Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Addie wins and sets course record in 5K

It's great to see Addie DiFrancesco back in the race results. It’s even better to see her at the top of the heap, as she was oftentimes when running for us here at Marist. Addie, who graduated in 2012, still holds the school record in the 10,000-meter run. Last weekend, she ran in the Shaneanigans 5K in Woodbury, CT. She won the women’s division and set a course record in the process. Addie said the race was “super hilly,” and this from someone who loves hills and does not shy away from them. She placed eighth overall in 19:25.13 on a course that she surmises might have been a bit long. She outdistanced the second-place woman by 1 minute and 19 seconds, so it was a dominant victory. Addie has been doing a weight training class and one of the photos here is her posing with her IAP buddies. Sun’s out/guns out! Nicely done, Addie, and hope to see you at the Red Fox Trot.

Views from Minnewaska

This week's awe-inspiring view comes from Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Gardiner, just west of New Paltz, during Week 3 of the New Paltz Cross Country Series. These storm clouds brought a little bit of rain, just enough to make the carriage trail slick at the turnaround mark. My son, Joey, showing he is a chip off the old block when it comes to coordination on the wet trails, crashed at the turnaround but was able to rally for a strong finish. 

An uplifting cycling story, for a change

Check out this wonderfully written piece by Juliet Macur of the New York Times a few days ago, about an American cyclist in the Tour de France who was forced to quit the race due to severe injury. But before he quit, he refused to quit, and showed a uniquely competitive spirit not often seen in professional sports. This article was so good I had to re-read it several times to appreciate it for what it was. Good stuff. Take five minutes and click on the link to check it out.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Early harvest

Here is a photo of my youngest son James with some initial pickings from our vegetable garden -- three cucumbers and a green pepper. We cut up the cucumbers and pepper for our salad last night for dinner -- nothing more satisfying than eating something you grow in your backyard. It looks like our biggest yield this year will be cucumbers, and there is an outside chance some of the corn might mature to the point where we can eat it. Let it rain ...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

View from Spring Farm

This photo was taken at sunset on Monday night from Spring Farm at the Mohonk Preserve in Ulster County, about 15 minutes west of New Paltz. We were there for week 2 of the New Paltz Summer XC Series. My son Joey, his friend Joe and our friend Eric ran the race, along with junior Omar Perez and plenty of other running friends and acquaintances. The beauty of the Shawangunk Ridge and the Catskill Mountains never ceases to amaze us. Also! Maybe, just maybe, I'm getting the hang of this smart phone, huh?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Will and Britt shine in Utica

Our favorite running duo, forever Foxes now sporting different colors, had a great day at the Boilermaker 15-kilometer race this morning in Utica. Will Griffin (Garden State Track Club) was 26th overall in 49:49, an average of 5:21 per mile.Will battled it out in a field of professional runners and held his own up there. Great job.

Brittany Burns (Syracuse Chargers) continues her battle back from injury issues for much of the year with a strong 29th place finish in the women's field in 1:01:20 (6:35 pace). Britt texted after the race that she was cautious in her return from injury and did not have the volume of training she needed to run faster. But, she'll get there.

It should be noted that Britt's brother, Gregory, ran a strong time of 58:09 (6:15 pace) in the race as well.

Girma wins in NYC

Congrats to Marist Running Alum Girma Segni, now running for West Side Runners in NYC, for winning Saturday's Boomer's Cystic Fibrosis Run To Breathe 4-mile race. Girma ran 19:45, an average of 4:57 per mile, for the W. There was a video of his victory on Instagram, that alert and wiseguy blog followers made me aware of. Nicely done, Girm!

Team summer BBQ, circa 2014

We always seem to be blessed with great weather for this fun event, which was held on Saturday down at the Marist Boathouse along the Hudson River. Each year, it seems we get more and more team members, family members and alums to attend. It is mostly word of mouth; all are welcome. Highlights were the returns of recent alums living far away – Joel “Big Man” Moss all the way from Texas, and Kevin O’Sullivan from the DC/VA area. The stars of the day were the dads turned grillmasters who kept our young charges well fed: Steve Rizzo (dad of incoming freshman Steven Rizzo); Doug “Walk Dad” Licursi (father of Kristi Licursi); JC Berzal (dad of 400 IH school record holder Zach Berzal). Thanks, guys!

Notes from Lane 6

Random notes from the pool deck, where I spent close to 8 hours as a timer during two swim meets in which my daughter Natalie participated on Saturday and Sunday …

--Instead of looking for the smoke from a starter’s pistol, you have to watch for the light when the starting buzzer goes off. No smoke. Look for the light. Got it. Much like track, it’s not rocket science.
--I felt my age as I crouched down and leaned over looking for the swimmers to touch the wall. I know what you’re thinking. No, I did NOT tumble into the pool (although that would have been hilarious).
--Swimmers finishing their races splash a lot.
--As a result, sneakers and tube socks get really wet.
--Especially when fast breaststrokers are barreling into the finish.
--It’s good fun to try to match your fellow timers down to the hundredth of a second.
--But after about 100 heats of the freestyle, IM, backstroke, on and on and on, that gets old.

Am I complaining? Not at all! It was long and hot out there, but it was good and great fun, and I got a front-row view of Natalie doing her absolute best in a sport that is totally new to her.

World Cup = nap time

For the past several weeks, I have tried to have an open mind when it comes to the World Cup. There are soccer (futbol) fans and there are non-soccer fans. Soccer fans are growing in number and passion, and most of them react indignantly to us non-soccer fans; as in, “dude, you don’t UNDERSTAND.” Yeah yeah OK. Here’s the thing: I’m not “anti-soccer.” I view soccer in a similar way as I do ice hockey: I know there are passionate fans that follow the sport, but I have no interest in either of the sports. Most of the time.

Here’s the difference: When the NHL Playoffs come around, I watch, I am interested, I am entertained and I am rarely disappointed. Every time I ask Phil to explain the “neutral zone trap” I get confused; icing still baffles me, and the outcome of face-offs still seem random. But! The NHL never fails to entertain in the playoffs – even without the fighting!

Every four years, I turn to the World Cup for a similar spark; I am always left longing for more and for the most part left bewildered at what all the fuss is about. Maybe I’m just lucky, but while on vacation in Lake George I was driving around listening to what seemed to be a boring USA/Belgium knockout round game, but when I got back to the cabin in a downpour, I was able to watch the extra time period that was filled with scoring, drama and action. The USA goaltender (I already forgot his name and I am too lazy to look it up) was the MAN. That was some good soccer. For about 10 minutes out of a month. Otherwise? This stuff was a total bore. This afternoon, I tried to watch the World Cup final. I dozed off. The game-winning goal was exciting, but it came after hours of scoreless (and, sorry, BORING) soccer.

The NHL playoffs have fast-paced action with goals or exciting near-misses, goaltenders standing on their heads, power plays, and Barry Melrose (he really is the MAN). The World Cup? Players with one name, few goals and not many near-misses, players who flop for a referee call (hockey players would NEVER do that), biters (Really? Hockey players will just slug you and not care about a 5-minute major) an organization in FIFA that takes advantage of a host country’s infrastructure for a few weeks and leaves them with crumbling and overpriced relics of stadiums that sit empty for decades (and oh yeah, they seem to ignore the fact that concussions do exist) … and, most importantly, low-scoring games where the action just seems to lollygag endlessly. I have watched games (like today’s) where I was actually HOPING for commercial breaks. Hmmm. Sorry, folks. I tried, like I do every four years. No thanks.

Friday, July 11, 2014

School record boards are here!

Our son James looking up at the boards, while being warned by his Old Man "no touching!"
It is with great excitement, pride and gratitude that I post these photos of our new Marist Track and Field school record boards, which were delivered and mounted with pride on Thursday. Omar Perez, who is on Randy's Crew, was part of the process of mounting the boards on the wall in the McCann Center hallway. Brimming with excitement at the news, I dragged the kids down there to check them out late on Thursday night. The boards are a long time in coming, and the spark for the idea was lit by one of our track team captains whose name appears frequently on the board. The boards were purchased thanks to a generous donation from the Valentino family. For someone who has been fortunate enough to witness a good number of these records when they were set, once again the prevalent emotions are pride and gratitude. Please check them out the next time you are in the McCann Center.

Proud of our Stingray

After years and years of being around the ubiquitous swim club practices and meets at Marist -- how can we avoid them as the parents clog up the McCann Center bleachers? -- I am proud to report that we are now "swim parents" as well, for a short time anyway. Our daughter Natalie is on the Hyde Park Stingrays, a summer club team here. She practices for an hour each morning, and they have a short but intense meet schedule, that started on Wednesday night. We are very proud of her taking on this challenging sport at the relatively old age of 11,  soon to be 12 (and, I'm not joking; serious swim club athletes start early and often). This photo is of her before her first race, for which she was quite nervous. She did fine, not the best freestyle form, but from a guy who did not learn to swim till he was 34 years old, who am I to judge? She has about 5-6 meets in the next two weeks, and then -- poof! -- the season is over. Short and intense, a good introduction to it.

Of course, being a "swim parent" means getting roped into volunteer duties -- the other night, Heidi and I did the 50-50 raffle. Someone asked if I would be a timer for the next meet on Saturday morning. Uh. Hmm. Let me think. Standing outside in shorts, long-sleeve shirt and tube socks, for hours with a stopwatch, timing endless heats of races. Yeah. I think that fits my professional skill set.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Postcard from Hawaii: Jackie and Jaime

No, no, no. Don't worry. We are NOT in Hawaii. Our plane from Oregon pointed us east and we are back in Dutchess County now. However, two of our women's XC team members are in Hawaii, shown above are Jackie Bunce and Jaime Durso. Jackie was visiting Jaime (who lives in Hawaii), and this run was taken from along the rim of Koko Head Cater overlooking Hanauma Bay. Jackie said in a text that that the run was "partially paved in the beginning but goes off onto a rocky path. Very, very windy! About 5 miles." Thanks for sharing the photo and the information. It looks like beautiful scenery. Enjoy the beauty and get in your miles!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Farewell from TrackTown USA

With an early alarm (3 a.m. local time, yikes) set, it is time to sign off from Room 243 at Motel 6 and say farewell to Eugene on what was a wonderful trip out here. Hopefully, we have no delays or cancellations on the way home. Thanks for following along.

Spencer Johnson gets 15th in the 10,000-meter run

Spencer Johnson battled gamely in challenging conditions Sunday night at the USATF Junior Championships’ concluding event, the 10,000-meter run, at Hayward Field. Race-time temperatures were in the low 90s with a searing sunlight blazing on the famed track -- far from ideal conditions for a 25-lap race. Spencer placed 15th out of a field of 20 runners in 34:05.93.

The time was nearly two minutes slower than his qualifying mark of 32:19.34. But, consider this: Only 7 of the 20 entrants actually finished faster than the qualifying standard. And, consider this: Spencer’s qualifying time was by far the slowest of the 20 competitors in the field; the standard was 32:20.00, which Spencer made by an eyelash in that oh-so-memorable race at Stony Brook back in April.

Shortly after the race, a very loyal alum and follower of our program, texted, “So not a good race?” On paper, the time was not great. And, as
you’ll see in the splits, the pace slowed dramatically as the race wore on. However, there are compelling reasons why we can classify this as a strong effort from our little dynamo from Bristol, CT:

--The aforementioned statistic that he was the slowest entrant in the field.
--The early pace was surprisingly fast – for the field, and by default, for Spencer. The leaders went out at about 4:45 pace, crazy fast in those conditions.
--Early on in the race, when he was basically rolling 5km pace in a 10km race in tough conditions, Spencer was in last place and was gapped from the field by about 5 meters. Mentally, this had to be tough for him. But he gutted it out and caught several runners, who were slowing mightily in the hot weather.

It is very rare, at a championship meet, to see water being handed out on the track. But that’s how hot it was. On the back stretch, there was a water station.
Spencer took water early on, but found it was making him cramp up, so he just passed on the water for the second half of the race. He got through it. He toughed it out. A great experience for him, and great exposure for our program. Nicely done.

Here are his lap-by-lap splits …
74, 2:30 (76), 3:45 (75), 5:00 (75)
6:17 (77), 7:33 (76), 8;50 (77), 10:09 (79)
11:29 (80), 12:49 (80), 14:11 (82), 15:34 (83)
16:57 (83), 18:20 (83), 19:45 (85), 21:10 (85)
22:34 (84), 23:59 (85), 25:28 (89), 26:55 (87)
28:24 (89), 29:50 (86), 31:16 (86), 32:42 (86)
34:05.93 (83.93)
First 5km: 16:15
Second 5km: 17:50.93
1600-meter splits: 5:00, 5:09, 5:25, 5:36, 5:45, 5:47

Note: Thanks to Kristi Licursi for taking these great photos of Spencer's race. You'll note the multitude of empty seats at historic Hayward. Also, it should be noted that Spencer took the great photos of Kristi's race on Saturday morning. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A 25-lap tradition, through the years

The question came up over dinner last night with my old friend and college roommate Christian Morrison, the longtime, excellent track coach at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. He was wondering how many men in Marist track school history have qualified for the USATF Junior Championships at 10,000 meters. At the time, I did not know the answer right then and there. But as someone who does, indeed, keep score at home, I have the answer (14) in the form of a list:

1998: Greg Salamone
2000: Jamal Padgett
2003: Justin Harris
2004: Mark Fernandez
2005: Mike Rolek
2008: Tim Keegan
2009: Matt Flint
2010: Arquimedes DelaCruz and Mike Nicoletti
2011: Isaiah Miller and Nick Hughes
2013: Ryan Colabella and Johnny Lee
2014: Spencer Johnson

We are very proud of this list, but it is not all-inclusive of those who could have made it, and here’s why:
--In order to qualify for USATF Juniors, you cannot turn 20 in the year of the championship. As a result, some excellent freshmen runners in the past who easily met qualifying standards – most notably Will Griffin and Ken Walshak – could not race at this meet by virtue of their December birthdays. They were too old to make it to the meet, by a matter of just a few weeks.
--We have had male athletes qualify in other events as well – several in the 3,000 steeplechase and a few in the 5,000.

OK. We leave for Hayward Field soon for Spencer’s race. It is quite warm and sunny here, and we are hopeful that Spencer will do his absolute best in a talented field of runners. As with all of our past qualifiers, we are proud of their efforts and in making it to this level.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Kristi Licursi places 11th in racewalk at USATF Juniors

Marist College track history was made this morning at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Kristi Licursi became the first-ever women’s racewalker to compete – and compete well! – at the USATF Junior Championships. Kristi placed 11th overall out of 14 competitors in the grueling, 25-lap event in a time of 59:34.52.

Consider the fact that this was the longest racewalk – by far – that Kristi has ever done. Her previous long racewalks were 5km, and she just did those this spring. She slowed down as the race wore on, but her form remained flawless and her competitive fire was as great as have ever seen in a Marist athlete. Racewalking is a quirky aspect of track and field, and it is pushed off to the fringes. Kristi’s race was at 7:30 a.m., and Hayward Field was deserted except for the walkers and their coaches, families and friends. I will admit to really enjoying the atmosphere there this morning. We are so proud of Kristi. She did herself proud, she did her college proud, and she did our program proud. Nicely done.

Lap by lap splits
2:11.4, 4:24.2 (2:12.8), 6:39.5 (2:15.3), 8:54.7 (2:15.2)
11:12.3 (2:17.6), 13:32.0 (2:19.7), 15:52.0 (2:20.0), 18:11.5 (2:19.5)
20:32.1 (2:20.6), 22:54.8 (2:22.7), 25:15.5 (2:20.7), 27:38.6 (2:23.1)
30:01.7 (2:23.1), 32:25.8 (2:23.1), 34:52.2 (2:26.6), 37:17.7 (2:25.5)
39:48.4 (2:30.7), 42:17.0 (2:28.6), 44:46.2 (2:29.2), 47:17.7 (2:31.5)
49:49.6 (2:31.9), 52:21.5 (2:31.9), 54:48.8 (2:27.3), 57:16.8 (2:28.0)
59:34.52 (2:16.72)
First 5km: 28:52
Second 5km: 30:42.52
1600-meter splits: 8:54.7, 9:16.8, 9:27.1, 9:39.1, 10:00.0, 9:59.1

Postcards from Hayward Field ...

Greetings from Hayward Field, this morning before and after Kristi Licursi's racewalk event ...

Going green in Eugene

When we went to Walmart last night to get some groceries, the checkout guy asked me if I wanted to buy a paper bag for 5 cents. Now. Why in heaven’s name would I want to do THAT? What, is this some sort of charity or something? Well. No. Apparently, Eugene, being a forward-thinking city, has banished the use of plastic grocery bags. Gone. No plastic. You either bring a reusable bag, buy a reusable bag, buy a paper bag, or stuff your pockets and carry the stuff in your arms.

Fourth of July race report, part 5

Congratulations to Marist Running Alum Doug Ainscow, who ran his first post-collegiate race in Derry, N.H., and won the Run for Freedom 10km race. Doug reported it was a hilly course on a muggy day. He ran 36:26. We will have to ship out a Marist Alumni Racing Team shirt for him to race in next time. Nicely done, Doug.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July in Oregon: Stars and Stripes and Ducks

Some of you may have already seen this photo posted by Coach Chuck on Facebook (I think it's making the rounds on Twitter too ... but how would I know that?). Spencer Johnson was decked out in a festive Independence Day running outfit as he prepared to embark on a training run on Pre's Trail, in the shadow of Autzen Stadium.

Check back in the coming days for results, photos and updates from Eugene. 

Happy Fourth to one and all ...

Fourth of July race report, part 4

Congratulations to Marist Running Alum (and, for those keeping score at home, USATF Junior Nationals Alum) John Keenan for his continued strong running. JK-Trey raced for the first time wearing the navy and orange colors of the Bull City Track Club (Durham, N.C.). In the Carrboro Four on the Fourth in suburban Chapel Hill, John got second overall in 21:01. Here is his race report, sent via e-mail shortly after his race:

“I was a little disappointed I didn't break 21, but I have had some issues with my right IT band since I switched training shoes after the "Running of the Bulls" 8K that I finished 11th in, running 26:14. It's good to know that even after training for a while on a tight muscle I can maintain pace. I'm looking forward to the Beat the Heat 5K on 7/26 in Winston-Salem, NC before I most likely take it easy before the fall season. I'm looking at running the NC 10K Trail Championships in August and then head into half marathon territory to try and drop my PR below 75:20.”

Our recently married old pal has been doing some great running down in the south. Nicely done, JK-3!

Fourth of July race report, part 3

Here's a name you haven’t seen in the results for a while. Senior distance runner Brianna Freestone spent the spring semester studying abroad in Florence, so you did not see her name in the distance results from the winter and the spring. Brianna came back rejuvenated and ready to tackle her senior year. This morning, she ran the Firecracker 4 mile in her hometown of Saratoga Springs and placed 125th overall in 28:23. We missed seeing her there – this race has become a family tradition for us, as we are up the road in the Lake George region during the holiday. But alas, TrackTown USA beckoned this year. Great job and welcome back, Brianna!

Fourth of July race report, part 2

Thanks to Annie Gould for sharing these photos and this race report from a holiday 5-miler in Wall, NJ, where the Goulds are on summer vacation at the Jersey Shore. Marist XC captain Ken Walshak won the race in 28:07, an excellent effort. Annie, entering her junior year and having a great summer of training, won her age group in 34:49, and her dad -- continuing to make us middle-age dads proud with every race -- was right on her heels in 34:59 (sub-35:00, nicely done, Mr. Gould!). Annie made sure to note that she and Kenny were repping the Marist gear after the race. A great morning of racing.

Fourth of July race report, part 1

Marist Running Alums Billy Posch (second overall) and Kelley Gould (third in age group) raced and raced well in the Sodus Point 5K today in upstate New York. Nicely done!

They left the lights on for us ...

Everyone knows the Motel 6 commercials, with the requisite cheesy music and the droopy voice of Tom Bodett reminding us that the cut-rate but quality hotel chain will “leave the light on for ya.’’ Last night/this morning, we found this to be true after a long day of travel woes en route to USATF Juniors in Oregon. We are here at the Motel 6 in West Springfield/Eugene, where we have stayed our other two times out in TrackTown USA. We love it here. But it took a long time to get here.

Listen. I know air travel can be a pain and travel difficulties are part of the deal in this day and age of, well, travel difficulties. Fortunately, while it is a blessing for our athletes to earn trips to big-time meets requiring air travel, it is not a frequent occurrence. So our woes from yesterday are not something we have to experience too often. The combination of being the day before a holiday and severe weather in other parts of the country led to our Delta plane idling on the runway at JFK for close to two hours. That may not sound like much time. But, it is. In an extreme rarity for me, I texted my wife Heidi to tell her that I was uncomfortably hot (the plane’s AC does not work when the engines are not running full throttle, so it was cramped and steamy in there, even for someone like me who is always cold) and I was already tired of reading (I had just finished the New York Times cover to cover and we had gone exactly zero miles; usually, I can read all day, but under these circumstances, not so much).

Anyway, when we finally made our way through the tangle of stranded planes and into the air, we were way behind schedule. And we had a connecting flight to make from Portland to Eugene. Here we go again. Travelwoes at USATF … we’ve been down this road before. The flight was long and cramped. We are used to flying Jet Blue, with comfortable leg room and amenities. Delta had neither. That, coupled with the fact I was sitting next to a young couple who apparently smuggled in about a dozen cans of beer, which they were intent on drinking while lovingly groping each other … and yeah, it was a long flight.

When we touched the ground at Portland, we had exactly 11 minutes to make the connecting flight. Since I was sitting in the back of the plane and Coach Chuck was sitting toward the front of the plane, he told me he would make a run for the gate to the other flight in an attempt for us to make it. This was a good plan, since: a. Chuck is a much faster runner than me and b. he checked his bag so he was traveling lighter than me, as I carried on my luggage and c. I don’t walk/run all that fast (oh wait, we already covered that …). Chuck sprinted through two terminals at warp speed, nearly flooring an old lady in the process, but it was to no avail; they shut the door to the plane just as he arrived, and we were stuck with a 130-mile drive to Eugene instead of a 25-minute flight. Fortunately for us, the rental car was in Chuck’s name and not mine. Just as he is as a runner, Chuck is a much faster driver than me (insert the Pete drives like an Old Man joke here …). So, we zoomed our way down I-5, got to the Eugene Airport just before it closed to get the bags that were checked and arrived there without us, and then checked into the Motel 6 – where, yes indeed, the light was on – at about 1 a.m. Pacific time. For those keeping score at home, that’s 4 a.m. Eastern time. And that’s a long day of travel.

Again: Travel woes are all too common, so our tale of woe is nothing too earth shattering. It happens. We are here. We have time to get settled today before our athletes compete over the weekend. As mentioned earlier, we start the meet and we finish the meet. Kristi Licursi competes in the first event, the women’s 10,000-meter racewalk, at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Spencer Johnson competes in the last event, the men’s 10,000-meter run, at 6:45 p.m. Sunday. We return to New York on Monday morning, with our flight out of Eugene departing very early (5:10 a.m. local time). Here’s hoping we make all the flights on the return trip without any fast driving or frantic airport sprinting.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Worlds intersect

I am posting quickly from the public library in Bolton Landing, NY, on the shores of Lake George, where we are on our annual summer family vacation. My personal vacation ends later today, as I drive home in preparation for our trip to Oregon for USATF Juniors on Thursday. This is bittersweet. We are extremely proud of Kristi Licursi (10,000-meter racewalk) and Spencer Johnson (10,000-meter run) for qualifying for Juniors. But it is very difficult to pull myself away from the lake a few days prematurely. But such is life when worlds intersect; it is all good stuff.

More posts and updates upon arrival later in the week in TrackTown USA ...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Original Jerks

Thanks to Rolek for sharing this photo and e-mail about an original Jerk Squad Reunion last night at an undisclosed location. In the photo are the Dixons (B-Dix and T-Dix ... after all these years and even one of their weddings, it is still difficult to tell them apart in such a grainy photo) flanking Rolek and Quinn. These fine men started the Wednesday evening tradition of camaraderie and food at the Cabaret on the Marist Campus, christening it the Jerk Squad. There are many fine traditions that have been handed down through the years, and JS is one of them. There is Jerk Squad Secret Santa and of course the year-end awards with the coveted "Jerk of the Year" honor going to ... whoever it goes to. Here is Rolek's e-mail explaining the festivities ...

Thought you might like this…. Last night (on a Wednesday, of course) the Founding Fathers of Jerk Squad convened for a Jerk Squad Reunion in the City.  Like most Jerk Squad Dinners there was laughter… tears… and prolonged embraces.  Unlike Jerk Squad dinners there were actually wives and girlfriends in attendance.  Boy, we’re getting old. Despite how BDix looks in the photo, everyone is doing great.  The topic of conversation inevitably turned to Marist and how the Jerk Squad tradition remains strong seven years after its inception.  It’s only a matter of time before Jerk Squad is right up there with Yale’s Skull and Bones and Harvard’s The Pocellian Club. 

Nicely done, men. These are fine gentlemen -- lawyers, detectives, doctors, even soon-to-be priests and other esteemed members of our society -- who have made their way through Jerk Squad through the years. Of course, their old coach is not sophisticated enough to get the Yale and Harvard references above. But that's OK! Long live the Jerks.