9/15/18 – 8th Annual Peter Brush Invitational hosted by Deerfield Academy
Though cross country season has begun and runners and coaches alike wish that meant fall weather, summer still has a few days left on the calendar. It certainly felt that way during Saturday’s 8th Annual Peter Brush Invitational. Temperatures inched upward all afternoon into the mid-80’s and the bright, beautiful sun made the day’s racing a challenging ordeal for all competitors. Named for Deerfield’s longtime cross country coach, the Brush Invitational celebrates participation from all and offers a chance for runners to get a benchmark for the season ahead. Races were broken down by grade level, rather than varsity and junior varsity, and Mr. Brush provided apples from nearby Clarkdale Farms for everyone. Despite the heat, it was a fun afternoon and a great way to start the season!
In the 9th and 10th grade race, Deerfield’s talented youth were on display. 10th grader Charlie Lewis took the race out quickly with an athlete from Cushing nipping at his heels, and those two harriers dueled for the remainder of the 2-mile race. The heat proved too much for Lewis, as his Cushing foe outkicked him over the last eighth of a mile. However, that began a string of Big Green athletes breaking the tape: Thomas Lyons ’21 followed immediately behind after running a great strategic race and closing hard over the final mile. Lyons was followed by newcomers William Grosse in 4th and Trey Souder in 5th, with Mat Panikar ’21 just behind him in 6th. After a brief respite, the green wave continued: 9th graders Quinn Hampson, Gabe Zaccheo, and Chase Cherewatti took 9th, 10th, and 16th place respectively. In total, nine 9th and 10th graders ran their debut races for Deerfield on Saturday, a great sign of the future of the program.
With the full 5K distance looming in the heat, Deerfield’s 11th and 12th grade runners had instructions to run a very conservative first mile and then gradually accelerate over the final two miles. Tri-captain Ricardo Gonzalez followed the race plan perfectly, allowing a pack of NMH runners to take the lead over the first mile and a half, before he began picking them off one by one. Ricardo ultimately finished 4th in a fine early season time. His fellow captain Tom Dillon was not far behind, taking 9th overall after a similarly disciplined race. Appropriately, the third of Deerfield’s three captains was the Big Green’s next finisher: J.J. Siritantikorn took 12th overall.
On balance, Saturday’s meet was a fine start to the season for Deerfield and all visiting teams. NMH looked particularly strong at this early point in the season; congratulations to them and their runners! Deerfield’s next race will come in a week’s time at the competitive Canterbury Invitational. A varsity only race, this meet draws dozens of schools from all over the Northeast. Hopefully the mercury will take a look at the calendar, and the temperatures will be more comfortable on the first day of fall.