On Saturday, the Cushing Boys' Varsity cross country team won the New England Class B Prep School Championship for the 3rd year in a row. Our team of 7 captured 4 of the top 10 places in the 98-runner field, and five Penguins were among the fifteen runners named to the All New England Cross Country Team. With our scoring five coming in 1st, 3rd, 4th, 7th and 12th, the team scored 27 points (i.e. 1+3+4+7+12 = 27). Last year, our winning team scored 31, and our 2005 penguins scored 34 points in their victorious effort (N.B. In cross country competitions, the team with the lowest score wins). This year, Cushing was followed by Hopkins (76 points), Belmont Hill (125), Kent (126), Milton (147), Brunswick (158), Salisbury (164), Tabor (241), Worcester (257), Suffield (258), Westminster (275), Nobles (309), Berkshire (324) and our gracious hosts, Williston Northampton (333).
For the 3rd consecutive year, a Cushing runner claimed the individual title and broke the existing course record, and for the third year in a row, the champion's last name was Taye. Two years ago, at Suffield Academy, it was Sintayehu Taye '08 who smashed the course record en route to the victory. In that race, he was immediately followed by his older brother, Ayalew '07. Last year, Ayalew returned the favor, leaving Sintayehu to 'settle' for the runner-up position and the second fastest time ever run on the Westminster School's home course. On Saturday, the varsity co-captain returned to the top of the winner's podium in style, breaking Williston's course record by 42 seconds and besting the 2nd place finisher, a Brunswick runner, by 48 seconds. Taye took the lead not long after the gun was fired and waged a fierce battle against the clock the rest of the way.
Cushing's second finisher, Aaron Evans '08, finished 3rd overall, improving 10 places on his 13th place finish in the 2006 championship race. Breandan Garland '09 finished 4th overall, duplicating his 2006 finishing position, and he was also the first junior to cross the finish. Co-captain Joe Bouvier '09 was 7th overall and 2nd among all juniors; he broke into the top ten here following 11th place finishes in both 2005 and 2006. Trey Simons '11 finished 12th overall, rounding out the scoring for the Penguins. He was the first freshman to finish the race and the only freshman or sophomore to be named to the All New England Team. Trey's finish underlines the dominance of Cushing's scoring five at this meet if you consider that although he was our 5th runner, he would have been the number one finisher for 7 of the other 13 schools in Saturday's race.
Rounding out the Cushing varsity seven were first cousins, Dan Delay and Tim Forte, both members of the class of 2010. Dan finished 41st, improving upon his 2006 finish by 7 places. Tim won the individual junior varsity title at the 2006 edition of these championships, and in his step up to the varsity level this year, he placed 61st.
Each of Cushing's top seven runners recorded personal bests for 5K (3.1 miles) on Saturday.
Runner Place (of 98) Time (for 5k/3.1 miles)
Sintayehu Taye'08 1st 15:15 (New course record by 42 seconds, 3rd time All New England Team, 2nd time as individual champion, personal best)
Aaron Evans '08 3rd 16:11 (2nd time All New England Team, personal best)
Breandan Garland '09 4th 16:12 (1st junior, 2nd time All New England Team, personal best)
Joe Bouvier '09 7th 16:31 (2nd junior, 3rd time All New England Team, personal best)
Trey Simons '11 12th 16:49 (1st freshman or sophomore, All New England Team, personal best)
Dan Delay '10 41st 17:32 (personal best)
Tim Forte '10 61st 18:08 (personal best)
Article and photo from the Cushing Academy website.