Hyde Boy’s XC @ Williams
The cross country team traveled to Williams School for our season opener. There were 8 teams present representing most of the competition in the SENE. While the guys got off to a great start, unfortunately from there they faltered. Many on the team succumbed to the steep hills and rugged trail on the course. Some committed the ultimate sin in cross country by walking over parts of the terrain. Among the team however there were two athletes who dug deep to put forward their best. Matt Marshal ’14 kept competitive with the front pack to finish 7th from over 120 runners. Matt Wysocki ’13 clearly gave it his all as well. In the back of the pack was a runner working on his first 5k ever. He worked to overcome negative attitudes, recovered from a fall on the course, and finished the race. Edison Yin may have been our last runner that day but he was one of the first to show a positive attitude despite the difficulty stacked against him. There were no official results of the warm up meet but according to my unofficial invitational scoring it looks like Hyde would have finished fourth just outside of third.
Hyde Boy’s XC @ Woodstock Academy
Woodstock Academy cross country holds a special place in my heart as a former runner for the program. Knowing their coaching and the quality of athletes on this well proven team, I knew it would be a challenge for our guys to get up and be competitive. After the previous meet I worried about the attitude we would enter with and how our guys would present themselves when being strongly outmatched. From the beginning of the course walk I could see a change in the demeanor of our athletes. Perhaps being around three very strong teams, East Lyme and Fitch also attend, helped to motivate them. Whatever the reason, the guy’s came together as a team and did their best to stand up to these giants. Brendan Murray ’13 stepped up his game and covered the 3.1 miles of rolling grass hills in 18:20 to finish 10th overall. Matt Marshall ‘14 was not far behind finishing the run in 18:50. Due to the league standards for these public schools they were not permitted to score our record times for our runners, we were guests at their meet. We probably did not want to see the score regardless. It is clear that running here helped us to rise up, find an attitude as a team that we can build from, and gain some footing to move forward more as a team and less as a group of individual runners. In addition our guy’s made me very proud by being polite, courteous, cheering on all competitors in the girl’s race, sticking around to motivate their team after each runner finished, and generally doing the right thing. It was great to hear the coaching staff from the other team thank our guys for the sportsmanship and strong effort. Looking forward to more meets like this as we begin to build this team from here.