September 16th – 8th Annual Brush Invitational hosted by Deerfield Academy
The eighth edition of the Brush Preseason Invitational brought together teams from around the region for a day of friendly competition, fresh apples, and fun for all as Deerfield kicked off its 2017 Cross Country season. Unseasonably warm temperatures and high humidity didn’t get in the way of some terrific early season performances and exciting racing. Most importantly, many athletes at the meet completed their first high school race and everyone enjoyed some fresh apples and tasty grilled delights courtesy of Peter Brush and the Deerfield XC parents. As usual, no team scores were collected, as the focus remained on participation, sportsmanship, and practice.
The 9th and 10th grade race featured Deerfield debuts for the Big Green’s first five finishers, led by an exciting duel between classmates Declan Cullinane and Charlie Lewis. After letting Cullinane work his way to a fifteen-meter lead during the first mile, Lewis bravely battled back to draw even with less than a quarter-mile to go. Cullinane showed great poise for his age, letting Lewis take the lead momentarily with the finish line in sight before surging past his teammate for a two-second win. Not far behind them came 10th graders Hayden McGuinness and Jake Meier, who ran smart, tough races to capture 4th and 5th places. Rounding out Deerfield’s first-time top five was Thomas Lyons, who captured 7th overall thanks to a disciplined, smart race. Congratulations are in order for Mat Panikar, too, who completed his first race in the green and white, capturing 10th overall.
In the 11th and 12th grade race, Will McNamara started strong for the second year in a row, running a great race against some tough competition from Northfield Mount Hermon. McNamara, one of Deerfield’s captains, finished 3rd overall and made it clear that he will be a dangerous runner in New England this fall. JJ Siritantikorn, thanks to a great second half of his race, was Deerfield’s second upperclass finisher, capturing 6th place in a very strong season debut. His teammate, captain Marco Marsans, was only three seconds behind in 7th, a promising sign for some great duels between those two pals throughout the season. Tom Dillon returned to racing for Deerfield in fine fashion, too, finishing in 14th overall. It is great to have Tom back! Two upperclassmen finished their first races for Deerfield: Vanja Obradovic (18th overall) and Ian Gordon (20th overall). Congratulations to them both!
Next Saturday, Deerfield’s varsity seven will travel to the Canterbury School in Connecticut for the annual Canterbury Invitational. This meet every year presents teams with a championship atmosphere early in the season, a great chance to see some top-notch competition before the dual meet season kicks off in October. Deerfield will be looking to improve on their 3rd place finish from 2016.