Wolfpack Boys, Girls Cross Countrty @ Worcester Academy

 Boys XC Results

Rough Scores:  Worcester- 21 Dexter-38  Hyde-84

The Wolfpack boys Cross Country team traveled to Worcester Academy’s course to compete in a race.  Dexter was also present for the race on a hilly, winding trail.  It was a dreary, cold day and the Wolfpack was reduced to a skeleton crew of only 5 runners and missing 3 of our typical top 5.  Alex Sobel, Omar Raddaoui, Charlie Tran, Ryan Wang, and Pietro Agostini put their toes on the line and gave their best efforts against two very talented teams.  Alex Sobel led the team placing 18th  in a field of 40 in 22:50.  He finished roughly 30 seconds behind his fastest performance this year. This is a fairly consistent performance given the course and conditions.  Charlie Tran showed continued improvement as he caught and beat Omar Raddaoui in the final stretch and shaved almost a full minute from his previous PR.  Omar nearly matched his best on the notoriously slow course. Omar claims this will be a one-time thing, but I think Charlie will continue to put some heat on him.  It is great to see a little internal competition between the two.  Altogether they didn’t let the chilly weather and rocky hills deter them.  They put in their best and continue to get stronger because of it.  Next week we race at the Cheshire Invitational.

 

Girls XC Results

This week, the Wolfpack girls cross country team headed up to Worcester, MA to race against notoriously competitive teams from Southfield and Worcester Academy. The girls faced a challenging course that included several hilly portions, many of which were littered with loosely consolidated debris left behind by this week’s torrential downpours. With only two runners able to compete at this week’s meet, the girls team entered their fourth race of the season with no possibility of scoring. The competition was high and morale was low.

Out of the 26 girls that ran the race, Achaita Gakou ’18 and Tori Luo ’18, finished 23rd and 24th respectively. Gakou crossed the finish line with a time of 34:04 followed closely by Luo, who finished in 34:05. While Luo’s finishing time is consistent with her overall performance this season, Gakou’s time shows a significant regression relative to her past performance. In fact, Gakou’s previous race times on comparably technical and hilly courses indicate that she should have been finishing this course with the top quarter of runners. Since her last race, Gakou has put her best forth in practices and has shown herself and her teammates that she could hold her own against the competitive teams she raced against this weekend. While the ability was unquestionably present, the confidence to run alongside the fiercest competitor the team has faced this season was not.

Facing and losing to two highly competitive teams with a skeleton crew was hard on team morale this week. As we prepare for our next race, the team will continue to increase targeted pacing in addition to focusing on instilling confidence in our promising group of novice runners as they move into the second half of their season. A critical component of establishing a culture of confidence in the girl’s team is having a minimum of five girls racing next week, allowing the team a possibility to score as a unit. Over the course of this week, the team will prioritize the assembly of a scoring group in time for next week’s race.