Cross Country

XC Report – Meet 5 – 15.5.21

Firstly, congratulations to the following boys on making it to the CAS Cross Country Team to compete at the CIS Cross Country Championships:

U12s: Ashvin Nagaratnam, Giacomo Duarte

U13s: Matthew McLachlan, Kobe Stewart, Joshua Lubke, Angus Royal

U14s: Myles Buvac

U15s: Ben Moloney, Ashwin Sivapirabu, Luca Gillard

U16s: Jack Waide, Micheal King, Joseph Cantlon, Zachary Pliatsikas, Ryan Gupta, Lewis Potter, James Schroder

U17s: Theo Christian, William Cooper, Keelan Stephandellis, Oscar Martin

Opens: Patrick Cantlon, Owen Peck

Last week the Trinity Cross Country fraternity travelled, for the second Saturday in a row, to Upjohn Park in Rydalmere, to compete against all CAS and GPS schools at the Knox invitational and the CAS Trials for the CIS Championships. Once again, Trinity emerged victorious in two out of three age groups – the U14s and U16s – placing 4th in the Opens (but 1st in the CAS). These results, and many other individual efforts to do one’s best and improve on previous runs, contributed to an outstanding morning of competition. What also stood out to many coaches and parents, though, was the wholesome community atmosphere which the sport fosters. There is an undeniably healthy consequence of the nature of running as an endeavour in which effort is king. Without the subjective perspective of umpires – although their decisions, for other reasons, should nonetheless always be accepted without complaint! – it is plain to all that what separates runners is a mixture of some God-given potential (of which no one can be proud, having not earned it) and pure grit (which is to be admired, no matter which runner displays it). Competition without hostility is a wonderful thing, and it is always a matter of pride for me to see our runners talking to and shaking the hands of runners from other schools after a closely fought battle. Well done to all of our young men.

I might start this week with our Opens team, which was delighted to welcome back captain Patrick Cantlon (12Du) from other duties last week. Patrick led the charge on what he described as a surprisingly difficult course, a hillier section having been added to accommodate a different starting area, finishing 6th. Theo Christian (12He) likewise ran well in a race which was deepened by the “running up” of several top younger runners, finishing 16th. William Cooper (12Hi) ran his first full race since injury, looking the part and devoting admirably less energy to smiling. His result of 38th, as well as Keelan Stephandellis’ (12Hi) 53rd place, secured us 4th place overall and 1st in the CAS. In the absence of Edward “Steady Eddy” Yu (12Sc), we witnessed a number of other typically reliable performances worth recounting. Though unable to run for different reasons, we’re thankful to have had Oliver Walker (11Fo) and Rory Clunas (11Yo) support their teammates. The same can be said of Luca Gillard (9St), who had returned the previous day from his Field Studies camp. We have a great team! Though Matthew Lubke (11Ta) might like to “fast forward” to greater fitness and speed, it is good to just have him running and enjoying his running again through an ongoing, tricky period of growth pains. Fynn Ferdinands (12WJ) continues to be an excellent role model for younger runners, training consistently and running just as consistently. He gave us a scare by grabbing his leg as soon as he crossed the line, but running through manageable pain is what he’s good at and why we love watching him run.

Our U16s team fought off strong competition from Shore to place 1st for the second week in a row. Jack Waide (10Ke), though narrowly losing out to a St Joseph’s rival on the cruel 50m uphill finish, is looking stronger and stronger, and his 6th place this week still did not look his fastest – watch out, all! The rest of our team ran well again: Micheal King (10Ta), Joseph Cantlon (10Du) in 10th, and Zachary Pliatsikas (11Ho) in 14th. Ryan Gupta (10WJ) has improved dramatically this season, coming 30th and impressively, with the aforementioned runners, securing a spot in the CAS U16s team (see above for the full list), as did Ben Moloney (9Yo) in 21st, Lewis Potter (11Fo) in 32nd and Ashwin Sivapirabu (10Hi) in 47th.

Our U14s team continues to dominate. We have a wonderful team of runners of all abilities and running backgrounds, and barely a minute goes by in the race without an opportunity to cheer one of them on. Matthew McLachlan (8WJ) and Kobe Stewart (7Yo) pushed each other yet again at the pinnacle of the race, leaving their rivals in the dust. Again it was Matthew who managed to find one more ounce of speed to outkick his friend and fellow Trinity runner. Joshua Lubke (7Ta) is finding his speed (and therefore smile!) again, and he ran a blistering race to finish 17th overall, while Daniel Simpson (6Ta) from the Junior School once again joined us to finish 22nd and help us secure the overall victory. Myles Buvac (8WJ) was not too far behind in 29th, running smoothly as always. It is worth mentioning in respect of this age group that we have several runners who are two years younger than the oldest cohort, being technically only U12. These runners – such as Daniel Simpson, Giacomo Duarte (7Sc), Ashvin Nagaratnam (7Yo), Cooper Beanland (7Sc) – are undertaking a significant task and doing it well.

Finally, I would like to say a few words about our wonderful though idiosyncratic coaching staff. Mr Hirst is becoming known for his adventurous (or some would say “unfaithful”) proclivity to explore the local Parkruns before turning up to support, coach and photograph the team. It was no surprise to see him turn up on Saturday with his usual boundless energy, raring to lead the U14s runners on a warm-up of the slightly altered course. He has been a great addition to the Cross Country staff this year, his outspoken enthusiasm complementing the “cooler” contributions of former Barker superstar, Mr Currer, who this week managed much better to navigate the seemingly challenging process of finding a park. Mr Raptis, a former pupil of Mr Woods, has been the mastermind of the running programme this year, and we thank him for his commitment to the ongoing development of each boy, although some wonder whether a more aerodynamic haircut would actually help him in his quest to run under 2 minutes in the 800m. Mr (Ben) Bishop, a stalwart of Trinity Cross Country and Middle Distance, is becoming an important member of the brains trust with his detailed knowledge of runners, races, tactics and mullets.

Tomorrow, the competition continues at The King’s School in Parramatta. Unlike some previous editions of the race, it is not a relay. We wish all of our runners well.

Good running,

Phillip Mugridge | MIC of Cross Country

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