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> Printer-friendly page Sunday, June 13, 2004 at 10:00 am

Sunday, June 13, 2004 at 10:00 am

Granby Charter Day Cross-Country Races


1-Mile XC for kids 12 and under

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, 6:43 to 6:46. 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 6:48.


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 18:15 and 18:37, respectively. The 3rd place finisher was Chris Mancuso, coming in at 20:39.


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 20:48, who was the first male runner from Granby, followed in 5th place in 21:20 by a remarkable 49 year-old Granby runner, Roy Currie. Rapid fire after Roy was Billy Dean, 6th in 21:55, also from Granby, and future West Point cadet, Matt Berry. Matt finished 7th in 22:22, 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 26:58.

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