led all players with a .555 average.

“Baseball is a game of failure,’’ said Blake, who will transfer to Milton Academy and repeat his junior year. “But I’m starting to feel more comfortable at the plate now. I just have to get quicker with my fielding.’’

Here and there

Boston College senior soccer midfielder Kristie Mewis
 of Hanson has been named to this year’s watch list for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy . . . The Braintree White Sox advanced to the National Amateur Baseball Federation’s regional semifinals before losing, 5-4, to the eventual champions, Fedell’s Mechanics from Bridgeport, Conn. . . . The Braintree American baseball team captured the 11-year-old Little League state title last week, beating Medford, 13-10. The squad won all seven games in tourney play, including matches against Braintree National and teams from Middleborough and Holden.

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