11/2/19 – Deerfield XC vs. Northfield Mount Hermon @ NMH
After a two-week layoff due to weather, Deerfield’s cross country teams returned to racing action on Saturday in Gill, Mass., at Northfield Mount Hermon. NMH’s course occupies a legendary spot in the minds of New England runners; it features challenging hills, beautiful views across the valley, and a winding, relentless layout that vexes the psyches of even the hardiest harriers. Deerfield’s runners arrived ready to compete, glad to have a crisp, dry autumn day for a pre-championship tune-up. NMH will host next weekend’s New England cross country championships, so Saturday’s race also offered a vital chance for the Big Green to scout the championship race course.
The afternoon’s races began with the girls’ contest, and Deerfield’s tri-captain Victoria Patterson wasted no time in surging to the lead. NMH’s course begins with a short scamper across a flat field before immediately beginning the climbing, and Patterson used the flat to set the early tone. Challenged at first by NMH’s top runner, Patterson kept her poise through the rolling hills and established a sizeable gap by the halfway point. Ultimately, Patterson’s margin of victory was more than a minute, as she looks to be in fine fettle with a week to go before attempting to defend her individual New England title. Her teammate Noelle Abeyta continued her strong late-season racing with a good race from start to finish, emerging from the woods in third place overall and well ahead of the next NMH competitor. About half a minute later, Abeyta’s classmate Ali Thomas crossed the finish line, rounding out a strong top three for Deerfield; Thomas finished 5th overall. Jean Jin and Aerin Lo completed the scoring five for Deerfield on Saturday, finishing in 10th and 12th places respectively. Lo’s 12th place finish and toughness over the closing quarter-mile secured the team tie for Deerfield.
In a boys race dominated by NMH’s star post-graduate, Alex Ehrenthal, Deerfield’s boys nevertheless raced aggressively and positioned themselves to finish the season with an exciting race at New Englands. Thomas Lyons again paced the Big Green harriers, attacking NMH’s hills and refusing to quit throughout a tiring race. Lyons took 3rd overall, with his ninth grade teammate Hudson McGuinness nipping at his heels in 5th. Both Lyons and McGuinness have strung together a series of impressive races this season and are poised to complete their seasons in fine form next Saturday. Charlie Lewis ’21 solidified his grasp on the #3 spot on Saturday, racing with toughness and savvy to capture 7th overall, followed by a pack of Deerfield runners jockeying for varsity spots in the season’s final weeks. Co-captains Jake Meier and Chris Thagard led the way for that group, taking 11th and 13th, respectively, though a feisty ninth grader, Joe Brown, snuck between them in 12th thanks to a bold kick across the race’s final meters. Chase Cherewatti closed out Deerfield’s top seven on Saturday, turning in one of his better races of the season to capture 14th. In the JV ranks, Giles Gordon and Gabe Zaccheo led the way, followed by Morgan Haisman, Daniel Kang, and Jackson Collins, a strong scoring five for the JV.
Deerfield XC will return to NMH next Saturday for the final race of the season, the Division I NEPSTA Championships. The racing schedule is as follows: Girls Varsity @ 1:15, Boys Varsity @ 2:00, Girls JV @ 2:40, and Boys JV @ 3:25. It promises to be a thrilling day of racing; the girls and boys are fired up!