Once again we were greeted with toasty temperatures and beautiful weather as we kicked off our season at the Great Glen Invitational at the base of Mt. Washington. Most managed to meet the bus at 6:30 (!), and soon were lulled gently back to sleep by the bus, which seemed to fly along at 40 mph (Oh Joe, where are you?) for hours.
There were noticeably more teams and athletes this year, making for a very competitive meet. The JV girls were sent off on the rolling 5k course first, where we witnessed the first race of potentially the next in a long series of great Hanover runners. Lucy Gluek, in her first high school race, won by 3 1/2 minutes, and almost set the course standard for the day (20:14). Willow, Diandra, Morgan, and Ashley all ran solid opening races, with Willow breaking back into the team top 7 with her time.
The JV boys followed, with Forrest, Dylan R., Matt L., and Dade representing MV. Dylan won the JV MV battle just ahead of Matt, despite losing both (BOTH??!! How does someone do that? I saw one after and it was still tied! I don't understand) shoes along the way, continuing a new MV Great Glen tradition. Note to coach: add to Monday's practice - shoe tying clinic. All seemed happy enough afterwards, it is always nice to get the first race under your belt.
The girls varsity was the third race of the day, featuring MV's very own 2-time defending champion, Kristie. She took the race out quick, running solo the entire way to win by over a minute, also depriving the JV winner of the fastest time of the day. The early pack of Lauren, Emma, and Kaitlyn was whittled down to just Lauren (see what summer running does, people?!) by the hills at midway, though the others hung tough. Lauren stayed strong right through the finish, getting by two competitors on the final hill. Kaitlyn looked strong and relaxed in her first high school race to place third on the team, while Emma rallied from some hill difficulty to finish in the fourth position. Freshman surprise Noelle continued to impress with her MV's fifth place finish, just behind Emma. A two minute 5k PR, even! Maizie showed she belonged in the varsity race (her first!) by placing as our 6th, while Tristan decided midway though that she really didn't want her breakfast anymore and got rid of it. She kept on running for a gutsy finish though!
The traditional trip to Friendly's followed (one server for all of us! She did great), then home finally almost 12 hours after departure. Rumor has it that Thursday's meet will be "crazy hair day". Bring your cameras!
The boys varsity race concluded the high school races for the day. David looked strong the entire way, racing as high as second before eventually finishing fourth, giving up no ground in the last mile. Matt R., perhaps distracted by Coach Sandu's enthusiasm at the mile marker, momentarily took a laying down break (i.e., he fell) but soon righted himself to finish very stong. Dylan was MV's third placer, followed by first time racer, sophomore Taylor. Raging River, back from injury, Ryan, and Connor rounded out the scoring for the MV boys.
The final race of the day was the open race, featuring at least 7 (that's a varsity team!) runners with MV connections. First across the line for MV and the race itself was Sandu, whose New Year's resolution was to "not get beat by those Pinkerton kids again", with a time that was good,...but not as good as David's. Coach Irving was next, slowly reeling in Sophia Reynolds for the first mile before unleashing a deadly 2-mile kick. Sophia will need to wait until she's out of 7th grade for her first victory over Irving, who cannot afford to be beaten by kids in the grade he teaches. Sophia did finish strong, with a time that would have put her in MV's top 7. Irving went immediately to the creek to cool off and so cannot vouch for the order of finish of the remaining runners, but it went something like - Noelle's mom, who gained an appreciation for Noelle's 2-minute PR along the way (this is also why this is Coach Irving's least favorite course, because he actually has to run it!), Kaitlyn's dad, who made his daughter proud, and the rest of the boys in the Reynolds family, Michael and dad. I'm pretty sure Michael took first out of the two, fueled by his pack of "share" gummies, of which he shared exactly ZERO.