FBy Patrick Conklin ’18 and Craig Hirsch ’18
Fired up after a demoralizing defeat at the N.S.C.H.S.A.A. League Championships two weeks ago, junior varsity and varsity members of Chaminade’s cross country team arrived at the C.H.S.A.A. Intersectional Championship prepared to put their best foot forward and outperform their opponents. The team arrived at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday November 12, 2016 with two goals: to disprove any doubts cast against them, and to qualify for the New York State Federation Championship. These ambitious goals were in fact achieved by a spectacular team effort.
The Flyers arrived in the Bronx on a chilly morning with a sense of cautious optimism. The team members were very familiar with the historic course after several practices on the terrain and, with countless hours of strenuous training throughout the season under their belt, were ready to race. The Flyers had been prepared to make a statement in the four-kilometer race.
The junior varsity C race started the day of competition with great performances by all runners. Twenty minutes later, the Flyers’ varsity squad headed over to the starting line. The boys were anxious to face off against St. Anthony’s, St. John the Baptist, and Kellenberg, all of whom had outperformed Chaminade two weeks prior. The Flyers were ranked sixth out of the nineteen teams in the race, and qualification for a trip to the New York State Federation Cross Country Championship was on the line.
After a speedy trip through the hilly trails of the park, the team finished strong, managing to outperform the expectations set before them. With top-ten finishes by Connor Fitzpatrick ’17 and Patrick Conklin ’18, the team captured a solid fourth-place finish and qualified for the New York State Federation race in Wappingers Falls. Chris Loumeau ’17, Chris Strzelinski ’17, and John Phelan ’18 each had respectable performances as well. All five Chaminade top finishers were recognized as C.H.S.A.A All-Stars. In addition, the Flyers defeated St. John the Baptist and Kellenberg with their strong performances, avenging Chaminade’s narrow varsity defeats at the League Championships two weeks prior.
The junior varsity A and B races came next, with great performances all around. James Moran ’18 and Jack Hardy ’18 performed well in the J.V. A race, finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Their strong performances paved the way to a third-place finish in the J.V. A race. On the J.V. B spectrum, Brendan Hobbes ’19 and Cole Dougherty ’18 led the race, helping Chaminade’s J.V. B runners to accomplish a third-place finish. The successful day was wrapped up with an awards ceremony and photos where many Chaminade runners were recognized.
As a whole, the Flyers are thrilled with the great performances throughout the meet. From qualifying for the Federation Race, to defeating competitive rivals and proving the rankings wrong, it was a truly successful day. John Phelan ’18 described the day’s accomplishments best, saying, “Even though we started as the underdog, we showed our true talent and persistence today. I loved to see all of the great performances and sportsmanship throughout the meet.” As the 2016 cross country season comes to a close, each runner and coach is overjoyed with the great achievements he has attained, a well-deserved reward for the hard work put in throughout the season.