It was technically still summer on Saturday at the 2018 Peter Brush Invitational and no one was in doubt as temperatures soared into the low 90s and an unforgiving sun seemed to probe its way to almost every corner of the course. Clear blue skies, a heavy humidity, long grass and soft ground rounded out a set of clearly adverse conditions for the runners who braved the underclass two mile and upper class five kilometer courses. Not to be outdone by the competition, the Deerfield girls were ready to rumble as they turned out super performances across the board that suggest a great season is ahead. And although no team score was kept, Deerfield turned in strong team efforts.
They say the only thing harder than winning a New England Championship is repeating as champs, but the Deerfield Girls’ Cross Country squad is at least off to a good start in that direction. Indeed, the odds are not in our favor, and especially with a bullseye on our backs as defending champs, and yet the girls came out Saturday at the Brush Invitational and made a bold statement that they are ready to mix it up. And although no team effort was formalized, an incredibly impressive Northfield Mount Hermon team came to Deerfield to make their own statement, and so we expect some exciting competition later this season with our much respected cross town rivals.
The races started with the underclass two mile and Deerfield immediately took the vanguard with 10th grader Noelle Abeyta jumping out right from the start to a commanding lead by the halfway point, winning in a time of 12:51. On her heels was newcomer standout 9th grader Abigail Fernald who floated to a second place finish of 13:23, and was followed in third by 10th grader Grace Russell who finished in solid time of 14:28. Another newcomer, 9th grader Isha Rao finished 5th in 14:58, followed in 9th by newcomer 9th grader Jean Jin, Aerin Lo in 15th place with a time of 17:48, and 9th grader Aurelia Bolton in 17th place 18:09.
Up front, the upper class race mirrored the younger girls, with junior Captain Victoria Patterson streaking out to an immediate lead that only grew as the race progressed. Victoria went on to win in an incredibly impressive for early season 18:13. Following her was senior Captain Gemma Bishop with an amazing breakout performance, finishing in 5th with a significant course PR time of 22:05. She was trailed in 6th by junior Jane Mallach, who ran a solid early season 22:36, junior Erin Howe in 8th with a terrific early season time of 23:14, senior Captain Ely Burke in 10th in a time of 23:56, junior Sarah Jung in 12th at 24:38, Anna Fu 10th grade, 10th grader Acy Cai 23rd in 29:52, senior Kate Alonso 25th in 31:09 and junior Jasmine Ramos at 27th place with a time of 31:59.
The top seven head to the Canterbury Invitational in CT to race against some of the best private school teams on the East Coast, followed the week after by a full squad appearance at the regional Westminster School Miller Invitational. Both meets promise to challenge the Big Green to be their best, and we expect nothing less from these wonderful girls.