I am glad to the brink of fear, wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1836 Transcendentalism tour de force, Nature. It is a counterintuitive notion to be so happy that you are afraid- until it happens to you. After our victory last week against an optimistic St. Pauls School we were finally starting to believe we had some legitimate momentum this season, but then a determined and much improved Choate squad came to town on Saturday accompanied by an always solid Loomis Chaffee gang. I would be lying if I said we were not confident before the race yesterday, but our team policy is to take everybody seriously and every competitive threat as a real one, and that we did. It was not quite yet Halloween, but the girls showed up wearing their serious faces and seemed to have a more disciplined approach to their pre-race rituals than usual. It was no doubt a result of the presence of their arch rival Choate, but it also likely stemmed from the depth into the season in which we now find ourselves wading, and with more water comes bigger waves. The girls took that sober and intentional approach, and executed like professionals, taking the initiative from the start and dominating the race during the first mile loop.
Captain Victoria Patterson set the tone with a blistering 5:38 first mile and absolutely crushing her previous course record of 17:55 by pound the course into submission with a nationally ranking 17:39. Following Patterson in second was sophomore Noelle Abeyta, besting all other runners with a season’s best time. Similarly, 9th grader Abigail Fernald bested all other runners finishing third overall with a season%u2019s best time. This was to be a theme as every girl seemingly ran her best time of the season, and with an arch rival in town, it is the perfect time to do so. Following the top three were a surging and aggressive Jane Mallach 11th, a valiant Grace Russell 13th, a fearless Isha Rao 15th, a dashing captain Gemma Bishop 16th, an audacious Erin Howe 17th, a hard-charging Sarah Jung 20th, a rapacious Jean Jin 21st, a marauding Aerin Lo 29th, a pillaging Anna Fu 34th, and a devastating Aurelia Bolton in 37th.
The girls varsity defeated both visitors, besting Loomis Chaffee 19-38 and beating Choate 22-35, while the JV squad bested both competitors, topping Loomis Chaffee 21-34 and surmounting Choate 19-36. The gladness index in the Big Green squad is now spiraling upward, and yet the level of fear is likewise escalating right along with it. Not fear in the conventional sense of paralysis and ineffectiveness, but fear of continued expectation and success, and the apprehensive excitement that comes with being newly competent and confident. There is a joy in that equation involving gladness and fear, and so rather than avoid it, we seek it out. Here is to the continuation of a joyful season for a bunch of joy junkies!