One of the new faces on the Deerfield Academy boys cross country team this fall also just happened to be one of the most important on the team. It belonged to Mike Schloat – the coach.
And that face couldn’t help but break into a huge smile when this proud mentor reflected on his rookie campaign.
“The kids did an outstanding job this season … no doubt about it,” said Schloat. “Each and every one of our runners came into preseason camp this summer in top shape, and they used every practice and every race they had to make themselves better.”
And it paid off big time, as the Big Green finished second at the Division I New England Prep School Boys Cross Country Championships for the second consecutive year. Exeter won the event with 55 points, while Deerfield finished with 93 and Hotchkiss posted 120. Northfield Mount Hermon School and Choate were fourth and fifth with 130 and 135 points respectively.
Individually, Ben Wood ’13 led the charge for Deerfield by finishing fifth in a time of 16:20 to earn All-New England laurels. Robert Beit ’13 also made the All-New England listing by finishing 13th in a time of 16:48. Rounding out Deerfield’s top five finishers were Fred Quesada ’12, who was 18th in 16:58, Reed Horton ’14, who placed 27th in a time of 17:03, and George Reich ’13, who wound up 30th in 17:09.
“We were expecting to be strong this season,” said Schloat, whose club wound up second at the Canterbury Invitational and went 6-2 during the regular season. “We had a number of outstanding runners returning from last year’s team that wound up second, plus we had an outstanding JV team to pick from, so we felt real good about what we could do this fall.”
Just like at the New England Championships, Deerfield placed second for the second straight year at Canterbury Invitational, with Wood and Beit earning top 10 finishes at 5th and 8th respectively. Quesada was 17th, while Horton and Brad Marshall ’12 were 25th and 42nd respectively. And while on the subject of repetition, for the second straight year, the Deerfield boys captured the Richard Miller Invitational, which is hosted by Westminster School. Deerfield took the team title with 31 points, while Tabor Academy was second with 54. The Big Green wrapped up the crown early, as Quesada, Wood, Beit, and Reich finished second through fifth, respectively, and within 15 seconds of each other.
Deerfield captured a tri-meet against Trinity Pawling, Berkshire, and Kent when Horton finished third, while Alfonce Nzioka ’12 and Marshall wound up fourth and fifth respectively. In a meet which the Big Green swept both Loomis and Choate, Wood and Quesada placed first and second respectively, while Beit, Reich, and Horton came in fourth, sixth, and eighth respectively.
In its regular-season finale, meanwhile, Deerfield downed Northfield Mount Hermon School, 24-33. Wood was a second-place finisher, while Quesada, Reich, Beit, and Horton filed in fourth through seventh respectively.