September 30th – Richard Miller Invitational at Westminster School
The Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, played host on Saturday to the Richard Miller Invitational. Conditions finally resembled a typical fall day in New England; temperatures were cold, the wind was blowing, and the difficult Westminster course was in fine shape. Deerfield enjoyed a great day as a program, emerging victorious in all four races (boys varsity & JV, girls varsity & JV), an impressive sweep that saw Deerfield’s boys place five runners in the top 10 finishers of the varsity race, and six runners in the top 10 of the JV race. Westminster was second in both boys races, and, as usual, was a wonderful host of this fun, challenging meet.
In the varsity race, two runners from Westminster and one from Williston-Northampton School crossed the finish line first before a wave of Big Green harriers stormed across. Co-captain Will McNamara continued his great start to the season with a 4th overall finish, followed closely by Ricardo Gonzalez and co-captain Marco Marsans in 5th and 6th places. One non-Deerfield athlete snuck into the pack before ninth-grader Declan Cullinane broke the tape in 8th place, followed immediately by his teammate JJ Siritantikorn in 9th. Newcomers Jake Meier and Charlie Lewis took 13th and 15th places, respectively, to complete Deerfield’s varsity seven, with only 64 seconds separating Deerfield’s #1 and #7 runners.
The green tide was unabated in the junior varsity race. Ninth-grader Thomas Lyons outkicked his teammate Hayden McGuinness over the last quarter mile to capture 2nd overall behind a strong Westminster runner, with McGuinness holding on to capture 3rd. Close on his heels was another ninth-grader, Mat Panikar, completing his first 5K for Deerfield in 4th place. Chris Thagard (7th), Teddy McCarthy (8th), and Ian Gordon (9th) completed the Deerfield front pack. Other notable JV performances came from Christian Ransom and Seth Thayumanavan, both of whom turned in breakthrough races on a difficult course.
The growth for Deerfield’s team from 2016 to 2017 has been astounding. At this meet last year, in similar conditions, Deerfield’s #7 runner crossed the line in 21:11; this year, 13 Big Green runners equaled or bested that time. Similarly, the 2016 edition of Deerfield’s boys XC team had three runners at or below 18:40 at Westminster; this year, all seven of the varsity competitors met that mark. In short, Deerfield runners have much to be proud of from the Invitational portion of their schedule, and much to look forward to with the dual meet season kicking off next weekend at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire.