October 21st – Deerfield hosts Phillips Exeter
Another unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon greeted the Deerfield boys cross country team for their annual meeting with the harriers of Phillips Exeter Academy. Crowded fields, supportive Fall Family Weekend spectators, and competitive racing made for an exciting afternoon on Deerfield’s lower fields. When all the racing was finished, Deerfield and Exeter split the day, with the Big Green taking the varsity race, 27-29, and Exeter earning a dominant win in the JV race, 15-50.
Two Deerfield runners quickly strode to the lead in the varsity race: Ricardo Gonzalez and Will McNamara entered Deerfield’s first woods section with a lead and never looked back, finishing 1-2 easily on their home course. The race behind them was thrilling, as Marco Marsans broke up a large pack of Exeter runners on the strength of a strong final mile to capture 4th overall and help secure the team win. Exeter’s deep pack of runners held onto 5th through 8th places, but Jake Meier kept them from sweeping 5th through 10th by kicking his way through to a PR and a 9th place finish. Freshman Charlie Lewis rounded out the Big Green’s top five in 11th place, followed by Deerfield’s “chase pack” of Tom Dillon, Declan Cullinane, Thomas Lyons, Mat Panikar, and Hayden McGuinness, who took 12th through 16th place. It was great to have Dillon back after rehabbing a nagging injury since the season’s second week. Of the ten runners Deerfield fielded in the varsity race, eight ran new lifetime best times on Saturday in hot conditions; with two more dual meets to go before New Englands, the boys are finding postseason form.
Featuring their characteristic depth, Exeter was untouchable in the JV race, taking the top 12 spots. Teddy McCarthy ’20 was Deerfield’s top finisher, running a bold race to finish 13th. Neil Nie and Christian Ransom both returned from injuries to run season’s best times in 16th and 18th places, and Matt Popkin ’19 was right behind them as he completed his first-ever 5K to finish 19th. Congrats to you, Matt! Other personal best times came from Seth Thayumanavan who dipped under 22 minutes for the first time, and Oscar Depp, who broke 23:00 for the first time. Way to go!
Deerfield’s harriers are home again next weekend—on Sunday!—when they will host Phillips Andover.