2011 NEPSTA Division I Championships @ Phillips Andover Academy – 11/12/11
Complete results available here: http://coolrunning.com/results/11/ma/Nov12_NEPSTA_set3.shtml
Deerfield’s boys cross country team finished 2nd at today’s Division I New England Championships, repeating their runner-up finish of 2010. The Deerfield harriers entered the day with hopes of challenging favored Phillips Exeter, but the talented boys from New Hampshire ran away with the meet, placing four athletes in top 12. Deerfield’s pack ran as tightly as they have all year – actually beating Exeter in terms of spread between #1 and #5 – earning a strong 2nd place. The top five team scores were: Exeter (55), Deerfield (93), Hotchkiss (120), Northfield-Mount Hermon (130), Choate (135).
As he has all season long, junior Ben Wood completed the 5k course first for Deerfield. Wood started aggressively, hanging onto the leaders from Brunswick, Andover, and Exeter from the first lap around the Great Lawn. The first five runners paced the field from the moment they left the Great Lawn, and they reentered the Lawn in that same group, with Wood loping along in 5th. Ultimately finishing in 16:20, Wood’s 5th place finish started Deerfield’s scoring off well. Wood’s classmate, Robert Beit, finished next for DA in 13th place; Beit’s time of 16:48 was a nice improvement on a season’s worth of strong times. Co-captain and senior Fred Quesada ran a gusty race to finish 18th overall and 3rd for Deerfield; he was followed by Reed Horton ’14, who took the 4th position for the first time this year in 17:03 and 27th place, and George Reich ’13, who battled heroically on the Great Lawn to finish his best career race in 17:09, good enough for 30th place overall. Deerfield’s spread – the time between the 1st and 5th finisher – was a mere 49 seconds; one minute is a key threshold for strong pack teams to break, and Deerfield’s pack did so by a wide margin. By comparison, Exeter’s spread was 59 seconds; Hotchkiss’, 1:19.
Rounding out the varsity seven were seniors Charlie Wilson and Brad Marshall. Wilson ended his Deerfield XC career in fine fashion, breaking 18:00 for the first time in his career; his final time of 17:53 was nearly a minute improvement on his last race at Andover, and it earned him 60th place. Marshall, suffering from a cold all week, ran a brave race and finished his career with honor and grit, covering the course in 18:43 for 88th place overall.
In the JV race, senior Ryan Heffernan employed a monster kick on the Great Lawn to lead the way for Deerfield in 18:09. Warner Brown ’13 crossed the line next for Deerfield, followed by Brad Hakes ’12 and David Hamilton ’13. Teddy Romeyn ’13 completed Deerfield’s JV scorers, finishing the race in 19:12. DA’s top 5 JV runners combined to finish 6th overall in the team standings. The story of the JV race, however, is the improvement evinced by Deerfield’s runners: all 12 JV competitors today ran season best times. Moreover, Deerfield fielded 19 runners today at Andover. 17 had run Andover’s course two weeks ago, and today, 15 of those runners improved their times, led by George Reich, who improved by 3:39, Brad Hakes who dropped his time by 2:12, and Ryan Heffernan, who shaved 1:33 off his time from the 29th of October. Congratulations to all!
While three of Deerfield’s runners qualify for next Saturday’s All-Star race, this brings to a close the season proper for DAXC. Athletes, parents, supporters, and followers-from-afar all deserve a huge congratulations and thank you for the great season past. The boys already can’t wait for 2012!