Monday, September 25, 2017

Alumni racing update: Tunnels to Towers

Listen. I’m always proud of our Marist Running Alums when they represent themselves as Forever Foxes in road races (see previous post). But on Sunday at the Tunnels to Towers 5K, honoring the FDNY Fallen Heroes from 9/11, Kyle Hannafin was fortunate enough to WIN the race. Rather than my continuing to gush about how proud I am of Kyle, and all that his victory means to him and his family, I asked him to provide a race report via email:

“Yesterday’s race was truly special for my family and I. The race was taken out hard by the eventual fourth and fifth place finishers, but my heart was beating out of my chest with adrenaline running through the Battery Tunnel. I was able to settle into a rhythm and on the shoulders of both guys for the first two miles until we exited the tunnel. When you exit the tunnel, you are greeted by hundreds of people, music, and 343 FDNY firefighters who are each holding a banner with a photo and name of every FDNY member who died on 9/11 so naturally I took off and let me adrenaline get the best of me. However, nobody followed and I ran the last 1.3 miles guided along by my Uncle Tom’s spirit and strength. As usual, Marty was there at the first major turn of the race, cheering me on and pointing me in the right direction. While they call the race a 5k, the distance is really about 3.35 so I’m pretty pumped with 17:08 considering I’m training for the NYC Marathon.’’

Thanks, Kyle. His uncle Tom was one of the 343 FDNY heroes on 9/11, so obviously there was and is a lot of emotion there. As you can see, Kyle honored his uncle with his race shirt.

Kyle referred to Most Loyal Alum Marty McGowan, who was with his son Matt directing the runners at the corner of West and Liberty streets. “You know that I have a big mouth and a loud voice, so this was an easy assignment for me to do,’’ Marty wrote in an email. “We were able to see all the athletes come up West Street and then direct them to turn at Liberty toward the Hudson to go around Battery Park City. Wonderful, emotional day!”

Alumni race update: Bronx 10-miler

Marist Running was well represented at yesterday’s steamy Bronx 10-miler, with three men among the top finishers in the race.

--Girma Segni, one of the greatest runners in school history, is on the comeback trail back to elite status and it showed with his sixth-place finish in 51:52 (5:12 pace). A post-race text to Girma revealed that he has been training hard for fall marathons (yes, plural … stay tuned for updates!).

--Ryan Fitzsimons, who races (and races extremely well!) for Central Park Track Club, was 15th overall in 54:21 (5:27 pace). Later, I noticed on Facebook the following post from Fitz: “Pretty #blessed / #stoked to announce that I have been officially accepted into the Sub Elite category for the 2017 NYC Marathon. Six more weeks until the gun goes off and I put all of this hard work to the test but to be recognized prior to race day as someone legit who will run fast is v exciting/gratifying. So to my NYC family, consider this your call to action. Come November 5th I need you all to be out on course helping me get after it cuz this time I'm gonna put on a show https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/f4c/1.5/16/1f918_1f3fb.pnghttps://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/f4c/1.5/16/1f918_1f3fb.png.” (Did those emojis come out on the blog?)

--Finally, our good friend and loyal Marist Running Alum Luke Shane ran with metronome-like consistency for a strong time of 57:18 (5:44 pace). Check THIS out: His 5-mile split was 28:39, which means his second 5-mile split was … 28:39. That’s crazy!


Nicely done to one and all. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Friends of Jaclyn walk

Thanks to team members Joe Miller, James Draney, James Moehringer, Graham Strzelecki and Will Duggan for participating in today’s Friends of Jaclyn walk on the Walkway Over the Hudson. Nicely done, men!

What’s next: Paul Short Run at Lehigh

Our next meet is on Friday at Lehigh University for the Paul Short Run, a huge XC extravaganza featuring hundreds of high school and college teams. Here is the race schedule, with the events in which Marist athletes will race in boldface.

ü  9:30 a.m., Open Men’s Race
ü  10:15 a.m., Open Women’s race
ü  11 a.m., Gold Men’s Race
ü  11:45 a.m., Gold Women’s Race
ü  12:15 p.m., Brown Men’s Race


For those traveling to the meet, you’ll want to go to the Goodman Campus of Lehigh University. Check out paulshortxcrun.com for further details. 

Men’s team ranked 14th in Northeast

In case you missed it? A few days ago, the USTFCCCA regional rankings came out and the men’s cross country team was listed as 14th in the rankings (top-15 teams in each region of the country are ranked in the poll). This is a great honor for our men, but ultimately the only ranking that truly matters is the one at the end of the regional meet, this year in Buffalo, in November. We must continue to do work and be better.

Indian summer?

According to Wikipedia, “Indian summer” is defined thusly: “The US National Weather Service defines this as weather conditions that are sunny and clear with above normal temperatures, occurring late-September to mid-November. It is usually described as occurring after a killing frost.” Based on that rather broad definition, the period of extended warm and sunny weather we have been experiencing probably does not qualify, since we have not yet had a killing frost. This seems to be a pattern during cooler and damper summers, as we had this year: Following the cool and damp weather, the hottest summer weather actually occurs in September.

While I’m rarely one to complain about the heat, since I’m always feeling chilled, this type of scorching weather in late September is ill timed from a cross country training perspective. Long distance runners and heat are not a great combination. Hydration is key, people. We have a few more days of searing temperatures, and then it appears cooler early autumn weather will finally arrive – hopefully in time for the Paul Short Run at Lehigh on Friday.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hill country

It was the end of a grueling hill workout at Bowdoin Park – the brainchild of Coach Chuck Williams, one that I dubbed “hill smorgasbord,’’ touching on every tough hill on the Bowdoin course and beyond. It wasn’t a particularly long workout, but it was hard. Hills are hard. Perhaps you are aware of this. Hills build character. Hills are speedwork in disguise. Think of every coaching cliché about hills – they’re all true. Here in the Marist Running universe, we’ve never shied away from hills. We embrace hills. And, why NOT? It’s not like we have our own TRACK on which to spend time! Even Coach Horton with the sprinters during their early-season training right now … what are they doing? Hills. Character. Speedwork in disguise. All of that and more. I call the Farm Lane trail in Hyde Park, my personal favorite training venue (some of our runners don’t share this sentiment!), the “one stop shopping” for runners – uphills, downhills, turns, woods running with no traffic, soft surfaces – what’s not to like? As a coach, anyway.

But I digress (as usual). Back to the end of the hill workout I was starting to write about at the top: Last hill repeat, on the back hill. The athletes were tired but focused, energized and drained at the same time, all their senses keenly tuned to finishing this damn workout. Coach Chuck is clapping and screaming halfway up the hill. I’m at the base of the hill, nervously pacing, worried that someone else is going to trip and fall on a rock or a root. One of our veteran athletes, a tough runner, starts mumbling some names of opposing runners and opposing teams. Runners and colored jerseys that she wants to run down, on a hill like this, in a meet, sometime in the future. Names and teams. Runners and singlets other than the red-and-white Marist ones, which of course are the only ones that matter. Up the hill she powered, no doubt visualizing the names and teams, runners and singlets (non-Marist, of course!) that she will be hoping to run down in the near future. In my anxiety over falling athletes, on a humid late summer day, this scene was a thing of beauty.

Our sport, like so much in our society, can be governed by Big Data. We are bombarded with some much INFORMATION now, from a variety of sources – and most of the data is accessible on your wrist. It’s all good and as an old coach I would be a fool to dismiss this Big Data. But, as an old coach who has been through more cross country seasons than can be counted, this one runner reminded me – and reminds us all – that cross country running is very elemental in this regard: Beating people, with singlets other than Marist. Place matters, a lot. Times are important and can be useful guideposts. But the way they keep score is by place. So, when we are running up our endless hills here in the majestic mid-Hudson Valley, we would all do well to visualize passing people and beating other teams. Here in hill country, as fall and important XC meets beckon, that’s all matters.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Dutchess County Classic: Anatomy of a victory

Thanks to Spencer Johnson for sharing his race splits with me. This was a good win for Spencer, who took the Walkway Marathon title, which was also held in steamy conditions. He took a conservative approach early on and then settled into a hard but manageable pace. Here are his race splits:

Mile 1: 5:39
Mile 2: 6:01
Mile 3: 5:37
Mile 4: 5:37
Mile 5: 5:37
Mile 6: 5:34
Mile 7: 5:33
Mile 8: 5:33
Mile 9: 5:38
Mile 10: 5:44
Mile 11: 5:32
Mile 12: 5:21
Mile 13: 5:26

Dutchess County Classic: Photos

Very proud of Annie Gould's repeat title at the half marathon distance. Her time was slightly slower this year, but in much more adverse weather conditions. She ran strong and looked strong coming in to the finish here on Stringham Road in LaGrange. Very proud also that Marist Running swept the half-marathon titles as you can see at the awards ceremony.

Dutchess County Classic: Marist racing

Our program was well represented at the Dutchess County Classic on Sunday morning. The fog was thick – and thus, so was the humidity – for all three races. At least, there was no direct sunlight. But the effects of the humidity cannot be overstated. The air was thick. Remember: It’s still technically summer out there, and it’ll feel like it this week. Anyway, Marist Alumni swept the top three spots:

Current graduate student Spencer Johnson won the half marathon in 1:13:33.24; we look forward to Spencer racing indoor and outdoor track for us in 2018. Omar Perez placed second in 1:19:03.62; Omar is training hard for his first marathon, in NYC in November. Billy Posch was a strong third in 1:20:48.65.

For the women, Annie Gould repeated as half marathon champion, taking top honors this year in 1:34:08.50. Her sister, Kelley Posch (yes, note the new last name!) won her age group in 1:39:07.67. Annie and Kelley’s dad, Chris Gould, came out of road racing hibernation as though he never left, placing third in his age group in the 5km (22:58.29).

Also in the 5k: Mr. Bucket (“David Swift”) was eighth overall and second in his age group (18:09.68); Catherine Ferreri was second in her age group (22:41.41). Also in the half marathon: Ken Walshak began his road racing comeback with a 10th-place run of 1:31:16.57, edging out my morning run czar Tony Ferreri (1:31:47.55, first in age group). 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Monmouth XC meet: Be Better


The last time we raced on the difficult Holmdel Park course was three years ago. In 2014, we ran the Monmouth Invitational in September and the MAAC Championships in October. So while this is a small sample size, it’s interesting to compare and crunch numbers. After all, that’s what we coaches do. If I recall, the conditions today were a bit more challenging than in 2014 – especially in the men’s race, when it got downright midsummer HOT at the end of the race. Such is XC racing in September. Here are the comparisons among the top-7 times, first in the men’s 5-mile race:

2014: 26:34, 26:45, 27:04, 27:20, 27:24, 27:26, 27:28
2017: 26:27, 26:51, 26:53, 26:57, 27:06, 27:14, 27:18

This year’s times were slightly better and the top-5 spread was closer. That 2014 team helped turn to the corner to more successful seasons that followed. We hope that the 2017 will continue to point that needle in the positive direction.

Here’s where it gets really good, though: For the women, the disparity is stark, and the numbers are even more eye-popping.

2014: 18:38, 18:50, 19:06, 19:28, 19:54, 20:10, 20:18
2017: 18:43, 18:43, 18:47, 18:55, 18:59, 19:18, 19:25

The 1-5 spread in 2014 was 1 minute, 16 seconds (1:16). Today it was a minuscule 16 seconds (0:16) – or, a full minute (1:00) better and tighter than the 2014 that was pretty darned good. Dig deeper into the numbers and you will find this remarkable, incredible statistic (courtesy of Coach Chuck). In 2014, our fifth runner was a tough freshman named Jenna Robinson. She ran 19:54.8, and she was our fifth and final runner to break 20 minutes (20:00) on the course back on September 20, 2014. Today, senior captain Jenna Robinson (yes, that same, tough runner who has forged a marvelous career for us, in all three seasons) ran a PR on the course, 19:47.65 in what we would consider slightly more difficult weather conditions. Here’s the kicker: Jenna was our 12th runner today, and we had 12 runners dip under the 20-minute mark on the challenging Holmdel 5km.

Above, you'll see our top finishers who earned top finisher shirts from Monmouth. Back here at Marist, the back of our practice shirts say “Be Better.” It’s gratifying to see that our women and men are taking that slogan onto the course. It was a “Great Day to be a Red Fox” for sure, but it’s also September 16, and we know we have a lot more to accomplish in the next two months. 

Monmouth XC meet: Post-race pool party at the Hendersons

Many thanks for the Hendersons (Brian Henderson's family) for hosting an awesome BBQ/pool party at their house, which is about 15 minutes from Holmdel. The blazing hot afternoon made ideal conditions for a pool party -- although this old coach was none too pleased at the raucous game of "pool basketball" by the maturity challenged men (featuring a Prominent Alum as well!). Also thanks to Dave B, our JTR bus driver who patiently allowed our team to take part in this post-race fun.

Monmouth XC meet: Women's results

Henry Mercer Monmouth Invitational
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Holmdel Park, Holmdel, NJ
Women’s team standings
1-Marist 34, 2-Quinnipiac 44, 3-Manhattan 71, 4-Siena 118, 5-Monmouth 125, 6-Towson 140, 7-Lafayette 206, 8-Army West Point 255
Women’s individual results, 5km course
4-Gianna Tedeschi 18:43.55
5-Alexandra Bartolotta 18:43.98
6-Maria Smith 18:47.06
9-Shea Bohan 18:55.74
10-Hayley Collins 18:59.15
17-Emily Burns 19:18.06
19-Alyssa Lafave 19:25.01
20-Jordan Casey 19:30.76
23-Christine Gambell 19:33.53
27-Denise Grohn 19:38.31
31-Mariah Christian 19:44.51
32-Jenna Robinson 19:47.65
37-Maddie Tooker 20:02.36
69-Lauren Harris 21:21.65
75-Jess Howe 21:45.43
82-Hannah Albert 22:17.92
87-Katie Miale 23:49.60
88-Shannon Gildea 23:54.66

Monmouth XC Meet: Men's results

Henry Mercer Monmouth Invitational
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Holmdel Park, Holmdel, NJ
Men’s team standings
1-Marist 45, 2-Manhattan 55, 3-Monmouth 71, 4-Siena 73, 5-Quinnipiac 118, 6-Lafayette 191, 7-Army West Point 201
Men’s individual results, 5-mile course
2-Dietrich Mosel 26:27.20
8-Christopher Rivas 26:51.73
10-Steven Rizzo 26:53.11
11-Palmer Weimann 26:57.30
14-Alexander Hogue 27:06.40
17-Riley Hughes 27:14.15
18-James Draney 27:18.52
26-Graham Strzelecki 27:38.03
32-Joe Miller 27:51.27
34-James Moehringer 27:54.54
37-James Pratt 28:07.78
38-Eamonn Beers 28:08.64
43-Elias Platanias 28:14.46
45-Will Esposito 28:26.36
48-Conor Stack 28:36.30
50-Connor Levins 28:45.72
51-Mark Cappuccitti 28:45.99
53-Connor Fitzpatrick 28:58.89
58-Dan Hillman 29:26.33
59-Will Duggan 29:26.54
66-Brian Henderson 29:42.89

Monmouth XC Meet: Great day to be a Red Fox


On a warm, sultry and humid day at Holmdel Park, our women's and men's XC teams swept the team titles at the Monmouth Invitational. Our women packed five runners into the top 10, with a mind-numbing spread of 16 seconds (!!!!) and edged out MAAC rival Quinnipiac by 10 points. The men edged MAAC rival Manhattan, also by 10 points, on the strength of a runner-up finish by Dietrich Mosel and five runners in the top 14 of the race. The goal for today was to get our eyes and feet on the MAAC Championship course and put in a good effort. For a hot, late-summer day ... we checked those boxes, and then some. Results to follow ...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Monmouth XC meet: Post-race feed at Hendersons

Thanks in advance to the family of junior Brian Henderson, who will be hosting a post-race picnic/gathering on Saturday after the Monmouth meet at Holmdel. Brian asked me to share the following information to any friends or family members interested in attending and/or contributing to the food spread. Their address is:

Henderson
11 Whirlaway Drive
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724

Brian's mom, Patty Henderson, can be reached via cell/text at 732 841 0958. Thank you to the Hendersons!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Directions to Holmdel Park

From the Monmouth University athletics Web site:

DIRECTIONS TO HOLMDEL PARK
Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 114. After the exit, go west on to Red Hill Road (Southbound, turn right onto Red Hill Rd; northbound, turn left onto Red Hill Rd.). Follow the brown signs to Holmdel County Park and Historic Longstreet County Farm. At the second light, take a downhill right on to Everett Road (which changes to Crawford’s Corner). Go left after passing Lucent Technologies on to Roberts Road and then right just before the park on to Longstreet Road. Turn left into Holmdel Park and follow signs to the lower or middle parking lot. The starting line and team check-in will be near the shelter in the lower parking lot.

What's next: Monmouth XC meet

Our full squad returns to action on Saturday at the 23rd annual Henry Mercer Monmouth XC Invitational at Holmdel Park in Holmdel, NJ -- site of the MAAC Championships later this fall. Women's 5k race is at 9:45 a.m.; men's 5-mile race is at 10:30 a.m. We look forward to seeing as many friends and family there as our athletes can get their feet on the course in advance of the championships.

Bonus time …

Maybe it’s a generational thing. I was 37 when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. It touched us all greatly and 16 years later, I cannot shake the memories of that time. It’s embedded in our consciousness, permanently. As we got through our day on Monday, it surprised me how little 9/11 is discussed in academic settings. This semester, I happen to teach a class (Public Presentations) on Monday and Thursday mornings at 8, and I devoted Monday’s class to a discussion of 9/11. Most of the students told me that, other than a cursory moment of silence, the anniversary was never really a topic in school growing up. I find that odd. Regarding my previous post, JFK’s assassination was often cited as a seminal moment in our modern history, and was a frequent topic in social studies through my school years. It surprises me that 9/11 is not as much of a front-and-center topic in school. Maybe I’m mistaken on this, but in my small sample size of Marist students/millennials to whom I spoke, they said it was not a focus growing up.

Anyway, while 9/11 is still on my mind, I wanted to share a Facebook post that my early-morning jogging buddy Schneider put up last week on the occasion of his 47th birthday:

Well today is my 47th birthday and I have to say I have mixed emotions. I can't believe I'm the age that my father was when he passed away. He seemed so old to me when I was 18. I couldn't imagine not being here with my family. I feel like this is all bonus time now for me. I'm so thankful that I'm losing my hair and going gray. I'm so thankful that I have my health and a loving family. Life is going by so quickly now and I really want to enjoy the journey. I miss you Dad and I hope you’re proud of me and what I have become.

While this is a touching post for sure, the words that struck a chord with me were “bonus time.” What a wonderful perspective to have, even at the relatively young middle-age of 47 – that from here until God calls him, it’s all bonus time. Would that we all live our lives that way. I think of the FDNY firefighters and other heroes of 9/11, and the innocent victims of that day, and how their families probably yearn for some “bonus time,” 16 years later. So as we muddle through our days and whine about this and that (I’m as guilty as the next person, trust me), remember that it doesn’t matter your age or your stage in life. It’s all bonus time.

Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11 ... through the lens of 16 years

As each passing year goes by, the anniversary of 9/11 becomes more distant and more detached for the younger generation. I liken the kids these days to what it was like for me, growing up and hearing about the JFK assassination, which occurred nine months before I was born. It was a historical event, still fresh in our nation’s consciousness but something I couldn’t directly relate to. My kids, and most students at Marist, fit into this category, re 9/11. And so today, in an effort to better explain the meaning of 9/11 and to give a different perspective, I turn to our resident Marist Running Alum street philosopher Marty McGowan, in an email he wrote to me last week in hopes that I would share it:

The first two weekends in September will always be reflective for me 'till I die, and I'm OK with it. I'm just glad I'm alive. One wrong turn that morning (and I've thought about this a lot over the years) and a few pieces of Building 1 would have landed on my head. God was with me. He gave me something to do in helping out a few co-workers and making sure they were OK. I didn't have time to think about myself, and I'm grateful to Him for the opportunity to help out, even in the small way that I did. And, I thank God that I was able to make it home to Annie and Matt later on that afternoon. We had our Eve of Remembrance Mass on Wednesday night. We did it early in the week this year so we wouldn't interfere with any of the parish Masses on Staten Island this weekend. As usual, we read the names of the almost 300 Staten Islanders who died that day. We read the names after the Profession of Faith, as part of the Offertory prayer. About 10 people read the names, about 30 names each. Since 2002, we've asked the Catholic high schools on the Island to send a student or two to read the names, and this year was no exception. What was different this year is that a few of the kids weren't born before 9/11/01! Time does go on. The thought came to me Wednesday night that my friends who died were probably as old as the parents of the kids now reading the names, i.e. people in their mid to late 40s. I mentioned that to a few of the kids as a way of putting the evening into perspective. Kind of like me going to a WWII memorial with my parents when I was their age. Imagine your parents or an older brother/sister going to work and not coming home. Ouch! Anyway, if you're going to talk about 9/11 to the team, or in class during the next few days this might be one way of trying to relate the day to the next generation. A lot of people like us died that day. I noticed that Marist will be remembering 9/11 at Mass on Monday. I'll be there in spirit, believe me.


Well put, Marty, and thank you. We will never, ever forget. We cannot and we will not. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Stony Brook XC meet: Men's results

We had an excellent day at Stony Brook -- another nice weather day, sunny, breezy and cool. Great to see our old friends the Townsends and Mike Nehr, who was nice enough to spend part of his morning with us along with his young son Matthew, who was celebrating his 3rd birthday! It was also great to see my son Joey, who biked over to the XC course from his dorm room after a 10-mile morning run with his club running buddies. As far as the meet goes, 7 of our 9 finishers were freshmen running their first 8km (well, not quite, as you'll SEE) race. As Hogue noted, everyone had a strong finish, which was great. Results include the finish time for the truncated 7,816-meter course, the pace per mile and the converted 8km time. A fine debut for the seven freshmen, and a solid run for Hogue and Eamonn. As some of the freshmen might say ... "Dude. It was LIT."

Stony Brook Wolfie Invitational
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Stony Brook University XC Course
Men’s team results
1-Stony Brook 15, 2. Marist 70, 3. Seton Hall 74, 4. Monroe 106, 5. Fairfield 126
Men’s individual results, 7,816-meter course (with pace per mile and 8km conversion time)
9. Alex Hogue 25:17.38, 5:12.5, 25:53
14. James Draney 25:33.29, 5:15.5, 26:08
15. James Moehringer 25:38.60, 5:17, 26:14
17. Graham Strzelecki 25:42.54, 5:17.5, 26:18
22. Eamonn Beers 26:06.52, 5:22.5, 26:43
25. James Pratt 26:16.94, 5:24.5, 26:53
27. Connor Fitzpatrick 26:33.54, 5:28, 27:10
36. Matt Ronan 27:27.05, 5:39, 28:05
39. Connor St. Germain 27:54.84, 5:45, 28:34
46 finishers

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Stony Brook XC meet: How to get there

Following is travel information to our meet at Stony Brook for friends and family planning on attending. Follow these directions. If you follow the GPS, you’re more likely to get to my son’s dorm on the Stony Brook campus than to the cross country course.

Vans/Cars can take  Northern State Parkway(Bus cannot) to 347, follow 347 east, turn left on Stony Brook Road, go approximately 2 miles, take a left on to Development Drive. (Stony Brook University Research and Development park). Follow road for 3/4 of a mile, course and parking will be on your left.  


​From Ferry: Take 25A West (Approximately 7 miles), take left on Stony Brook Road,  after 1/2 mile ​take a Right on to Development Drive.   (Stony Brook University Research and Development park). Follow road for 3/4 of a mile.,course and parking will be on your left.

What's next: Stony Brook

We are bringing a small contingent (about 10) of men's XC runners to Stony Brook for the Wolfie Invitational. The women are taking the week off. Most of the men are freshmen and sophomores. This gives the young runners a chance to tackle the 8km XC distance for the first time and/or get a few more reps at that longer distance. It will be old-school, back to the future as we travel by van as opposed to a big bus for this meet. Men's race is at 11:15 a.m. We'll probably arrive at around 9:30 a.m. Hope to see you there.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Home meet: One more photo

OK, one more photo from Saturday, this one courtesy of Eamonn Beers' mom ... a great shot! You can see senior Dietrich Mosel kicking his way to the first-place finish. You can also see loyal alums cheering him to the finish, from left: Charlie Ropes, Omar Perez (with his phone) and Billy Posch. Good stuff.

Coaching staff: Past, present, future

Today, Labor Day, we continued a relatively new tradition of having a complete team meeting -- all cross country and track athletes, men and women, distance, sprints and everything in between -- getting together for a few minutes to get to know each other and to hand out team gear for those who had not yet received it. Because XC and track are kind of separated during the fall -- XC runners are in season and practicing off campus almost every day of the week -- this is a good opportunity to get everyone together so that teammates can at least start putting names to faces. I also made Rizz take this photo of the ever growing track/XC coaching staff, a fact that means a lot to me. When Phil and I started this version of the track/xc family back in 1991, it was just the two of us as co-coaches, no assistants, nothing. Now, we can almost fill a minivan. Although Cuesta is no longer on our official staff, he is still very much part of our family and it was important for the current team to meet him as he will occasionally show up at meets and motivate and inspire in his unique way. Past, present, future, all represented here, from left: Coach Chuck, who has been with us as an athlete and coach for more than 20 years, almost the entirety of my 27 years; Cuesta; Coach Erica; Terry Horton, second longest in tenure at a decade, and our newest addition, volunteer graduate assistant coach Nicki Nesi (oh yeah, the idiot in the tube socks between Terry and Nicki is me). Good stuff.

Middle distance collage: Getting bigger

Thanks to senior Sami "Lou" Ellougani for sharing this unique collage of the "middle-distance team" now and then. OK, admittedly this didn't translate well from his iPhone to this fancy blog, but you get the idea ... the middle distance team is GROWING, and we are certainly pumped about that. The truncated bottom photo constitutes the current iteration of the MD squad. Neat!

A Charming race report ...

Thanks to Marist Running Alum Lizzy Peper for sharing this photo and her and her dad, as well as this text, after what sounds like a really cool 12-mile race in Baltimore. What a unique race distance as well:

Hi, Pete! Happy Labor Day! Just wanted to send this picture your way - my Dad and me after finishing the Charles Street 12 on Saturday. The 12 mile race is put on by Charm City Run, the running store I work for, and has about 3,000 runners. The route starts in Baltimore County around where I went to high school and ends in downtown Baltimore where I now live. This year's finish was at Under Armour's headquarters, making it even more special for my Dad who has worked there for 15+ years. Saturday was also my Dad's 84th day of running and his streak is still going strong! I couldn't be more proud of him. It's always great to share a starting line with him and lots of familiar Baltimore faces.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Home meet: Senior Day photo

Sorry. Please allow me one more photo from this weekend, poached from GoredFoxes.com ... the complete group shot of the track/cross country seniors, along with their family and friends, and the entire coaching staff. This photo is a keeper, for sure. But, no need to get sentimental. We've got another eight months with this special group of seniors.

Rainy day thoughts

It was back to work this morning for the team's long run -- with the remnants of the storm named Harvey dumping some decent rain on the area. Glad we missed this drenching by a day -- would have put a literal damper on the home meet at the Farm yesterday. Everyone got their work and their miles in today. A note to our athletes, who have soaking wet running sneakers that need to be dried out before their next run: In the past, the best way I've dried out wet sneakers is by stuffing them with crumpled up newspapers. Of course ... to this generation of athletes, "newspapers" -- you know, the actual Print Product -- may seem as foreign to them as rotary dial phones (heck, to ANY land line phone!). So I guess the next best idea would be balled up paper towels? I found newspapers always worked best.

In other news! One of our highest mileage runners, sophomore Christopher Rivas, for some odd reason HATES running in the rain. When I say HATES running in the rain ... I mean it. Rivas did NOT run outside today. Rather, he did a mind-numbing 14 miles on the treadmill, which he had to reset after an hour. You can see the proof on his watch. Fortunately, this rainy weather is short lived -- tomorrow is supposed to be very nice.

Alumni racing report: Kyle Hannafin taking SI by storm

Thanks to Marist Running Alum Kyle Hannafin for the following race report and photo. Kyle is doing great, tearing up the roads on his Staten Island home, with loyal Marist Running Alum Marty McGowan there to cheer him on every step of the way, especially at Saturday's Celic Run on SI. Here's Kyle's report via email:

"Yesterday was the culmination of Staten Island's Triple Crown summer racing series. The Celic Run is the oldest annual road race on Staten Island and it is the final leg of the TC series. Going into the race I was 2nd overall in the TC standings and came out finishing 2nd with 17 points throughout the three races. I am pumped to say that I PR'd in each race and finished yesterday 3rd overall in 22:19 for 4 miles. Next up on the calendar is the Tunnel to Towers 5k, which is a race dear to my heart because my Uncle Tom died in the line of duty on 9/11. Looking forward to seeing you and the team on the 16th at Holmdel!" 

Home meet: Some random photos

 Thanks to all who emailed me photos from Saturday. Here's a sampling.







Saturday, September 2, 2017

Home meet: Women's individual results, with past times

Marist Season Opener XC Meet
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve
Women’s results, 5km course, with past times on the course
2-Maria Smith (Marist) 18:15.4
4-Gianna Tedeschi (Marist) 18:25.8
5-Emily Burns (Marist) 18:27.1
2015: 18:35.8; 2016: 19:19.3
6-Shea Bohan (Marist) 18:29.7
2015: 20:01.9; 2016: 18:55.6
7-Ali Bartolotta (Marist) 18:35.5
2016: 19:28.1
8-Denise Grohn (Marist) 18:40.7
2016: 19:43.0
9-Hayley Collins (Marist) 18:54.1
10-Jordan Casey (Marist) 18:57.6
2015: 20:28.2; 2016: 19:49.4
11-Alyssa Lafave (Marist) 19:07.0
2016: 19:42.4
13-Jenna Robinson (Marist) 19:26.8
2014: 19:43.12; 2015: 19:34.8; 2016: 19:37.4
14-Christine Gambell (Marist) 19:27.0
2014: 22:06.39; 2015: 21:42.1; 2016: 19:48.4
15-Boushra Belkhir (Marist) 19:36.4
2016: 20:43.9
20-Debbie Boerke (Marist) 20:19.2
21-Roxy Novo (Marist) 20:22.1
2014: 20:18.29; 2015: 20:22.4; 2016: 19:39.2
25-Talia Cutrone (Marist) 21:08.0
26-Lauren Harris (Marist) 21:11.6
32-Katie Miale (Marist) 23:01.8
33-Shannon Gildea (Marist) 23:21.0
2014: 22:36.31; 2015: 22:02.7; 2016: 23:04.6

Home meet: Men's individual results, with past times

Marist Season Opener XC Meet
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve
Poughkeepsie, NY
Men’s results, 6km course (3.73 miles), with past times on the course
1-Dietrich Mosel (Marist) 18:51.5
2014: 20:27.62; 2015: 19:47.1; 2016: 19:05.6
3-Steven Rizzo (Marist) 19:18.9
2014: 19:42.72; 2015: 19:31.1; 2016: 19:35.2
4-Michael Kennedy (Marist) 19:22.7
2015: 20:23.3; 2016: 19:32.1
5-Christopher Rivas (Marist) 19:23.2
2016: 19:32.4
6-Palmer Weimann (Marist) 19:23.8
2015: 19:34.7; 2016: 20:04.7
7-Alex Hogue (Marist) 19:24.7
2016: 19:25.1
10-James Draney (Marist) 19:37.6
11-Riley Hughes (Marist) 19:39.3
2015: 19:33.2; 2016: 19:27.7
12-Joseph Miller (Marist) 19:40.1
2014: 20.27.16; 2015: 19:54.0; 2016: 19:53.8
13-Graham Strzelecki (Marist) 19:48.0
14-Steven Morrison (Marist) 19:56.4
2014: 19:20.11; 2015: 20:12.0; 2016: 19:31.0
15-James Moehringer (Marist) 19:58.6
16-Will Esposito (Marist) 19:59.3
2016: 21:13.7
17-Elias Platanias (Marist) 20:02.7
2016: 20:32.3
18-James Pratt (Marist) 20:04.1
19-Connor Levins (Marist) 20:12.9
2016: 20:36.4
20-Eamonn Beers (Marist) 20:15.9
2015: 21:19.6; 2016: 22:16.5
21-Conor Fitzpatrick (Marist) 20:16.3
22-Dan Hillman (Marist) 20:17.6
2016: 20:15.8
24-Conor Stack (Marist) 20:22.5
2016: 20:19.3
26-Mark Cappuccitti (Marist) 20:38.3
27-Matthew Ronan (Marist) 20:45.6
30-Brian Henderson (Marist) 20:57.6
2015: 20:42.9; 2016: 20:45.7
31-Connor St. Germain (Marist) 21:00.6
32-Drew Burns (Marist-unattached) 21:10.5
2015: 20:55.6; 2016: 20:34.4
33-Will Duggan (Marist) 21:11.7
2014: 21:46.8, 2015: 21:12.4; 2016: 20:47.5
35-Will O’Connell (Marist) 21:41.5
38-Nick Brady (Marist) 22:06.6

Home meet: Men's results

Marist Season Opener XC Meet
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve
Poughkeepsie, NY
Men’s results, Division 1
Team standings
1-Marist 19, 2. Iona 50, 3. Fairfield 68
Men’s individual results, 6km course (3.73 miles)
1-Dietrich Mosel (Marist) 18:51.5
2-Ehab El-Sandali (Iona) 18:52.7
3-Steven Rizzo (Marist) 19:18.9
4-Michael Kennedy (Marist) 19:22.7
5-Christopher Rivas (Marist) 19:23.2
6-Palmer Weimann (Marist) 19:23.8
7-Alex Hogue (Marist) 19:24.7
8-Christian Alberico (Iona) 19:27.8
9-Edward Hayfron (Iona) 19:35.3
10-James Draney (Marist) 19:37.6
11-Riley Hughes (Marist) 19:39.3
12-Joseph Miller (Marist) 19:40.1
13-Graham Strzelecki (Marist) 19:48.0
14-Steven Morrison (Marist) 19:56.4
15-James Moehringer (Marist) 19:58.6
16-Will Esposito (Marist) 19:59.3
17-Elias Platanias (Marist) 20:02.7
18-James Pratt (Marist) 20:04.1
19-Connor Levins (Marist) 20:12.9
20-Eamonn Beers (Marist) 20:15.9
21-Conor Fitzpatrick (Marist) 20:16.3
22-Dan Hillman (Marist) 20:17.6
23-Ben Breton (Fairfield) 20:21.6
24-Conor Stack (Marist) 20:22.5
25-Scott Daly (Fairfield) 20:36.2
26-Mark Cappuccitti (Marist) 20:38.3
27-Matthew Ronan (Marist) 20:45.6
28-Brian Warsh (Iona) 20:50.1
29-Connor Secora (Fairfield) 20:50.3
30-Brian Henderson (Marist) 20:57.6
31-Connor St. Germain (Marist) 21:00.6
32-Drew Burns (Marist-unattached) 21:10.5
33-Will Duggan (Marist) 21:11.7
34-Nick Rispoli (Fairfield) 21:17.3
35-Will O’Connell (Marist) 21:41.5
36-Mike Dzubia (Fairfield) 21:42.1
37-Timothy Salit (Fairfield) 21:55.8
38-Nick Brady (Marist) 22:06.6
39-Tim Susko (Iona) 22:38.0
40-Stephen Jastrzembski (Fairfield) 22:44.8
41-Dan Lehman (Fairfield) 24:27.2

Men’s results, Non-D1
Team standings
1-LIU Post 21, 2-Hunter 34, 3-Post University INC
Men’s individual results, 6km course (3.73 miles)
1-Ryan Acey (Post) 20:18.0
2-Kyle Harris (Hunter) 21:53.1
3-Andrew Gleave (LIU Post) 21:59.8
4-Erick Rivera (LIU Post) 22:12.3
5-George Moukas (Post) 22:14.9
6-Lance Edwards (LIU Post) 22:23.8
7-Joseph Dorso (LIU Post) 22:33.3
8-Jeffry Guerrero (Hunter) 22:38.3
9-John Maher (LIU Post) 22:40.8
10-Cristhofer Castro (Hunter) 22:42.3
11-Stephen O’Shea (Hunter) 22:46.5
12-Griffin Kearney (Hunter) 23:05.2
13-Rauful Hossein (Hunter) 23:28.2
14-Justin Ortega (LIU Post) 24:18.8
15-Joseph Velez (LIU Post) 24:39.4

Home meet: Women's results

Marist Season Opener XC Meet
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve
Poughkeepsie, NY
Women’s results, Division 1
Team standings
1-Marist 24, 2-Iona 37, 3-Fairfield 85
Women’s individual results, 5km course
1-Dani Martino (Iona) 18:09.6
2-Maria Smith (Marist) 18:15.4
3-Kaitlyn Ohrtman (Iona) 18:23.4
4-Gianna Tedeschi (Marist) 18:25.8
5-Emily Burns (Marist) 18:27.1
6-Shea Bohan (Marist) 18:29.7
7-Ali Bartolotta (Marist) 18:35.5
8-Denise Grohn (Marist) 18:40.7
9-Hayley Collins (Marist) 18:54.1
10-Jordan Casey (Marist) 18:57.6
11-Alyssa Lafave (Marist) 19:07.0
12-Kara McKenna (Iona) 19:22.9
13-Jenna Robinson (Marist) 19:26.8
14-Christine Gambell (Marist) 19:27.0
15-Boushra Belkhir (Marist) 19:36.4
16-Hannah Molloy (Iona) 19:48.2
17-Helena Keenan (Iona) 19:48.2
18-Shannon O’Hehir (Iona) 19:58.5
19-Danika Jensen (Iona) 20:17.2
20-Debbie Boerke (Marist) 20:19.2
21-Roxy Novo (Marist) 20:22.1
22-Katie Kern (Fairfield) 20:42.2
23-Sami Carey (Fairfield) 20:42.4
24-Kelsi Farren (Fairfield) 20:58.0
25-Talia Cutrone (Marist) 21:08.0
26-Lauren Harris (Marist) 21:11.6
27-Anna Valentine (Fairfield) 21:19.1
28-Skylar Sweet (Iona) 21:24.9
29-Ashley Cambiasaca (Fairfield) 21:54.7
30-Devyn O’Brien (Fairfield) 22:19.9
31-Shannon Lavin (Fairfield) 22:32.2
32-Katie Miale (Marist) 23:01.8
33-Shannon Gildea (Marist) 23:21.0
34-Alexandra Naughton (Iona) 23:56.6

Women’s results, Non-D1
Team standings
1-Hunter 22, 2. LIU Post 35, 3. Post University INC
Women’s individual results, 5km course
1-Talya Williams (LIU Post) 18:12.1
2-Kendall Fitzgerald (Post) 19:36.9
3-Julia Leask (Hunter) 20:09.3
4-Vera Pertsovskaya (Hunter) 20:22.8
5-Emily Tavares (Hunter) 20:41.3
6-Nicolette (LIU Post) 20:58.8
7-Emily Guzzardi (Hunter) 21:03.9
8-Zoe Colasacco (Hunter) 21:13.0
9-Alexandria Okon (LIU Post) 21:22.4
10-Kaitie Schillaci (LIU Post) 21:22.9
11-Kristy Carlin (Hunter) 21:29.0
12-Bianca Rey (Hunter) 21:30.0
13-Cheryl Chan (Hunter) 22:22.3
14-Akia Callum (Post) 23:54.1
15-Paige Dundas (Post) 23:56.3
16-Jillian Ducham (Post) 24:14.9
17-Yvonne Chow (Hunter) 24:52.0
18-Kaitlyn Jones (LIU Post) 26:41.7
19-Tiffany Merlinsky (Hunter) 26:46.9
20-Giovanna Bernal (Hunter) 26:54.6
21-Nicole Constanzo (LIU Post) 27:11.3

Home meet, overview

Another great morning at Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve, as we welcomed five visiting teams and countless family, friends and alums for our one home meet of the year. The weather was beyond perfect. When I woke up before dawn, the temperature was a brisk 43 degrees. Yow! You betcha my heated seat was on in the Subaru. The sun came out but then ducked behind the clouds during the races -- probably mid-50s and cloudy, does it get any better than that? Of course it doesn't ... especially on September 2.

Our men and women ran strong (as you'll see in the upcoming results posts) and our Senior Day ceremony seems to get better and better each and every year. So glad that our track seniors and families could make it. Many thanks to our friends at Vassar College -- especially head coach James McCowan, who prepared the courses so well -- and to Palmer Weimann's parents (Martha and Ted) for coordinating an excellent tailgate. Great start to our long, three-season journey. It good to feel good, and we do. But it's back to work tomorrow, as our season awaits us in the coming weeks and months.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Home meet at Vassar Farm: A note on parking

We are eagerly anticipating our home meet on Saturday morning at Vassar Farm in Poughkeepsie. Men's 6km race is at 9 a.m.; women's 5km race is at 9:45 a.m. Senior day festivities will follow shortly after the conclusion of the women's race. We expect six teams to compete, three D1 and three non-D1: Fairfield, Iona and Marist (D1); Hunter College, LIU Post (CW Post) and Post (CT) University (non-D1). The team scoring will be separate D1 and non-D1.

Vassar cross country coach James McCowan asked me to stress to all friends, family and visiting teams that parking will be at a premium at Vassar Farm, due to a multitude of activities there on Saturday morning. Here is a direct quote from an email that James sent to me: "That means we'll be parking all school buses/vans and spectator cars on the upper fields by Vassar Road, or possibly across the street at South Lot on Vassar campus." We will attempt to have a shuttle van to transport those who cannot walk the distance to the course area at the Farm.

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tailgating at Vassar Farm

With the beginning of our cross country season less than a week away, it’s time to get into that regular season mode. Thanks to Palmer Weimann’s mom, Martha, for volunteering to be the point person for our team tailgate on Saturday at Vassar Farm. She e-mailed me to let family members and friends know that if they want to contribute or coordinate with her for the tailgate, that they should email her at whctgirl@gmail.com or call/text her at 860 803 8198. “Looking forward to seeing the Marist family again!” she emailed. Same here. 

Hawker’s birthday run

Congratulations to sophomore Matthew Hawker, who turned 19 yesterday. And in the fine tradition of Marist Running, he decided to run his birthday in miles. He did a 14-mile long run – our traditional, end-of-preseason long run from Marist, to Vassar Farm, loop around the farm, and back to Marist – and then later in the day did a 5-mile double, for 19 miles. While on its face this seems a bit extreme, it may be even more so considering that Hawker was a sprinter back in high school, before Marist Running Alum Nick Hughes coached him and moved him up to the 800 meters. Hawker has been known to exhibit questionable judgment in training at times – his unofficial motto would seem to be, “if something’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing” – but that sometimes reckless nature endears him to his teammates and to me. So, was it the smartest thing for Hawker to do 19 miles on his birthday? Of course not! But we’re proud of him nonetheless. 

Forever Foxes in Roslyn

Thanks to Bianca Luparello for sending me this photo and text of her and Mark Valentino, both proud Marist Running Alums now making a difference for young athletes at Roslyn High School on Long Island. Here’s what Bianca texted me: “The face of Roslyn athletics. Mark teaches math and coaches XC and I’m their new athletic trainer! Foxes forever.” Indeed! 

Bob Sweeney: An epic trail run

Major kudos to my old friend and loyal team supporter and follower Bob Sweeney on his incredible race at the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado. Considered one of the more grueling trail 100-milers out there – it’s been called the Race Across the Sky, with mind-numbing elevations between 9,000 and more than 12,000 feet -- Bob put together one of the more remarkable races in what has been a long and noteworthy running career. Bob placed seventh overall out of nearly 300 finishers, ran 19 hours, 33 minutes, 14 seconds – improving his best on this course by more than an hour (previous best = 20:51), won the 50-59 division, and ran the third fastest 50-plus time in race history. 

Happy 18th birthday

On my 18th birthday, nearly 35 years ago to the day, in 1982, I was a skinny and scared freshman at Marist College. I was 90 miles from home. While not exactly “home sick,” I was definitely out of sorts – the first time away from home for an indefinite period. These feelings are so common as to span countless generations. I recently spoke with an old Marist alum, about five years older than me, and he described the combination of homesickness, loneliness and fear as he sat in his Leo Hall dorm room and cried, during the early days of his tenure at Marist. More than 40 years later, he’s well into middle age and his two sons are Marist alums, successful in their young adult lives already.

On that long-ago date, August 31, 1982, my older brother Rich surprised me by driving up from New Jersey to Poughkeepsie. He took me across the street to Skinner’s, a long since demolished pub that squatted on the corner of Route 9 and Fulton, where the Beck Place lot now resides (side note: Is the Internet amazing, or what? Check out this vintage photo I found of the Skinner’s sign …). Old Marist alums will regale you with stories of how much time they spent at Skinner’s or its predecessor, Frank’s. That night, I had a burger, some fries and my first legal alcoholic beverage, a Budweiser draft (yes, back then the drinking age was 18). Although I had been at Marist for a little more than a week, I still had that uneasy feeling in my gut, so common among 18-year-olds starting this new journey. Having my older brother there – and buying me a beer -- was a brief respite from this, and it kind of normalized the birthday for me.

Fast forward to 2017. Our oldest son, Joey, starts classes at Stony Brook University on Monday morning. Today, Sunday, is his 18th birthday. He’s 130 miles away from home, on a new campus and a new dorm room. In 1982, we did not have the magic of cell phones, texting, Facetime, Twitter. So, although we are not there with him in person, we are able to wish him a Happy Birthday from afar. There were no trips to any Long Island pubs from his old man; alas, the drinking age is now 21. We wonder and fret if he is home sick, lonely, scared, as he marks his 18th birthday at Stony Brook; he sounds OK over the phone. Dropping him off on Friday was a bit more emotional than even I anticipated. Of course, we are not the first parents (and kid) to feel this way; of all people, I should know this. But it’s one thing to witness it and counsel others and it’s another thing entirely to experience it. I suppose it’s all part of the parenting process – a never-ending journey that continues to provide new twists and turns with each passing day.

For more than a decade now, Joey hasn’t been one to “celebrate” his birthday in the traditional sense. Oh sure, he likes receiving gifts, especially of the monetary variety. But he doesn’t eat cake or other sweets; there would not have been 18 candles on anything today, had he been home to celebrate. So, getting all mushy over the kid not being here at home can seem a bit melodramatic. But still … it’s odd. Not having him around the house … it’s odd. It’s a new transition, for us as parents, for us as a family. The 18th birthday, at the beginning of a new school year. Yeah. I remember that. Happy birthday, kid. We miss you.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Here comes the sun ...

The old pediatrician was near retirement. Before him were a newborn baby and a pair of nervous and scared first-time parents. He probably faced this scene hundreds and hundreds of times, yet he met us with compassion and patience that morning as he had to tell us that our perfect little bundle of joy had a slight issue that is oh-so-common among newborns. But the aging doctor had a significant speech impediment – he was a stutterer. He couldn’t get the word out: J-jjj … J-jjj … J-jjj … finally, “jaundice.” Such an ugly word, usually reserved for old people whose internal organs are failing. Our baby boy Joey has “jaundice?” Remember, this was 1999. Heidi and I, new parents terrified by such things, didn’t have the luxury of pulling out our smart phones and typing “jaundice in babies” into Google, and finding out that this is a very common and very benign condition. The old doc told us not to worry, just make sure the little guy got some natural sunlight – put him on the floor in a sunny room and read to him.

Put him on the floor in a sunny room and read to him. Even an idiot like me can figure this one out. So we put our newborn kid on the floor, I pulled out the sports section of Dutchess County’s finest daily newspaper, and I read to him. I think I read the boxscores of baseball games from the night before. Whatever. Didn’t matter. This week-old kid, basking in the sun, is just hearing my voice. Even after the j-j-j-jaundice subsided, this was a ritual I continued for at least the next several weeks or more, if I recall. That was almost exactly 18 years ago. Now, today, we are bringing our son – that helpless little kid -- away to college. Look. It’s not like he’s going to Mars, or even California. Stony Brook is a relatively easy (traffic-permitting) drive away. But the significance of this moment in time is not lost on any of us. I’d like to think we are a close family. Oh sure, we have our share of dysfunction – what family doesn’t? – but we usually have dinner together most nights and we generally enjoy each other’s company. So this is a big day, a memorable day – full of excitement and sadness mixed together in a jumbled, confusing mess.


How many times have I been on the other side of this, as teary-eyed parents drop off their kids with me for the beginning of preseason cross country camp in August? Like that long since retired doctor, hundreds of times. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, now that I’m on this side of the steering wheel, it’s definitely, um, different. The car is packed, we’re ready to bring him. In the rearview mirror will be a childhood full of memories; the road ahead is filled with endless possibilities. Sadness and excitement.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Preseason 2017: Eclipse

The partial eclipse was all the rage this afternoon. Many athletes, coaches and administrators congregated in front of the McCann Center to check it out. Riley Hughes, XC team junior and unofficial Eclipse Enthusiast, was quite the popular one as he came prepared with his "eclipse glasses," which he graciously shared with one and all. Here's a photo he took through the lens of the eclipse glasses. It didn't really get all that dark out there, in fact it was barely noticeable. But through these fancy glasses, which he got for free at his local public library, we were all able to witness this incredible event of natural beauty. Very, very neat.

Bee better? If the shoe fits ...

Thanks to Kathy Smith, Walkway Over the Hudson Board of Directors and Ambassador Volunteer, for sending me this photo along with this email and link:

Pete…thought of you when I bought my first pair of Bombas socks.  Bombas is a company that makes great socks and donates a pair of socks to someone in need, for every sock that is purchased.
The phrase on the inside of the top of the sock says ‘Bee Better”….your famous quote to your athletes!


Preseason 2017: Face painting fun

Thanks to Coach Chuck for sharing this fun photo of the women's team enjoying some team bonding on Sunday night.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Posch/Gould wedding: Forever Foxes ...

Group shot of the our beloved Forever Foxes, and a final shot with the awesome couple (and their old, balding coach) at the end of a sweaty and truly memorable and incredible night. Nicely done!

Posch/Gould wedding: First dance and sunset

Billy and Kelley's first dance, and a glimpse of the sunset from outside the wedding reception tent. This beautiful sunset belied the stormy weather that preceded it. Nothing could dampen the festive spirit of this night, though!

Posch/Gould wedding: Lane assignments!

Upon arriving at the reception, this old track coach was thrilled beyond belief to see the running themes. Here, the guest table cards were done with hip numbers -- actual hip numbers that you would wear in a track race! -- and each table number was a bib number that said "Posch Invitational" on it. So cool. So very cool!

Posch/Gould wedding: Young wedding crashers

Here's a photo of the beaming bride after the wedding ceremony in the Marist chapel, surrounded by former middle school students and friends (including my daughter Natalie, far left). She was thrilled to see her former students attend the wedding Mass. Don't worry. The young'uns were NOT at the reception!