Friday, November 17, 2000
Runners reach personal best
This past Thursday in the Corey dining room of the Carlisle Public Schools, Carlisle cross-country runners, coaches, parents, and fans gathered to celebrate the conclusion of another successful season of long-distance running in Carlisle. At the team banquet, runners were recognized by coaches for their accomplishments over the past two months with certificates of achievement and special awards. Coaches Jon Willard and Joel Friedlander thanked team captains Cassi Knight and Nikki Spencer of the girls' team and Sean DeBruzzi, Ben Holzman, and Benjamin Gatti of the boys' team for their efforts in leading and motivating team members on a daily basis. A select group of runners received special awards for positive attitude, performance, and embodiment of the spirit of distance running that went above and beyond normal expectations of a student-athlete. Special award winners included fifth graders Aaron Freedman and Arley Donovan, sixth graders Dan Fidler, Welles Mattson, and Sarah MacMullan, seventh graders Nikki Spencer, Melissa Judson, and Cassi Knight, and eighth graders Sean DeBruzzi and Matt Phillippo.
Throughout the season, athletes worked together and with coaches to improve their cardiovascular and physical strength through a combination of pliometric exercises, hill repetitions, and long-distance runs. Practices directly before meets were reserved for team bonding activities such as playing ultimate frisbee and capture the flag and to rest sore muscles and injuries. Carlisle runners also learned effective strategies for racing and for dealing with fatigue and cramping. Beyond its pure running aspect, the cross-country team was a place where Carlisle students could enjoy the outdoors, make new friendships and experience the feeling of being on a competitive school team.
Some of the team's highlights this season included a three-meet winning streak by the boys. The boys' team also placed a respectable seventh out of sixteen teams at the end-of-season league championship in Acton. Outstanding moments for the girls' team included a gritty one-point victory over Bedford and repeated brilliant individual performances by Cassi Knight, Arley Donovan, Sarah MacMullan, and Ariel Morisson.
Although graduating eighth graders Matt Phillippo, Sean DeBruzzi, Ben Holzman, Will Lamb, Erin Daly, Alex Brewer, Matt French, Max Lewin, and Steven Decatur will be sorely missed next year, the future looks bright for the Carlisle cross-country program. The boys have a number of phenomenal fifth and sixth grade runners who have the potential to be tops in the league. The girls, meanwhile, return almost their entire team next season. Carlisle coaches and runners would like to thank all those Carlisle residents who came out and cheered for us this season at our competitions. Keep your eyes peeled for us next year!
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito