For the second meet of the year, the Cambridge Cross Country team headed out just after 6am on Saturday, September 8, to Garrard Landing Park in Roswell. And for the second time this season, both varsity teams and boys' junior varsity team raced to first place team finishes, even with some runners not participating.
The starting gun initiated the boys' varsity race first, right at 8am. Captain Carson Ertwine ('19) led the ten runners from Cambridge in this race with a second place finish in 17:02, followed five seconds later by freshmen Lyle Donovan who earned a medal for fifth place. Anders Law ('20), Captain Mark Vandewater ('19), and Josh Gargan ('20) rounded out the top five scoring runners that earned the first place team award.
The girls' varsity race was second, and the Lady Bears ran in two packs, making this a training run. Ashley Sechrest ('20), Grace Gerlach ('19), Captain Clarissa Beck ('19), Izzy Filipek ('21), and Afton Hirschi ('20) ran a solid pace as a group for the first two miles, and then raced to the finish. Ashley finished in second overall, with a silver elite standard time of 19:37. Grace finished in fourth, just six seconds behind for the second race in a row. Clarissa and Izzy finished in 7th and 8th and the top five was rounded out by Afton's medal earning 13th place overall. In cross country, a team score is determined by adding up the place earned for each of the top five finishers for the team, and the girls' earned first place with a low score of just 34 points. In comparison, second place Roswell had 75.
The remaining boys competed in a combined JV/Open race, and took home the first place honors with a score of 40 points, followed by second place having 50 points. Leading the JV boys as part of a tight pack, was freshmen Alex Tebeau, with a second place medal, followed in third and fourth place by Colby Jones ('21) and Rishi Murudkar ('19). These three finished within 1 second of each other to ensure the low team score. Noah Bouton ('19) and Justin Doering ('21) completed the top five with their 12th and 20th place finishes out of a field of 548 athletes. 15 students ran season best times in this race.
The final race of the morning was the girls' JV/Open race. Medaling for this team was Michaela Prevallet ('20), with her 16th place finish. The top five finishers also included Captain Amanda Leekley ('19), Sarah Anderson ('20), Kyra Gould ('22), and Paige Consolo ('22). The JV girls race had a field of 378 runners, more than double the 137 athletes in the varsity girls' race, and 13 of them ran season best times at Covered Bridge.
The next meet for the Bears will be on Saturday, September 15, at Milton High School. If you have never watched a cross country race, this is a great opportunity to cheer on the Bears in the local community as most races require a long drive to get there. Nearly half the team was supposed to run at the Adidas XC Challenge in Cary, NC this weekend, but with Hurricane Florence headed for the Carolinas, we should have a full set of teams for this highly competitive race on a very tough course at the Milton XC Invitational.