It was a perfect day for cross-country racing in Granby
at the Charter Day festivities. Dry, sunny, warm. Kids 12 and under were up
first. They followed a pace bike ridden by Granby
cross-country standout, Brendan Dean. Parents
were allowed to run with the younger kids. The course was flat, but not fast.
It was a difficult mile. The first three-quarters of it is on dirt roads and
grassy fields. Then the kids ducked into the woods, where they had to follow
the orange marking paint on the ground through a long stand of pines trees.
Footing was on soft pine needles, but it slows a young runner down. Then they
emerged, and turned right onto a 100 meter straight-away to the finish, amid
loud applause from friends, family, and onlookers.
Last yearís first and second place runners came out onto the
stretch together, but they were in reverse order, with Aislinn Galloway edging
out Olivia Pare by 3 seconds, .
Aisilin was the first female finisher from Granby,
while Colby Nugent, who came in third, had the dual distinctions of being the
first boy finisher and the first male finisher from Granby.
He was only 2 and 5 seconds behind the speedy girls. His time was .
5K XC for adults
When the kids finished, the adults were off on the 5K
cross-country race. Once around a field full of tractors, they immediately had
to clamber up a steep hill that might have been 100 meters, but felt like 200.
This is true cross-country. This is the same course the race director, Bill
Dean, who happens to be the boysí cross-country coach for Granby,
designed for his High School runners, and itís not easy. It runs though all the
fields the kids did, but has a couple of grueling miles in the woods, with some
roller-coaster hills, the kind on which you donít attempt to pass the closest
rival in front of you. You just grit your teeth and hang on.
The two front runners, Erich Fielder and Graham Rockwell,
pulled away from the pack early, on the first steep hill, never to be caught.
They finished in and , respectively. The 3rd place
finisher was Chris Mancuso, coming in at .
After that, however, the next 4 runners were all from Granby.
If this had been a team meet, Granby
would have won it. The pack was lead by 4th place finisher Brendan
Dean in , who
was the first male runner from Granby,
followed in 5th place in
by a remarkable 49 year-old Granby
runner, Roy Currie. Rapid fire after Roy
was Billy Dean, 6th in , also from Granby,
and future West Point cadet, Matt Berry. Matt finished 7th
in , rounding out the top Granby
male runners. But you need a 5th top runner to win a meet. Then
comes soccer star and coach, John Nally, from Granby.
John took 12th place in 25:17. He would have been that runner.
For the women, Morgan Smyth was 1st, in 9th
place overall. No one was close to Morgan, who is 18 and exceedingly fit, but
the 2nd and 3rd women amazingly were 45 and 47 years old.
The 2nd place woman was Barbara Graf,
11th in 24:42, while the 3rd place woman, Annie Ryan was
16th in 25:54. The 1st place female Granby
runner was Emily Dean, 29th in