Home course proved an effective advantage on Tuesday as the Middle and Upper School Cross Country teams successfully competed against teams from 10 area schools. More than 30 runners from grades six through 12 competed in the annual OES Cross Country Invitational.
Athletics on campus during the meet were buzzing with four soccer matches and three volleyball games happening simultaneously.
“OES has hosted a cross country invitational for longer than I have been at OES—19 years,” Athletic Director Dennis Sullivan said. “This year wasn't the biggest in the sense that we have hosted more runners before, but coming out of the pandemic, it felt amazing to host other schools and create a safe and challenging athletic experience for everyone.”
The 3,000-meter course snaked through the OES campus for the once-a-year event that hasn’t happened since the fall of 2019. The boys' varsity team swept the podium with Tyler E. ‘22 taking first, Olin G. ‘23 placing second, and Kole P. ‘22 taking third. The boys placed first as a team.
“Our boys dominated the front of the race and our girls took a massive step forward,” Assistant Cross Country Coach Tyler Green said. “It's very early in the season, so our goal was to learn how to compete against the runners around us, and the majority of the team excelled. They ran smart, and stayed conservative early, then really pushed from the bottom of SPARC hill all the way to the finish.”
Ruby G. ‘24 and Morgan M. ‘23 placed in second and third, respectively, in the girls' varsity event helping the OES girls to a second-place finish.
“Coach Becher and Coach Green designed a fast 3,000-meter course that allowed runners to test their speed and conditioning coming out of summer,” Sullivan said.
The Middle School teams did well, too, with OES runners finishing throughout the top 10 in both races.
“The large invitationals are so much fun and for many of our middle schoolers it is the first meet they have ever run,” Sullivan said. “There is so much excitement and pageantry to the event that they get hooked on cross country. Then, each year they get to return to OES and test themselves against the first course that they ever raced.”