Jack London, that great master of the tensions between civilization and wild nature, once famously anticipated the Deerfield Girls’ Cross Country squad when he said “I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” This Thoreau-esque call to arms strikes a chord with the 2018 Big Green cross country team. The girls have decided to “use” their time this season, and use it they did on Saturday against the Big Blue of Andover. Although Andover had a depleted squad (as did we), they were still a force with which to be reckoned and so the girls took very seriously their tasks for the day. Several pre-race conferences with an anxious coach led to specific missions and targeted pairings during the race. I’m happy to report the girls rose to the occasion brilliantly, with several shining moments that capped a day that saw the varsity defeat Andover 23 to 33.
Running in her usual position at the front, Captain Victoria Patterson ’20 jumped out to take an early command of the race, with Noelle Abeyta ’21 close on her heels, followed by 9th grader Abigail Fernald. The trio managed a 1-2-3 finish, essentially mathematically knocking out Andover even before the other runners finished. Following the top three were Isha Rao ’22, Grace Russell ’21, Erin Howe ’20, Jean Jin ’22, Ely Burke ’19, Aerin Lo ’22, and Sarah Jung ’20. The last half mile of the race could be nicknamed the Battle on the Lawn as the runners return to the main quad on Andover’s campus, from whence they started, and sprint uphill, turn a corner, and then downhill to the finish. The season’s best finishing kicks were on proud display as our finishing drills have begun to really pay off. Of particular note were the races and finishes of Isha Rao who jumped two spots in the lineup for the day, Grace Russell whose commitment and raw courage was clearly on display, Jean Jin who kicked like a woman possessed, a welcome back effort by previously-sideline Captain Ely Burke, and a clinic-worthy display of using one’s arms when sprinting, by one Aerin Lo. Erin Howe clearly showed she is the master of pace, and Sarah Jung rounded out the squad with a solid performance.
The Big Green welcome our cross town rivals NMH this coming Saturday, and Deerfield says goodbye to its senior girls after their final home meet for their Deerfield XC careers. Please come and join us as we take to the grass, mud, and fields of Mother Earth once more, but also as we take a moment to celebrate some young women that have meant a great deal to us over the years. The week following NMH is the New England Championships hosted this year by Avon Old Farms. It’s all the marbles time!