This past Friday, a solid St. Mark’s Boys’ Varsity Cross Country team upset defending champion Middlesex to win the 2013 ISL Cross Country title.
The St. Mark’s team had a strong 13-2 record on the regular season, but their losses came against Middlesex and Roxbury Latin, and both those schools were favored over the Lions. Indeed, a Middlesex runner finished first in the championship race, while a Roxbury Latin runner finished second. But St. Mark’s captains Sean McLaughlin and Eric Danielsen came third and fifth, while Liam Monheim ’16 placed sixth. A succession of Lion harriers followed, giving St. Mark’s its second ISL title in three years.
The St. Mark’s varsity harriers hosted sixteen schools and 110 runners for the 42nd ISL Cross Country Championships. In a tremendous upset, St. Mark’s captured the championship for the second time in the last three years. The weather for the race was good, and the course was firm and fast despite a bit of rain before the race. As he has all season, captain Sean McLaughlin ’14 led the way, finishing in an outstanding time of 16:51, good for third overall in the race. Captain Eric Danielsen’14 and Liam Monheim ’16 followed, finishing with great times: 17:17 and 17:19 respectively. All three of these runners beat the existing school record on the Championship course, which was held by Jim Walker ’09. In many ways, Matt Thalmann ’17 and Miles Foy ‘16 turned in the races of the day. In his first season of high school running, Thalmann finished his initial ISL race on September 21 two minutes behind Captain McLaughlin. Although McLaughlin has gotten considerably faster as the season progressed, Matt Thalmann closed this gap to 1:07 in the Championship race and finished fifteenth overall. The fifth SM runner, Miles Foy ’16 ran an even more amazing race. In the team’s first ISL race, Foy was almost three minutes behind McLaughlin. Like Thalmann, he narrowed that gap to 1:08 and finished 17th in the League. St. Mark’s numbers six and seven (captains Harrison Chapman ’14 and Will Lyons ‘14) also ran tremendously and finished 34th and 35th in times of 18:30 and 18:31. As a result, St. Mark’s was able to upset a strong Middlesex team, which has not lost a race since St. Mark’s defeated them two years ago.
It was a real team effort for St. Mark’s, with depth and consistency triumphing over star turns by opponents. Eric Danielsen ’14 credited the coaching. “Our success is due to Mr. Lyons,” he said. “He’s an awesome coach. He prepares us so well, and his plan is copied all over the ISL. It all starts with our summer running, and we build on that every day during the fall. Mr. Lyons really takes care of us.” David Lyons and the coaching staff is very proud of the hard work, determination, humor, and skill exhibited by this group. Next up is the Division II New England Championships at Suffield Academy on November 9.