What a day! Super weather, fast times, tasty free food, what more could you want? After days of leaf-blowing, staking, ribbon setting, packet stuffing (thanks Noelle!), arrow making, spray painting, and whatever else, the 41st Annual Capital Area XC Championships went off without a hitch. Great job MV! Thank you to all the volunteers, all ten in the finish line chute, our two official photographers (Karen Thurber is responsible for the almost-200 pictures on our website (smugmug), while Brian Reynolds is responsible for the 774 pictures or more on the NHXC website. That’s a lot of data!), and all the cheering fan support. A MASSIVE thank you to Sandi Lyle in particular for heading up the food bonanza - lesson learned for me to stake out a line before hand, silly me to think that kids would self-form a line for free food - and the wonderful t-shirts. There are many shirts still available, if you missed out just let me know!
With perfect spectator weather and almost perfect running weather, the combined JV race got things going at 3:30 to the sound of Mason’s trumpet blaring the cavalry charge (you should’ve heard his rendition of ROCKY out at the hill later). The largest race of the day with 151 racers, we were well-represented with 9 finishers. Leading the MV contingent across the line was Run Forrest Run, followed closely by MV’s very own R. Kelly (who is actually a senior. He now has the discus tree name after him. I swear I’m going to buy a little metal plaque and attach it to the trunk). Next up was Andrew in a blazing fast time, with David Q not far behind. Now David was leading the JV crew for a while...but being such a nice fellow he wanted to give the younger/newer kids a taste of glory. What a guy! Next across for MV, and finishing as the 9th (!) girl overall...KELLEN! She likely ate the equivalent of an iron skillet today, seems to have worked! Next across - Mitchell, in a sub-26 performance. “Dondra” followed Mitchell in her last home meet ever, sniff, sniff...Diandra is a rare 7-year veteran of the MVXC program and will be missed - 7 years is a long time! Thanks for all the miles! Lucas finished in a solid sub-30 time, likely because we hid the free food until after his race. Little known probable fact is that Lucas may own the team record for Pixie Sticks eaten in a season. Hey, sugar is energy! Wrapping up the running for the Pride was Ashley, who saved her best for the last race of the year. Now just keep running, all of you, all year! In a curious and surprising twist, the combined JV team (three boys and two girls) finished second, the best team finish of the day! Who knew?!
The boys varsity next toed the line, up against some fast competition. In fact, of 2016’s top 10 finishers, only the winner graduated. Fast times were in store! Sure enough, DRen and company (Concord and Tilton boys) blitzed the mile just under 5:00...that is quick! By the end of the race the quick pace ran a little bit out of David, but it was a solid honest effort and race, and he is now the 4th fastest runner to run the current course, established in 2012. There are some very successful collegiate runners lower on the list than DRen now. Also, we finally have an MV representative on the top 10 list! Next across was MRen, with a medal-earning 10th place finish. Matt L. earned the only blue ribbon of the day, with a 23rd place finish. He improved his time and kept his name in the MV top-ten list (as did MRen, by the way). The weekly battle for team 4th went to F.B. Ethan, who apparently lightens his load before most races now. Not sure if there were donuts involved. Whatever the case, it resulted in a PR! Not far back and also under 20 again was trumpeter extraordinaire Mason, followed by a very excited Christian. It is a big deal to break 20, and it is nice to see someone who appreciates that! He got it with the kick of the day. We almost got 7 under 20, as Connor was just over the mark, but in a big season PR. One more opportunity, Connor! The boys ran fantastic as a team, almost beating St. Paul’s for third but settling for fourth with the third-best team time on the Ravine Course (since 2012). The only faster team qualified for New Englands.
The girls had the honor of the final race of the day. While it was a DIII battle up front and quite entertaining, MV displayed a bit of depth in contrast to front-running. Flirting for a while with a top-10 finish, Emma eventually crossed in 18th place as the top MV runner, as she has been all season. Edging closer, ever closer, was Trish, who snagged the second ribbon of the day for the girls in 29th place. LoRun moved steadily up the ranks to place third for the team with a very consistently paced race, just missing a ribbon in 33rd. And who is that just behind Lo? Maddie! Holy Moly, a one minute PR, and another crushing ascent of the ravine hill - no one runs hills like Mad-G. Noelle finished off the scoring for the girls, running a brave race to place 42nd overall. 6th for the team was Dubs, (Maizie), looking and probably feeling a whole lot better than last week. And finally, running in her first ever VARSITY race and certainly racing like she belonged in it...MacNeill! Another big PR, 24 seconds this time! And smiling all the way, of course! As a team the girls place 5th, a mere two points ahead of John Stark and one point ahead of Bow. See girls, every runner matters! If the John Stark girl just behind Madisyn had been ahead of her, we would have placed 7th. But we do strides every day so that didn’t happen!