Fay cross country continues winning streak
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Southborough – It's a hat trick for the Fay School cross country team which Oct. 23 won the Larz Anderson Championship Invitational in Brookline, Mass., for the third consecutive year. The competition, which featured 200 runners from 12 different schools, covered 2.3 miles on rolling hills and grassy terrain throughout Larz Anderson Park. The win came on the heels of the team's most successful season to date, as it finished with a 13-1 record.
“For us, the season was more about having fun and improving as individuals than having a winning record,” said Hannah Reid, who with her husband, Will, coaches the team. “We spent a lot of time training on the hills behind St. Mark's and on the trails along the Sudbury reservoir. It was during these workouts that we had some of the most memorable moments of the season that prepared us to take on our competitors each week.”
Hannah and Will have been coaching cross country together at Fay for three years. The couple, who met running cross country at Hamilton College, married in 2011. When they aren's coaching, Hannah is the Lower School learning specialist and Will is an Upper School mathematics teacher.
Since they began coaching in 2011 the team has doubled in size with almost 30 students this year. It is, according to Hannah, a well-balanced, hard working group.
“This group knows how to work hard and have fun. Each and every day the kids come to practice ready to take on whatever challenge we might throw at them. And every practice ends with laughter and a group of middle schoolers walking away with smiles on their faces,” she said. “They are an incredibly balanced group of kids and they know how to push each other. We have a very speedy top group, and their competitive nature helps them challenge each other every day.”
“At the same time, these kids have spent countless hours together just running – so they have become best friends and are incredibly supportive of one another, no matter who might come out on top on a given day,” she added.
Hannah said that she and Will feel incredibly lucky to have this group of young, talented runners to coach. In 2011, she said, they had no idea what the team was capable of and were shocked when they took home the trophy at Larz Anderson. Since then, they have had their eye on that trophy from the start of each season.
“The runners wanted to win this championship for the third year more than anything. We had athletes recovering from illnesses and injury on the day of the race, but they still came and raced their hearts out. Many people think of cross country as an individual sport, but this team is a true unit. The runners who competed at Larz Anderson did so for each other more than they did so for themselves,” said Hannah. “Of course we were proud to have won Larz Anderson for the third year in a row, but we were just as proud to be coaching a tight-knit group of young runners who have learned how to support each other and carry themselves like true athletes and teammates this year.”
Members of the team include: Julia Almazova, Ameneh Arsanjani, Sophie Banas, Vincent Chen, Andrew Daphnis (co-captain), Mabel Gao, Alma Hong, Elias Issa, Andrew Laquerre, Mimi Larrieux, Sally Lee, Nick Masri, Ty Mohn, John Namgung, Avery Nasworthy, Ryan Owyang, Alfonso Pelaez, Joseph Ragan, Hope Sanders, Sophia Shaikh, Shivam Sharma (co-captain), Dan Stern, Jack Thalmann (co-captain), Michael Tobin, Noah Traylor, Jonathan Walker, and Daniel Wang.
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