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Dr. Gallagher Report: Wildcats Capture 6th at States

By Dr. Michael Gallagher '71, 11/12/18, 10:45AM EST


Runners and parents,

With apologies to you Grateful Dead fans, "Lately it appears to me what a long strange season (trip) it's been", seems an appropriate lyric for this year!  From the ever challenging race day weather and course conditions, to the shortened course at Hilliard Meet of Champions, to the postponement of the state meet, to race day Arctic temperatures (28 degrees at the start) and a caustic head wind, this has been quite a year!

The twenty best Division I teams and individual qualifiers gathered on the starting line at 12:30 PM on the east side of the National Trailways course.  The ground was still sloppy and wet from the rains, so PR's would be in short supply.  From a distance the fans could see the condensation from the runners' breath hovering like a gray mist over their heads.  The starter fired his pistol and the race was on.  Here's a brief course description: the runners first head downhill for 400 meters, then turn sharply left.  They run parallel along the drag strip in front of the stands.  Then they cross over the track, return on the west side of the drag strip, cross again, roll up into the woods and swing back near the start.  Then they do it again. 

The 'Cats found the muddy footing challenging and were in 8th place at the mile.  At 3200 meters the runners passed the grandstand for the final time and were buoyed by cheers of their schoolmates and fans who braved the weather.  The 'Cats began to gain ground and moved to seventh place.  As the race headed north (left to right on your radio dial) for the final mile, Matt Blouch took over pacing for the 'Cats. He dug his 1/2 " spikes deep into the sodden turf over the final meters and closed fast to finish 23rd in 16:50.  Andrew Biehl 16:57, Nick Saul 16:58, Steve Zucca 17:00, Logan Kijewski 17:45, Nathan Soria 17:59 and Jack Mayer 18:25 secured a sixth place finish for the team. 

Thanks to the runners, parents, alumni and fans who braved the weather to support the harriers.   Don't forget to RSVP to the Athletic office for the fall sports evening on 11/19 at 6 PM in the Breen Center.  ALL runners and parents are invited to the festivities.

We will be showing the 2018 team video and giving out season awards!  Hope to see you there!

Go Cats,