Mascenic got its 2020 cross country season off to a quick start this past Friday with the Hill Billy relays. Following in the footsteps of elite teams like the Bowerman Track Club and Northern Arizona Elite, the club sparked the season up with an intrasquad competition to get things rolling. With the course in excellent condition and slightly cooler weather, the crew got to scratch their legs and “bust the rust” prior to the official opening of the racing season.
Running the 1.5 mile loop in the opposite direction, teams lit out of the baseball field to circle the field hockey field before disappearing behind the elementary school and onto the rest of the course. The DREWSKYes, the team of sophomore Drew Traffie and freshman Skye Lambert took the early lead when Skye went right to the front with the majority of the girls squad right on her heels. By the mile mark she had opened a 60 meter lead that would only grow into the hand off area. Partner Drew wanted to put the nail in the coffin early and make the most of his 100 meter lead, tearing out of the starting area, making it hard for anyone to get a bead on him.
TEAM DREWSKYes would run away with this one, covering the 4 loop course in 39 minutes, 38 seconds. However behind them, some tremendous battles raged. Setting up the teams based off last year’s performances at the championships, matching the faster runners with the less faster runners to balance the racing, we’d see many lead changes and finishing straight battles throughout the race. Even running by freshman Emma Schaumloffel and junior Jethro Somero would put them into the second spot after the half way point but five other teams were within striking distance with 3 miles left of racing to go. Schaumloffel would give them a solid advantage as she handed off to Somero for the final circuit.
While Somero became the target for the rest of the field, with junior Connor Traffie and senior NH All Star Landen Vaillancourt working hard over the last lap to close the gap, The CLAMPETTS would retain second position earning early fall season glory and the second place pumpkins. While Traffie would chew through most of the field, the AMAZING FOAM SPOONS would land just off the podium. And while Vaillancourt would take up the baton in last, down by almost two and a half minutes on Traffie, he was able to get back more than half of it, moving his team from last up to within a minute of the five teams ahead of them.
Keeping the Mascenic Hill Billy tradition alive, the teams ran with corn as batons, with each athlete having their own ear to carry (thus giving it the true feel of a relay race) with a harvest theme and pumpkins as prizes (a tradition we’re “stealing” from the Derryfield School’s Cougar Classic.) Team HARLEYQUINN even raced in overall shorts and cutoff flannel shirts to take up the mantle from Kearsarge. Different from last year was the relay exchange zone. The traditional twenty meter zone had the outgoing runner taking off once the incoming runner crossed into the exchange zone, keeping to the social distancing guidelines.
So while things were different and a bit more low key by running this race intrasquad, it was great to be back at it and it felt good to be back to real racing. For this first week of practice, things felt a little off, a bit too subdued, almost like the season wasn’t real. With the first “race” in the bag, I’m now looking forward to the rest of the season and getting back to “normal.”
1 The DREWSKYes (Skye Lambert, Drew Traffie) 39:38
2 The Clampetts (Emma Schaumloffel, Jethro Somero) 42:20
3 Amazing Foam Spoons (Florrie Schaumloffel, Connor Traffie) 43:20
4 Payton Place (Maya Callahan, Payton Vaillancourt) 43:38
5 White Ninjas (Amelia Smith, Ryan O’Shea) 43:41
6 HarleyQuinn (Sydney Bane, Quinn Aldrich) 43:46
7 Itty Bitty Diddys (Gracie German, Charlotte Crawford, Landen Vaillancourt) 44:28
8 Domination (Victoria Smith, Dom Cicchetti) 45:03