This past Saturday, on an unseasonably pleasant day for late August, the full complement of CGXC athletes took to the course for the first time this season at the Northmont Invitational. The course, which will also be the site of the GWOC Championship, is in only its second year of existence and offers runners a fast, relatively flat route that transitions from open field to brief wooded sections and is highlighted by a double ravine at about the 1.5 mile mark. Runners enter the stadium and run the final 300m on the track to finish in front of the fans.
A CGXC varsity team of nine were the first to test the course in an eleven team field, and as the race took shape it was apparent that the Elks were up to the challenge. The team found their positions and found one another as they continually pressed throughout the 3.1 mile race. In the end, the Elks placed four in a tight pack, all in the top nine, and spanning only 39 seconds, resulting in a low score of 42 and a first place team result!
The team was led by Dalia Einstein as she did an impressive job managing her effort to finish 6th in 19:32. She was followed by Alex Jackson, 7th, in 20:10; Nikki Jindal, 8th, in 20:17; Alayna Skidmore, 9th, in 20:21; and Cece Alexander, 12th, in 20:34 to make up the scoring 5. Brooke Strobel, Emma O’Brien, Claire Maxwell, and Kiersten Knell completed the varsity effort. All nine varsity runners ran season best times.
The open race that followed saw the remaining CGXC athletes pick up exactly where the varsity team left off. In a show of strength and depth, a sea of Centerville singlets swept the front of the field with an extraordinary number of exciting performances. The ladies took 6 of the top 7 spots and 16 of the top 19 to easily take top honors with a score of 20 points to Fairmont’s 49. Freshman Carly Biederman placed second in a strong, patient race to run 22:12. She was followed by Perri Rhodes, 3rd, in 22:17; Leah Vanbeysterveldt, 4th, in 22:19; Gwen Moronell, 5th, in 22:28; and Mia Kaufman, 6th, in 22:29.
The MS girls finished sixth in their race earlier in the day.
Saturday was a great follow-up for those who ran a week ago at the Preseason Invite and a fantastic start for those who toed the line for the first time this season. The team continues to build upon the positive energy they’ve created thus far and now look ahead to next Saturday when they travel to Lebanon. The HS girls run at 8:00 and the MS at 10:00.
Good luck at the Running Warrior Invite, ladies! We’ll see you at the finish line…