Cross Country Report – Meet 8 – Cranbrook Relays – 5.6.21

The first relay event of the season brought great excitement and team spirit to the CAS/GPS Cross Country community last Saturday. Hosted by Cranbrook, the relay was run on a notoriously difficult, hilly relay course at North Ryde Common. Such was the intensity of the shorter but faster race that some of our senior runners were heard saying that the one lap they ran this week was harder than the four laps they ran of the same course last week! Overall, Trinity performed remarkably well. Apart from winning the admittedly less prestigious Old Boys’ category and Staff category – the number of team entries for these categories need not be named! – our top teams came 1st in the U14s, 2nd in the U16s and 2nd in the Opens. Here are the results of these medal-winning teams:

U14s A team (12th overall and 1st in their category):

Angus Royal, Daniel Simpson, Kobe Stewart, Matthew McLachlan

U16s A team (4th overall and 2nd in their category):

Jack Waide, Joseph Cantlon, Zachary Pliatsikas, Lewis Potter

Opens A team (3rd overall and 2nd in their category):

Theo Christian, William Cooper, Keelan Stephandellis, Patrick Cantlon

Old Boys team (1st overall and 1st in their category):

Ethan Brouw, Paul Raptis, Thomas Virgona, Benjamin Bishop

Staff team (37th overall and 1st in their category):

Phillip Mugridge, Aaron Scott, Matthew Hirst, Robert Currer

In addition, the return of Mr Spratt and Mr Woods brought further excitement to our boys. Many of them have been profoundly shaped and expertly coached by these two stalwarts of Trinity Cross Country, so it was special to hear their supportive voices on the sidelines. The return of Mr Spratt had been long awaited but, as expected, no new jokes were invented.

Remarkably, the first leg finished with three Trinity teams leading the pack: our Old Boys (Ethan Brouw (Class of 2020)), Opens (Theo Christian (12HE)) and U16s (Jack Waide (10KE)). Joseph Cantlon (10DU) of the U16s in the second leg, meanwhile, ran such a fast lap that he found himself in the unexpected position of leading the whole race, which in turn gave Zachary Pliatsikas (11HO) the unenviable challenge of holding off Old Boy Thomas Virgona (Class of 2020). Tom’s speed, as well as coach and Old Boy Benjamin Bishop’s (Class of 2019) blistering final 2km lap of under six minutes, ensured a clear victory for their team. Patrick Cantlon (12DU) stormed home, in the meantime, to bring our Opens team to 3rd overall (after strong laps from Keelan Stephandellis (11HI) and William Cooper (12HI)), while Lewis Potter (11FO) stepped up to the mark to complete our U16s team and give them a worthy 4th place overall and 2nd place behind an impressive Shore outfit. However, our U14s team was the star of its category, starting with a sub-7-minute lap from Angus Royal (8AR), followed by a great second leg by Year 6 and U12 runner, Daniel Simpson (6TA), a surprisingly quick comeback leg by Kobe Stewart (7YO) and an astounding last lap of 6 minutes and 16 seconds from Matthew McLachlan (8WJ). Another junior runner to note was Alex Christian (8HE) running his first race for the school – albeit gently – since injury. There were many other great runs from our athletes, and one of the highlights was seeing the camaraderie that is always present manifest itself in more tangible ways as boys become spectators and fans of their teammates.

In terms of our staff team, fun was had by all. Running with the boys gave us more appreciation for their skill, although being steamrolled by Oliver Walker (11FO) after giving some words of encouragement was a bitter pill to swallow! It was wonderful to see Mr Aaron Scott of fast-bowling renown show off his athletic prowess. However, instead of haunting the dreams of 1st grade batsmen, it was poor 13-year-old boys who were dealt the impossible hand of keeping up with his mammoth stride. Meanwhile, two boys from an unnamed school were heard commenting, “Did you see that old guy with the knee brace?” Mr Matthew Hirst assures me that this comment must have been followed with a compliment about the unpredictably impressive speed of this particular runner. Finally, as always, Mr Robert Currer looked the part as he flew down the hills of North Ryde with his flash new haircut. Passing tens of boys in the final leg, he compensated for a slower start than he is accustomed to!

We now have a break from our regular weekend competition, but many of our runners represented the CAS yesterday in the CIS Cross Country Championships; we wish them, in retrospect, all the best! Meanwhile, we have around a month for our boys to develop their fitness further as they approach the climax of the season next term.

Good running,

Phillip Mugridge | MIC of Cross Country


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