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Cougars Beat the Heat

Clark runners overcome late summer heat on the course to record finishes

Sara Conroy, Contributing Writer

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Saturday, Sept. 23, at Moore State Park, runners from a number of local colleges lined up to run for bragging rights as the fastest team in Worcester. The Worcester City Championships is the Cougars only home meet and the big highlight race for Clark. In case you couldn’t make it out to see the action at Moore State Park last Saturday, we have summed up some of the highlights here.

 

Race day weather was particularly hot, reaching temperatures of around 81 degrees Fahrenheit. For runners, that is an unexpected condition to face so late in September. Some racers noted it as a particularly tough obstacle to face. Our own Cougars had a phenomenal day, despite the scorching heat, and posted second and fifth place finishes for the women’s and men’s teams, respectively.

 

Fast Females:

Before the big day, Women’s Senior Captain, Kristen Glennie (‘18), said of the race, “it’s a pretty tough one, there’s a couple big hills throughout the race, so it’s not a course where you’d expect to PR [Personal Record].”

The course was going to be a challenge for our female Cougars, but they seemed to have been up for it, as Glennie went on to place third overall in the race with a time of 20:58. Nicolina Braccio (‘20) followed close behind in fifth, placing in the meet. The women would take second overall in the meet, which was an honorable finish on our home course, just falling shy of first, which went to Worcester State College.

 

Cougar Pack:

On the men’s side, the team struggled a little more with the tough course and hot temperatures. Men’s Senior Captain Ryan VanDine (‘18) said after the race that “Saturday was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of results… On the men’s side, we definitely had some trouble dealing with the heat, which ultimately led to one of our runners dropping out.” Overall Clark came in fifth place which was troubling to the Senior Captain, who said it put them in somewhat of a slump in the middle of the season, but despite this, the boys had their eyes forward to the next race. VanDine lead the Cougars with a finish of 32:26 along a five-mile course. Teammates Cameron Mitchell (‘18) and Bobby Sharma (‘21) both finished within seconds after VanDine.

 

Coach’s Word:

Coach Bill Gray is in his fourth season as coach of the Cougars. During his first three seasons here, he worked on building teams on both sides that were ready to face the tough competition posed by our athletic conference the NEWMAC and other local teams. Gray was pleased overall with the results on last Saturday, stating of the women’s race that it was “just overall [a] great race by all… Our finish was our best at a Worcester City Meet in eight years.”

 

While discussing the men’s race, Gray made a point to emphasize the tough course and stated, “although we might not have had the results we wanted, this kind of battling through the elements will only make us stronger come the conference meet.”

 

Clark has competed in only one meet prior to the Worcester City Championships, and the teams are both looking forward to the rest of the season, with their next meet taking place on Keene State’s campus. No matter the results of this past meet, our fellow Cougars will face some tough courses ahead. Women’s captain, Maddy Doyle (‘20) noted that, “the season is looking to be really good and we have an amazing team on both sides.” Emily Morang

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