Saturday, September 30th, 2017, was a memorable day for the Deerfield cross-country teams. Both the boys and the girls climbed into the bus and traveled down to Simsbury, Connecticut for the Westminster School Invitational.
Mr. Michael Schloat, coach for boys’ cross-country, described his feelings going into the race: “I am always excited for the race at Westy because it is the first chance for the whole team to compete at the 5K distance. I was expecting our varsity to be competitive, after we finished a close second last year, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from some of the other teams since it was early.”
The day ended with a complete sweep of the competition. For the first time in a very long time, the boys’ varsity, girls’ varsity, boys’ JV, and girls’ JV teams all won their respective meets.
Upon reflection, boys’ varsity cross-country captain Will McNamara ’18 commented, “The team as a whole did incredibly. Not only did varsity do great but JV too. The meet really proved the depth that our program has. All our younger guys really stepped up on such a difficult stage and showed that they can contribute, which was amazing. We stuck with our race plan, and we controlled the meet.”
Captain Carolyn Melvin ’18 similarly describes what the Westminster victory means for the girls’ team. “From the start of the season, it was clear that the team had many strong individuals,” she noted, “but Westminster proved that we could all work together to dominate as a team.”
Both teams’ success marks the program’s improvement from the year before. At the Westminster Invitational last year, both the boys and the girls placed second. McNamara also added that “[the team] had like 4 or 5 runners in the top 10, and that has never happened before while I’ve been here.”
Captain Nora Markey ’18 attributed her success to the team’s hard work and execution. She reflected, “the girls all knew exactly what we needed to do, and we ended up placing first. It was super rewarding for the team.”
Following their win at Westminster, the cross country teams have continued to find success at their meets. Their final two home meets will be against Exeter on October 21, and Andover on October 29. Both boys and girls are working towards the New England Championships on November 11 with high hopes for continued success.
Sarah Jane O’Connor ’18 said, “The team has been incredibly successful so far, but what’s more important than our record is the fact that this team feels like family. There’s no other group of people I’d want to be with more for my senior year.”