Boys' Cross Country - Varsity
Williston Northampton School
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Win 24-32
On a picture perfect afternoon--sunny, 65, and no wind--the boys faced off against a very powerful Williston squad. We knew Williston had 3 excellent runners, each of whom was capable of beating our top kids. Our strategy was to squeeze a couple of our kids among Williston's top 3 and hope the rest of our team could outrun their counterparts. In the first part of the race, co-captain Jude Celebi was in 2nd place, flanked by the top 3 Williston boys. Jude held on to this spot for the first 2 miles, and the bulk of our pack, while in the 5th through 8th slots were still in contention. As the top runners entered the final kilometer, Huck Griswold had moved up to 2nd place while Jude had fallen into a tie for 4th. The race was still too close to call--the final 800m on our lower flats would decide the winner. The top Williston runner pulled away from everyone to win by 20 seconds, while Tate Celebi put on an amazing sprint for the final 900m to pass 2 Williston runners. Meanwhile, Huck and Jude swapped places and the brothers Celebi finished in a virtual dead heat separated by just 0.2 seconds (17:06.8 and 17:07.0) with Celebi the elder nudging out his brother. Huck was just 5 seconds behind (17:12) to give us 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. We had hoped to place just one boy in the top 3; now we had 3 of the top 4. Williston's next 2 runners finished a little ways behind Huck, but just 2 seconds apart from each other. We knew those 2 would finish side-by-side which is why we needed to slip a least one person ahead of them. Then a pack of 6 boys came through in rapid succession with Ali Griswold (17:42) and Malin Adams (17:44) just beating out a Williston harrier. Rory McNamara took 10th overall in 17:48 just edging out a Williston boy and Augi Booth earned 12th in 17:51. This group of 6 (4-Taft and 2-Williston) finished with 10 seconds of each other. When the dust settled, our boys had come through with a nail-biting 24-32 victory. Five of the varsity boys either set or tied their Personal Records for a cross-country race. It was exactly this type of performance that was only way we could beat a squad as impressive as Williston. For the first time in over 5 years, each varsity runner finished in under 18 minutes and only 45 seconds separated our top runner from our 7th. On the JV side, Williston was too deep and ran away from us 17-47. Trevor Stellmach (19:11) was our top finisher as he set a PR. Jed Spencer broke the 21-minute mark as he took second for us in a PR of 20:58. Eli Arroyo shaved over a minute off his best time to finish 3rd for us in 21:28. Jayden Piparo (22:54) and Tonchok Dhanasarnsilp (23:04) ran PRs with Jayden dropping his time by a phenomenal 2 minutes. Michael Ren (24:29) and Edward Tse (24:38) set PRS, while Steven Zhang (25:10) and Christian Yeung (25:27) blew out their PRs with Christian improving by 2 minutes and Steven running an unbelievable 4 minutes faster than last time. So while we lost big to Williston, each JV runner set a PR--you can't ask for more than that.