Volume 4 Week 11
The big one was here. The meet we’ve been preparing for all season was finally upon us, and both of our squads were amped up! There had been news of a big storm set to hit Saturday, so the meet was pushed forward an hour, so the hope was that we’d avoid it.
We were wrong!! In one of the ugliest days I have ever seen outside, the teams and individuals competing at the state meet traveled to Derryfield Park for the most important race of the season to this point. It was under 40 degrees, raining steadily, and extremely harsh winds blowing all day. Smith and the rest of the team did their best to battle the cold by wearing several layers of long sleeves, pants, and sweatshirts combined with a tent which had a space heater inside of it. Even still, it was impossible to escape the weather, and it showed.
Division 1 raced first, and our team arrived just as the girls race started. Though they certainly got the course’s best conditions, it was still in a muddy, soft state. After Division 1 finished up (shout-out to Forest Mackenzie and Caroline Fischer for capturing individual titles), it was Division 3’s turn to take on the course. The girls went first, and they truly put on a performance to be proud of. Although they didn’t finish as well as they were hoping to in terms of team scores, all five of our girls went out and ran very solid races, which is really all you can ask for. The freshmen handled the cold especially well, and ran with composure that you just aren’t supposed to see at that young of an age. The team ended up finishing seventh as a team, two spots off their target of fifth. Even still, the girls’ performance this season made me very proud to call them my teammates, and I can safely say that the future of Mascenic girls cross country is very bright.
The boys followed up the girls race, hoping to complete our goal of repeating as state championships. Right from the start of the race, that was in question. As soon as the gun went off, three of our runners fell. In an even more shocking turn of events though, I was not one of the guys to fall. Weird, right? Anyway, our guys that did fall managed to bounce back up quickly and get right back into the race. At the halfway mark, Campbell was leading with their top five stacked in front of our #3, and it appeared that they were going to succeed in stealing the title away from us. But, our guys were able to show the mental toughness that this sport requires, and hold on to stay in contention. Our third, fourth, and fifth guys showed some serious grit as they picked off several Campbell guys towards the end of the race, which helped us grind out another state championship by two points. The Cougars really gave us a run for our money with some of the gutsiest performances on the course that day and they’ll certainly be looking to run even stronger at MOC’s next week.
States was a testament to everything that makes cross country so great, and hopefully the boys team will keep the success from states rolling into Meet Of Champions next Saturday. At this point we can deem the season a success, considering the position we were in seven weeks ago. But we don’t want to sit on our laurels on this one. We’ve got some unfinished business to attend to are looking to give Meet of Champions all of our attention now.
Best of luck to all teams and individuals competing this coming Saturday!
Volume 4 Week 10
With the end of the season getting closer and closer with each day, on Monday the varsity team took to the track for 500’s, our last specific workout of the year. It was tough, muddy, and the track may have been a little soft, but the team really worked hard and got in a really good day. For the JV guys, their workout was a series of 200’s at a fast pace to get them ready for their state meet on Wednesday. They also looked to do some solid work.
On both Tuesday and Thursday, the team had a pair of easy runs. However, these runs were both joined by Mike, DJ and Jason, all varsity members of last year’s state champ squad. It was great to spend some time with them, and I hope it was a solid learning experience for our younger guys on how far hard work can get you.
Wednesday, the team rode up to Coe-Brown for the third time this season for JV states. It was a really cold, rainy afternoon, but that didn’t stop our guys from running tremendously well. The boys got out hard, which is crucial to succeeding on that course. From there, the race only got better. Gabe, our top guy for the JV squad, crushed the race and cruised to a huge PR. Jethro and Jace performed in a big way, especially Jace. Overall, the boys finished as the top D3 squad, which shows just how deep our team is as a whole.
The week finished on Friday with another trip, this time to Derryfield Park in Manchester. Getting one last look at the course for Divisionals will be helpful in our navigation of it just over a week away. The team did a combination of just running the course as an entirety, along with practice on the starting hill, finishing stretch, and downhill.
Week 10 put the team in a great position to be ready for states, and also had a great finish to the season for the JV team. With states next Saturday, the team is looking to be firing on all cylinders. Lastly, quick shout-out to Boynton Middle School, whose teams ran extremely well on Saturday!