October 29th, 2016 – DA vs. Phillips Andover at Andover
Deerfield’s boys cross country team traveled to Andover on Saturday for its annual meeting with Phillips Academy. After a light rain fell during warmups, conditions improved by the start of the races and, as usual, the Andover course was in terrific shape. Though Andover prevailed on the team scores front, Deerfield’s harriers made great progress toward getting their full, healthy lineup ready for the New England championships in two weeks.
In the Varsity race, Hughes Benjamin and Andover’s number one runner, Holden Ringer, engaged in a thrilling duel throughout the 5k race. After Benjamin set the early pace and held a small lead at the mile and two-mile marks, Ringer fought back to surge into the lead with a half-mile to go. Benjamin came back at him, however, reclaiming the lead as the boys returned to Andover’s great lawn for the final 600m. Around the final turn, Ringer found the will for one final surge, breaking the tape a few short seconds ahead of Benjamin. Both boys ran great races and showed terrific sportsmanship and camaraderie afterwards. Equally impressive was a breakthrough performance from Ricardo Gonzalez ’19, Deerfield’s second finisher. Returning from a two-week injury hiatus, Gonzalez sped to his best-ever time, capturing 6th place overall. Marco Marsans ’18 was close behind, finishing 8th place, and his classmate Will McNamara, running his first race in two weeks, cruised to a solid 13th place finish. Chris Thagard ’20 and Neil Nie ’19 rounded out Deerfield’s Varsity squad, finishing in 16th and 17th place, respectively.
The Junior Varsity race closed the day’s events, and Donnie Sparks ’18 led the way for the Big Green, crossing the line in 17th place overall. Alex Kaminsky ’17 was just behind Sparks in 18th place, on the strength of a fine PR performance. Also setting a big lifetime best was Christian Ransom ’19, who cut a few minutes off of his previous best on his way to finishing 24th. Eli Ji ’19 and Thomas Song ’19 also ran courageous races, digging deep in the final half-mile to pass as many Big Blue competitors as possible.
One more dual meet remains on Deerfield’s schedule: Northfield Mount Hermon, the defending New England champions, come to town next Saturday for a race around Deerfield’s lower levels.