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Granby Charter Day 2005 Cross-Country Races

Granby, MA, June 12, 2005

Report of the Granby Charter Day 2005 XC Races

by Coach Bill

They're Off
They're Off
Sunday, June 12, 2005 at 10:00 am

Sunday, June 12, 2005 at 10:00 am

Granby Charter Day Cross-Country Races


1-Mile XC for kids 12 and under

It was a near perfect day for cross-country racing in Granby at the Charter Day festivities. Dry, sunny, a little too hot. 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.


Brendan Monaco, 12, and last year’s first place girl runner, Aislinn Galloway, also 12, came out onto the stretch together. Brendan only beat Aislinn by 7 seconds, 6:29 to 6:36.  Next came Alex Nielan, 10, in 6:55, and Matt Martins, also 10, in 7:10. Ryan Dean, 11, a first-timer here, was very close to Alex and Matt. But wait. Savannah Bernardin, 11, was right on their heels, in 7:15. Mack Ransford, 12, squeaked in next in 7:19, but not without a strong fight by Taylor Lewis, 12, the 3rd girl. These fast 12-year-olds will have to graduate to the 5K next year, but that leaves no dearth of fast young runners in the Granby Charter Day 1-Mile Cross-Country Race for kids 12 and under!


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 boys’ cross-country coach for Granby, designed for his High School runners, and it’s 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 don’t attempt to pass the closest rival in front of you. You just grit your teeth and hang on.


The two front runners, Brendan Dean and Billy Dean, pulled away from the pack early, on the first steep hill, looking never to be caught. But somewhere near the 2nd mile, heat and the speed of the race caught up to them.


Actually, it was also experience, strategy and strength that caught up to them, in the person of that well-known and wily cross-country distance runner, Roy Currie “the elder.” Staying cool before the race, and holding back in the heat, Roy unleashed a burst in mid-race that neither of the Dean runners could answer. They were withered, and had to hang on for 2nd and 3rd. It was Roy, 50 in 21:08, Billy, 21, in 21:42, and Brendan, 18, in 21:54. After that, there was a momentary gap, quickly filled by West Point cadet, Matt Berry, 19, in 22:20, Mike Ribeilo, 37, in 22:22, and Marine Kyle Dubois, 18, in 22:25.


For the women, Elaine Skawski was 1st, in 11th place overall. No one was close to Elaine, who is 38 and very fit. The 2nd and 3rd women were Vanessa Pare, 16, in 28:44 and Felicia Cordeiro, 15, in 29:31, from the Granby Girls XC team. Rounding out the top 7 finishers were Vicki L’Abee, 35, in 29:46, Emily Dean, 15, in 30:30, also from the Granby Girls XC team, Chris Brownell, 53, in 31:13, and Olivia Pare, 13, in 31:49, graduated with great success from the Kids 1-Miler.

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