Smack in the middle of a beautiful stretch of early autumn weather, the Deerfield Boys’ Cross Country team traveled to Simsbury, Connecticut for the 8th Annual Richard Miller Invitational. Named for a venerable Westminster coach, the Richard Miller is a fun early season meet that provides Deerfield with some fresh competition from many Division II schools, in addition to a few of its regular foes. Deerfield’s Varsity finished fourth in this year’s edition of the invitational, and the Junior Varsity group captured 2nd place. Hotchkiss won the overall boys’ title.
With Deerfield’s steady #1 runner on the shelf for the weekend, the door was open for a younger athlete to lead the way for the Big Green. Sophomore Ethan Brand-LaBarge seized that opportunity, running a smart tactical race to capture 14th place and the first spot for Deerfield. Ethan led a pack of three runners, including Henry Quesada ’17 and Gene Thagard ’15, who placed 19th and 20th, respectively. Co-captain David Hamilton ’14 was next across the tape for Deerfield, finishing 29th, and his classmate, Martin Gaspar rounded out the Big Green’s scoring five with his 34th place finish. Freshman Hughes Benjamin completed Deerfield’s varsity squad for the day with his 42nd place finish.
In the first Junior Varsity race of the year, freshman Sam Vigneault led the way for Deerfield, running a gutsy race to finish 2nd overall. Juniors Henry Sanford and Bryce Klehm weren’t far behind, taking 5th and 6th place after running together throughout much of the race. The rest of Deerfield’s “Varsity B” squad all ran brave, smart races and showed the potential of the next generation of DA runners. Many personal bests were set and important benchmarks established; now the quest to improve and gain experience continues.
Next weekend begins the “regular season” for Deerfield XC: the Big Green harriers will travel to Loomis Chaffee for a quad meet with the host Pelicans, as well as Hotchkiss and Taft.