The boys’ cross-country team capped an undefeated regular season with its first-ever ISL Championship win, last Friday at Noble & Greenough School.
Defending ISL champion James Randon initiated the victory by taking first-place at 15:50, breaking the previous course record - 17:14 - by a huge margin. Within hailing distance of James was his friend and training partner Garrett O’Toole. Garrett finished second at 16:10, another record-shattering performance. Both boys led the race from beginning to end.
The next three MX runners – Viraj Deokor, who was also the third from the MX team to break the old record; Lucas Estrada; and William Fletcher – guaranteed the team’s win by pounding their way to finishing places 5, 14, and 17. Those numbers, totaled, gave Middlesex a score of 39 points, well out of range of their nearest competitors - Milton Academy at 99 points and Belmont Hill at 101.
Nicholas Stewart, the team’s sixth finisher, held on to 23rd place, well ahead of runners who had outpaced him in earlier races. Unfortunately Peter Howe, who had, throughout the season, traded finishing places with Viraj, dropped out of the race for health-related reasons. Peter had been in 3rd place at the start of the second mile, just where the team expected him to be. Fortunately, his teammates recognized Peter’s distress, stepped up their efforts, and closed the gap.
Co-captain Randon, on being congratulated for his race, said, “I couldn't have been happier with the results, from all the hard work we've all put in.”
The JV team also had a stellar day, finishing 2nd to Belmont Hill. As it was the last race of the day, the water-saturated course had grown slippery, and one of the Middlesex front-runners fell, very possibly costing the team a victory. Even so, Jay Welch, Christian Papadellis, Miles Petrie, and Max Rifkin all claimed ribbons for finishing in the top 15.
Coach Jim Beaton attributed the boys’ success to their extraordinary work ethic, combined with the sheer joy they take in the experience of running. “No matter how hard I work them, they come away from the exercise feeling great about what they accomplished.”
The girls' team also had a strong finish at ISLs led by Mahal Alvarez-Backus '15, who finished 4th. With 112 points, the girls finished 4th in the ISL behind Nobles, Milton, and St Paul's. Next week, the teams travels to Westover School to compete in the New England Championship race. The boys are also scheduled to compete in the Nike Cross-Country Northeast & New York Championships on November 24th.
photo credit Blaine Alvarez, MX Parent '15