Mustang Invite, Cass Benton Park, Northville.
Junior/Senior – 6th out of 23 | Freshman/Sophomore – 4th out of 23
Under less than ideal conditions, sheets of rain and rolling thunder coming down just minutes prior to the start of the race, the curveball thrown at our runners was a great test of fortitude and focus.
Held at the legendary Cass Benton Park, the course was a figure-8 design with several tight twists and turns as well as some nice rolling hills. The races were split, but not in the usual Varsity/JV format, but by grade – Freshman/Sophomore and Junior/Senior – which created the unique experience of kids getting to compete with kids in their class range.
In the Junior/Senior Race, it was a trio up front of Keegan Oldani, Jesse Edelstein and Tristan Williams that lead the way for the team with 16th, 17th, and 21st place finishes. Interestingly the three had very different race tactics: Keegan ran a very patient race, reeling in runners by the handful in the second half of the race, whereas Tristan was much more aggressive on the front half and felt the effects towards the end, and Jesse was the goldilocks of the bunch. Other outstanding efforts came from Brian York, who better his time from the scrimmage two weeks prior (whoa!) as well as newbie-Senior, Aaron Von Bargen who ran a respectable 21:26 in his first ever 5k! In the team standings, the upperclassmen finished 6th out of 23 teams, not a bad way to start the season!
Feeding off of the energy from the older guys, the Freshmen and Sophomores went out aggressively and their efforts were certainly noticed. Leading the charge was Daniel Evans who placed 4th overall with his twin brother David not far behind in 16th. However, the big surprise was how many boys followed suit – an additional six runners proceeded to finish in the Top-45 in a race that had over 250 runners! Placing 23rd and 24th (both earning their first XC medals) was Vimal Alokam and Hobbs Kessler. This was a huge drop in time by Hobbs, who ran a 3-minutes personal best when compared to his effort from the scrimmage – keep it Hobbs! Not to be outdone, Thomas Boss ran 6-seconds off of his personal best from last year and Ira Bennett had a 40-seconds personal best. The good news kept pouring in as Sam Gardner and Elliott Beck both dipped into the Top-50 over the final 400m and helped the young guns to a 4th place finish – just 9 points out of winning the whole thing!
Even under conditions that would make most people worrisome, our guys kept their composure and showed their grit and toughness, they now have two weeks to prepare for the first conference Jamboree on September 12th at Hudson Mills Metro Park.
Out of This World Awards: Keegan Oldani, Hobbs Kessler, Amyil Motawi.
Split Sheet – Unfortunately N/A because of too much rain