It was a HOT, HUMID day at the great Manchester Invitational, one of our two largest meets of the year. MV was very cool under our super-awesome tent though, easily the best tent at the meet. Also, thanks to some super parents, we had far and away the most and best food. If anyone spent any money on anything besides Lucas’s cupcakes, they didn’t need to. Lucas, by the way, squandered that money on a slushy. Maybe the only food purchased from the meet?
An open race started the day, a new event for Manchester. Noelle’s mom April and MRen and DRen’s sister, Mini-Manch. Champion Sophia, represented MV quite well, placing only 7 spots apart. Coaches Sandu and Irving couldn’t race “because of the early start”, but word on the trail has it that next year there will be a coaches race at the end. A new excuse will be forthcoming. Next up were the freshmen races, with no representation from MV. Why? Manchester is the site of the State Divisional Meet and a great opportunity to preview and race the course. Also, the “Frosh” race is only 2.1 miles long. So the first race with MV representation was the girls JV C race, with MacNeill. With a super lonely starting position, MacNeill surged to the lead (!) briefly going up the hill before settling in for the duration. With the good start, MacNeill ran her second-best time of the year! In the Boys JV C race, Lucas and Mitchell represented the Pride. Lucas surprised everyone by coming out of the hills ahead of Mitchell, it was only later that we found out the reason - cupcakes. The quicker you finish, the quicker you get cupcakes. Both boys took advantage of the still cool-ish weather to run great races.
In the largest race of the day, David, Andrew, and Ryan raced 350 other boys to very solid finishes. David especially, with his trademark roar, ran himself on to next Saturday’s varsity team with the 6th-fastest MV time of the day. Following a break for the Small School races, the MV girls, sporting Manch-traditional french braids, took to the line. By now the heat and humidity had reached a peak, and PR’s were pretty much out the window. It seems like we have a cooler-weather team, which is fine, since the end of October is when it matters for real. Despite the heat, Emma got out to a courageous start, and went on to lead the girls as she has in every other race this season, besting her 2016 finish by 25 places. Highlighting the day, however, was Madisyn, getting out to a more aggressive start and eventually finishing the the #2 girl on the day, with a PR time. Who runs a PR at Manchester in the heat?!? Only crazy people. A sign of greatness to come! Noelle, Lauren, and Tristan finished in that order, surviving the heat to race another day, while Diandra nearly nipped Maizie at the line with solid times, despite the heat.
The last race of the day, and the most anticipated, with 18 state-ranked schools from around New England. David got out to a great start, perhaps too great as the heat and pace caught up with him a bit by the end. Despite some discouragement, he still finished as the #3 fastest DII boy of the day in 18th overall. MRen was next, representing DRen well on the official video (they mistook Matt for Dave) with a great kick. Matt L had a solid race as well, perhaps suffering some of the same fate as Dave, but still getting under 19 on a HOT day. Mason and Ethan cruised in just over 20 (again), Ethan in big ole’ clonker shoes since the spikes wouldn’t come out of his flats. Christian and Connor rounded out the top 7 for MV.
A huge thanks again for all the fan support, the food, and the nearly 400 pictures uploaded. Check them out!