On Saturday, September 22, the top seven runners from the boys cross country team raced to a first-place finish at the 46th annual Canterbury Invitational.
On a beautiful day for a race, the Pelicans triumphed over "some of the best competition ever seen by seasoned spectators and coaches of the Canterbury Invitational," according to co-head coach Sally Knight.
The race started out fast and competitive, as all 10 teams looked to take the advantage early. At the mile mark, rather than the field beginning to string out, eight runners ran in a tight lead pack, including Loomis junior Matt Farrell and runners from Hotchkiss, Westminster, Hopkins, Hill, Deerfield, and Taft.
By the middle of the race, though, the lead pack had broken up thanks to Canterbury's steep and grassy hills and winding, wooded trail. By the time the runners had reached the finishing stretch, Farrell had taken the lead, being chased by Founders League opponents from Hotchkiss, Taft, and Westminster.
After the race had ended, it was the Pelicans on top by a slim four points over the Bearcats of Hotchkiss, followed by Westminster and Hopkins.
Scorers for the Pelicans included Farrell, repeating his first-place performance of last year; sophomore Alejandro Rincon in eighth place, an improvement upon his Canterbury Invitational debut last year; sophomore Jake Lotreck in 16th in his varsity debut; senior Matt Remigino in 19th in his first official race as a Pelican harrier; and senior tri-captain Mark Valadez in 21st. Junior Danny Cui, making a varsity race debut, and with senior tri-captain Jaden Rismay both also impacted the overall scores of the day.
With four of the seven members of the team experiencing the challenging terrain and competition of the Canterbury Invitational for the first time, the Pelicans came away feeling good about the accomplishments that honored not only their strong summer work, but also the tradition of the Pelicans who have preceded them in Canterbury Invitational wins.
The team next travels to Northfield Mount Hermon for the NMH Open on September 29 at 3 p.m.
Loomis Chaffee, 64; Hotchkiss, 68; Westminster, 104; Hopkins, 120; Hill, 122; Deerfield, 126; Taft, 166; Blair, 173; Berkshire, 220; Kent 262; and Brunswick, 282.