October 14th – Deerfield vs. Loomis Chaffee and Choate @ Loomis Chaffee
On the road for the fourth consecutive week, Deerfield boys’ cross country traveled to Loomis Chaffee on Saturday for an annual showdown with the hosts and their neighbors from Wallingford, Choate Rosemary Hall. Loomis’ course is traditionally a fast, flat one, and it lived up to its reputation on this warm, overcast day. Scored as a “double-dual” meet, Deerfield ended up finishing behind both Loomis and Choate in the varsity races, but the objective was to come away from the meet having learned something about racing against some of the stronger competition in the league. Mission accomplished!
As expected, the varsity race played out as an aggressive, speedy affair. The lead pack, featuring a talented runner from Choate and Loomis’ top runner—and course record holder—covered the first mile in just a tick or two over five minutes and never looked back. Those two athletes dueled for nearly the entire 5-kilometer distance before the hometown harrier took control to win and break his own course record. Deerfield’s top two runners, Will McNamara and Ricardo Gonzalez, hung with the leaders through the first half of the race and worked well together to fight off challenges from behind as the hung on for 6th and 7th place. Right on their heels and riding the strength of his best lifetime race came ninth-grader Charlie Lewis, who finished in 9th place with a more than thirty-second PR. Marco Marsans (12th) and Declan Cullinane (18th) rounded out the scoring five for Deerfield, followed by Jake Meier in 19th and Thomas Lyons in 21st.
The JV race featured a handful of Deerfield runners hungry to prove themselves on the speedy Loomis course. A pack of five Big Green harriers led the way, along with Loomis’ top JV runner, as the race passed the one-mile mark. As the competitors strung out over the second half of the race, Deerfield’s runners hung tough with many of them earning lifetime or season best times en route to a strong team finish. Loomis’ JV was too strong for Deerfield, but the Big Green did come away with a solid team win against the Choate “second seven.” Mat Panikar and Hayden McGuinness led the way for Deerfield, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively, followed by Donnie Sparks, Ian Gordon, and Teddy McCarthy in a strong pack not far behind. Next to break the tape was Charlie Braff, completing his first 5K to earn 25th overall; Kevin Gu (57th place) also finished his first race in the Green & White. Congratulations to both!
Deerfield returns home for two consecutive weekend showdowns starting on October 21st against Phillips Exeter. The boys will be glad to get back on their home course for some challenging dual meets to tune up for the New England championships in November.