With cool, crisp air in their lungs, rain-damp soil under their feet, and the compulsion to compete coursing through their veins, the Deerfield girls’ cross country team conquered the Westminster Invitational. As team, the girls posted consistently strong times to secure a first place title in the varsity race and second place in the junior varsity race. For many, this represented a first 5k effort; for most, the Saturday race offered just a glimpse of the determined racing ahead.
For the second week, Sarah Jane O’Connor (’18) brought home Deerfield’s fastest time, finishing in 21:52. O’Connor suffered an unfortunate shoelace mishap in the first mile of the race; she secured her third-place finish despite this early pause. Deerfield’s next runner, Jordan Coan (‘18), finished 10th with a time of 22:45, followed closely by Nora Markey (’18) in 22:51. Mary Mack Brown (’18) and Carolyn Melvin (’18) passed a Williston runner in the last moments of the race (a dramatic finish!) to secure 18th and 19th place spots, respectively. Captain Isla Forster (’16) and sophomore Lulu Fanjul (’18) rounded out the top 25 runners; all seven varsity runners finished in the top half of the race.
Sophomore “Supa” Roopa Venkatraman (’18) dominated the junior varsity race, finishing in 24:25, a competitive time even in the Varsity race. Helen Downes (’18) also made an impressive finish, landing in 5th place in 24:56. Returner and cross country maven Madison Siegel (’17) finished 9th in 25:18. Deerfield’s next runners, Penelope Hough (’17) and Katie Morse (’17) both offered strong times, finishing in 26:40 and 26:42. The last three runners, Gemma Bishop (’19), Lily Horowitch (’17), and Fatima Zahoor (’19) finished strong in their first official cross country meet wearing the green and white.
Overall, the weekend offered the thrill of a good race and the promise of a bye weekend to come. The girls look forward to carrying these strong performances forward in the dual meets to come.