The middle school team kicked off the 2016 race season on Thursday against Sacopee Valley, Waynflete, Old Orchard Beach, and our hosts, NYA. The conditions were perfect and the hard work the kids have been putting in at practice paid off, with one coach commenting that “your kids look really great for only two weeks in.”
The boys ran first with a one-two finish from Matt Neveu (in what I am quite certain was a course and overall PR after his west coast hiatus) and Louis Walker who shaved more than a minute from last year’s NYA race. John Miles Muentener blew 90 seconds of his prior NYA time to take 5th followed shortly by Wes Teegarden with more than a minute improvement taking 6th. Bryan Stark-Chessa, Benji Meza made their debut appearances taking 9th and 11th, respectively, followed by Aidan Stark-Chessa and Conrad Anderson both running great races and a 3+ minute course improvement and overall PR for Conrad. The boys finished first with a score of 24.
On the girls side, we saw some great pack running from Aniela Holtrop, Nora Goldberg-Courtney, Mamie Whittier, and Eliza Skillings, who took 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, respectively. Nora and Eliza (fighting off a cold) both set course bests, with a nearly two minute improvement for Nora. Isla Barmby closed out the scoring to take 11th and set a new course and overall PR with Carly Blackburn on her shoulder at 12th. Carly and Grace Kessler as our 6th and 7th finishers displaced several runners form other teams to further reduce our score (a good thing in XC). Lila Salter-Gurau and Mahina Carlon had fantastic intro races wearing smiles throughout the two mile course. Sophia Caron took more than a minute off her NYA best followed by Evelyn Lukis and Emma Haims both showing nearly two minute improvements and a new PR for Emma. Ella Emery and Greta White showed lots of grit through the finish, picking up a couple spots at the finish – a great debut race for Ella. The girls also came in first with a score of 20, aided by Carly and Grace’s displacements.
Coach Heidi and I were very pleased with everyone’s performance, poise, and ability to shake the pre-race jitters in our first outing. They all stuck to their race plans, showed us lots of “pizza” (inside joke), and looked phenomenal for mid-September. More work to come as we prepare for a bigger race Thursday (9/22) at Cape Elizabeth followed immediately by the Greely Relays at Twin Brook on Monday the 26th. For those of you new to the Greely Relays, it is an annual fun one mile relay race hosted by Greely where we assemble co-ed teams of seven. Hope to see you all there! Coach John Olson