by Blake Gattuso ‘20, featuring Boys JV Cross Country
Thirty-Eight straight wins. Two ISL Championships in Three years. Five Runners in the top eleven spots in the Championship Race. This year, JV Boys Cross-Country continued our dominance. Running to a perfect 15-0 record, placing second in the ISL Championships to a tough Roxbury Latin team, finishing fourth in the Division 1 NEPSTA Championships, and setting a new St. Mark’s record for most consecutive wins at 38 straight, this team was confident, relaxed, and most importantly...fast!
This year, many people contributed, with twelve runners (Matt Walsh ‘19, Rick Sarkar ‘19, Henry Butterfield ‘18, Ben Teixeira ‘19, Crawford Wittman ‘21, Nolan Willoughby ‘21, Kareem Chambers ‘19, David Ragone ‘19, Chapin Pyne ‘20, Connor Browder ‘19, Leo Xie ‘19, and myself) scoring across nine meets. The season began with a bang with a 15-50 (the best possible score) win over St. Sebastian’s and took off from there with at least four more 15-50 finishes. Some highlights from the season include a 1 through 4 sweep on parents weekend against Tabor, and individual first-place finishes from Matt Walsh ‘19 during the two team Tabor race, Nolan Willoughby ‘21 during the four-team Middlesex race, and myself during the four-team Governors race.
The regular season ended with a challenge against Roxbury Latin, but nevertheless, we pulled through a tight 26-29 win. ISL championships came in the following week and once again we ran a great race. For those who do not know cross-country, championship race scorings are generally very high because the scorers take the place of the top five runners on each team and add them up - lowest score wins. So, most often the winning scores are in the 60’s or 70’s and the worst teams near 400. We just barely lost despite scoring an unheard of 38 points, with Butterfield ‘18 leading the way in 4th place.
A wildly successful regular season lead to an incredible second place finish in an elite league. The following week, the team traveled to Choate to compete in Division 1 NEPSTA Cross Country Championships. Despite being the smallest school there, we finished fourth, with our top 5 runners all placing in the top 35. Next season, many of these outstanding runners will jump on up to help the 14-1 varsity team (who also finished in second place at the ISL Championships) while the rest look to each other and Coach Lyons to help continue the dominance of St. Mark’s JV Boys Cross-Country.