Alumni definitely outnumbered the current team today, as Mustang Cross Country graduates from the 1980's, 1990's and the 2000's came back to socialize, lace up the running shoes and take on the Eliminator. Once again, veteran alumni Mike Abrams claimed the oldest alumni honor (1987) while Chris Leavell (1988) kept his attendance streak intact as well.
The current team was not intimidated though, as Senior Drew Feldman and Junior Amy Ingram claimed overall top male and female honors today.
During check in, the race seemed of secondary importance as the prerace social hour unfolded. Former Coaches Mike Huntsman and Scott Camp, along with current coaches Sharon Kovar, Ross Rembac and Mike Davis, greeted newbies and veterans alike.
Once on the line, the more determined in the crowd quickly showed why the racing is NOT an afterthought as the leaders got out fast and started to string the group out after the first quarter mile. In the middle and back of the pack, jokes and laughter went along with groans and complaints!
In the end, the scoring took two very different paths. After Drew crossed the line in the fine 11:17 effort, the Alumni Boys took the next four spots, with Michael Garaventa ('11), Harry Nunns ('08), Connor Donley ('09) and Josh Smiley ('11) hammering it home. Current team member Matt Yap stopped the bleeding by finishing 6th, but the Alumni took the next four spots to seal the deal. Chris Leavell ('88), Peter Nunns ('04) and John Berhing ('00) rounded out the scoring team. '87 alum Mike Abrams was in 14th place despite running 16 miles in training immediately before the starting horn sounded!
The Alumni rolled over the under represented current team 21 to 40 to even the series at 3 -3.
On the girls side, the scoring could not have been closer, with the two squads trading finishes one after the other. After Amy completed the course in a fine 14:36 effort, alumni Nicole Aha ('10) was next in 2nd place. 3rd went to current team member Sr Megan Yap, while 4th was back to the alumni with Renee Lau ('08). Next across were Jr. Elena Smith for the current team and Kimmy Abood ('10) for the alumni in 6th place. Alumni Amanda Stansell ('11) in 7th and Jamie Callahan ('04) in 9th finished out the alumni scoring team, while Soph Erin Herting and Megan Blair (in 8th and 10th) completed the current squad.
It was too close to call, requiring the coaches to check, and recheck the math. Aided by the first place finish, the Current Team Girls JUST EDGED the alumni by a 27-28 final score!
As the runners came in, despite the pleas from Coach Huntsman "not to hold hands", many alumni finished their run in just that manner, determined to show that lasting friendships are what MVXC is all about.
After honoring the top finishers, newcomer Mitch Camp received the "Top Rookie" award, while Alumni Peter Nunns, on a stopover from New Zealand where he now resides, took home the "Spirit of MVXC" award.
Two hours after the race, the last of the group departed Oak Hill Park. With the strong turnout motivating the coaching staff, plans for the 7th Annual Race in 2012 are already being formed!
MV (pause) XC!