The Kent Place cross-country team finished fourth today at the State Group Meet at Holmdel Park, ending our uplifting season just in time for winter. The girls finished behind Red Bank Catholic, Union Catholic, and Pingry, but beat out 12 other teams on the line today. It wasn’t the finish we wanted, but it was a race we can be proud of. Everyone competed to the best of her ability today. That’s all we could ever ask of any of them.
The scene at Holmdel Park was electric, if somewhat muffled by all the layers fans and runners wore to keep from freezing. It was blustery. It was cold. The sickening scent of fried Oreos, funnel cakes, and London broil (?!) drifted too close to the starting line. Everyone running today seemed eager to tackle the course and retreat to warmth. More than any meet so far this season, this race seemed like a winter competition, signaling the end of fall.
Though our team place kept us out of next weekend’s meet of champions, two of our girls finished among the top ten and will be racing one more time at Holmdel: Miranda Lorsbach came in third overall, battling Red Bank’s second runner throughout and defeating her by two seconds. Miranda ran 19:51, demonstrating again her fiercely competitive nature and impressive fitness. Freshman Lindsay Hausman also qualified, coming in 10th and running 20:23. Qualifying for the Meet of Champions at a freshman is a rare achievement, and Lindsay did so by fighting off a senior from Red Bank. Congratulations to Miranda and Lindsay on their glittering successes this season.
Finishing third for KP was freshman Noe Nalavala, who came in 38th and ran 21:55. You fought for it, Noe—well done. After Noe came Catie Gilhuley, who finished 44th in a time of 22:05. Catie is one of our senior captains and has been a model runner and competitor—an example for all to emulate. Right behind Catie was Phoebe Eccles, running her last Kent Place cross-country race in 22:05 also and finishing 45th. Congratulations, Phoebe, on four years of running excellence. Xenia Schmitz was next, running 23:55 and finishing 78th. Like Catie, Xenia has been a stellar captain and team leader; she has shown the underclass women how to be. Finally, Clair Chou was 87th, running 24:32 in her varsity debut. Nicely done, Clair!
It was a day rich with sweat and emotion. We are very grateful to the many parents who came to cheer on their daughters and their daughters’ teammates, as well as the tireless support of others on the team who came out to support their friends: Kayla Kim, Zofia Juricova, Selena Liu, Maya Vuchic, and Emily Shewchuk. Thank you.
We invite any and all to join us at Holmdel Park again next Saturday to watch Miranda and Lindsay compete in the Meet of Champions—the best of the best. The race goes off at 11:00am.