On Saturday, October 1st, MV runners will take to the hills and woods of Thetford Academy for the Woods Trail Race. The toughest (slowest) 5k that we run on is also a beautiful course, and site of the New England Championships every 5 years (including last year). Similar to Manchester this year, in 2015 the first cool race day was Thetford, and it was a magical day. The promise of a repeat performance brings us back for the second year in a row, and only the third time in program history. The race has no JV race, but is instead broken up into 5 sections, based on predicted finishing time. The junior high races start things off, then 5th seed, 4th seed, and so on. At the end all times are combined to determine the fastest team of the day.
10:30 - Junior High Girls - No MV athletes in this one, but one of the favorites has to be Andover’s (and future MV runner) Sophia R. The fireworks will start early this year!
11:15 - 5th Seed Girls - With Miranda and Morgan on injured reserve, Ashley is the lone MV entrant in this race. She will be the first one to battle Morty’s Monster!
11:45 - 5th Seed Boys - Mitchell, Lucas, Josh, and Dade will represent MV in this race. Josh is a bit of a wild card with huge improvements lately. Can he be near the front? Who can break 30 on a hard course?
12:15 - 4th Seed Girls - Diandra, Willow, and Maizie run for MV here. This is the race that Tristan won last year in 23:30, it will take at least a 24:00 to win this year. Maizie has had a great week of practice, Willow seems to be in the best and most consistent shape of her MV career, and Diandra is fresh; how close to the front can they get?
12:45 - 4th Seed Boys - The majority of our boys team races here. With dramatic improvements recently, a number of them should be in contention for a top-10 finish. Taylor, Connor, Mason, Ryan, Matt L., River, David Q., and Eli all compete here. Look for Matt, Taylor and River to all be in or near the lead pack. Work with each other, boys!
1:10 - 3rd Seed Girls - Tristan, by virtue of her victory in the 4th seed last year, is our entrant into the 3rd seed race. A little hampered by injury and illness, she needs some Thetford magic!
1:35 - 3rd Seed Boys - Dylan, with a massive PR at Manchester, suddenly looks to be another top-10 contender in this race. Dylan looked great in practice this week, he should be fine on the hills of Thetford.
2:00 - 2nd Seed Girls - Our top-5 pack minus Kristie races here. Noelle, Lauren, Kaitlyn, and Emma should be grouping near the top third of this race. They’ll need to get out strong and then find strength in each other. With a tremendous day one or more of them could find the top-10.
2:25 - 2nd Seed Boys - Matt R. is the only boy entered here, but this looks to be one of the most exciting races of the day. He would need to PR to win, but the course suits the twins well, and Matt is running well. There is a long downhill in the final mile, and I had the pleasure of standing at Manchester’s downhill - you should have seen those boys flying down. I don’t know what it is about downhilling; some can do it and some just can’t - the twins have the downhilling gift.
2:45 - 1st Seed Girls - We are not looking for surprise wins in either of the top seeded races, but we do expect medal finishes. Kristie ran a tremendous race here last year, did well on the same course at New Englands, and seems to have this course figured out. The wild card is the fact that it is SAT day - that makes for a long day if you are test-taking!
3:05 - 1st Seed Girls - See 2nd seed boys race for why David will run well here. No question about it. Just out of top-25 position at Manchester, a top-25 at Thetford would be excellent!
Overall, last year the girls raced their heads off and finished 25th of 53. This year our team is faster, but can they have the day they did last year? A top-20 finish would be fantastic. The boys finished 35th of 63 last year, and a year ago we’d have never predicted that they could finish even better this year. Time will tell, as they too ran crazy fast last year. Can they match last year’s finish? Of even place in the top 30? Come to Thetford this Saturday to find out!