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4 Runners Only Cross Country Carnival

October 10, 2011
By Jade Dickerson of Grimsley Senior High School



In what other sport would your top athletes sacrifice a competition so that those who have not achieved quite as much could experience the meet of their lives?  In what other sport is the last athlete to cross the line seemingly the most well-supported, most favored of a field of nearly 200 others?  When will the superstars come back to scream their lungs out to show their support for those that finish 10 minutes behind them?

Decisions on who's the best in cross country are clear-cut: you cross the finish line first; you win.  Referees are a non-necessity.  Arbitrary stats that can be read twenty different ways be darned.  But who can judge who's the best when a team comes together in this seemly individualistic sport?  Is it the person who shaves off two minutes of their career PR or the one who is parallel with that person though it was two minutes slower than their own?  

When seconds mean so much from race to race, to see runners lose nearly a minute or more from their records is the stuff of hopes and dreams.  To see better than 3/4 of a team do it is nothing short of a Rudy-esque tear-jerker.  The Grimsley Whirlies boys' and girls' cross country teams made history on Saturday but one only those privileged enough to consider themselves members of it will recount fondly for years.  Stay tuned because the season is not finished just yet and we have yet to reach our goals.  The last regular-season meet is Tuesday at Western.  The conference championship is a week later.  But first, here is a rundown of the action from Saturday (the number in parentheses is the amount of time cut from their previous PR):

The guys raced first and were lead by two seniors: Grayson Guffey (-0:23)and Caleb Rio-Anderson (-1:12).  Others seeing drops in their time included (in order that they crossed the finish line): Martin Malotky (-0:13), Davidson Pharr (-1:12), Harrison McClain-Rubin (-1:02), Steven Buccini (-1:23, paced by three of the top 5 Whirlies), Jesus Cruz-Pina (-1:29, paced by Jonathan Reeve), Andrew Neff (-0:53, paced by Robert Whiting), Griffin Prufer (-1:59, paced by Jonathan Reeve), Kishore Maravarman (-0:51, pace by Gray Underwood), Jacob Sykes (-1:01), AJ Colamarino (-2:22), Jacob Earl (-2:46), and Tanner Dorman (-1:20).

The ladies were equally impressive.  Coming across first was Madison Daly who recently rejoined the team after an extended absence.  Tori Churchill helped paced several runners over the course of the race.  Following her closely were Olivia Meyer-Jennette (-1:35), Hannah Fernandez (-0:48), Summer Morgan, Maddie Fritz (-0:16), Hanna Debnam (-1:28) and Erin Butler (-0:58).  Mary Katherine Gwynn paced Ellie Pearson (-0:22), followed by a monster performance by Kristen Wayne (-3:06).  Schuyler Freyaldenhoven (-3:08) matched that thanks to her cheerleader, Adrienne Hooper.  Chaarushi Ahuja (-2:42), Jungsu Hong (-1:17) and Kaela Ericksen were all encouraged to the finish by Caty Ubertini, and Elizabeth Franks-North showed the world she has a heart of a lion and is a consummate leader by finishing the race despite crippling pain in her legs.


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