Over the course of the season, the team has worked tirelessly to improve on their times, and their efforts show. These runners haven’t just closed the gap by a few seconds. They have consistently shaved 10, 20, 30 seconds off of previous times and in some cases edged out the competition that previously beat them almost completely.
The boys fell to Wilbraham and Monson on Hewett Day, but a simple score listing doesn’t do this race near justice.
Coach Goodman said, “Last Saturday, we raced Wilbraham and Monson Academy, a team that has been noticeably better than we were in the beginning of the season.
Given the home course advantage, KO set out to beat them on Hewett Day and the boys have been solidly training for the past three weeks. Going into the meet, we were ten point underdogs.
The team knew what race times to aim for and people to pursue. In order to win the meet, co-captain Ethan Pinkes ‘20 had to be the overall winner. At the beginning of the season, Pinkes had finished 26 seconds behind the number one runner from WMA. On Saturday, he finished 47 seconds faster than the same runner. Pinkes set a personal record on this day, breaking the 18-minute barrier to finish with a time of 17:51. The big surprise was Kevin Graziosi ‘22. He ran after their number one runner, caught him, passed him, and then got just edged out at the finish line. It was Graziosi’s best time (18:38) by far this season his career-best time.
The team ended up scoring a tie with WMA, but lost with the tie-breaking rule.
Goodman said, “Kevin was the absolute key in getting us so incredibly close to a win. Ultimately, we lost the meet by .25 seconds. However, his attempt to get the other team's runner was one of the most heroic things I have seen in years.”
The sixth and seventh runners for KO were Isaias Wooden ‘22 and co-captain Will Burstein ‘20. The grit and perseverance of the runners this year is certainly one for the books.
The team now enters the championship portion of the season with an invitational at Williston, followed by the Founder’s League meet and then the New England Championships on November 9.