Men’s Cross Country Takes NEPSTA Title
The Gould Academy Men’s Cross Country team capped a great season with a first place finish at the Division IV New England Prep School Track Association (NESPTA) Championships at Marianapolis Academy in Connecticut.
The team took first place out of a field of approximately 30 varsity teams and 200 runners.
Gould was led by New England champion Henry Smithers. Smithers shattered the course record at Marianapolis Academy by over two minutes, winning the 5k race in 16:48.
With their top 20 finishes, Smithers and teammate Marcello Deluca qualified for the New England Prep School All-Star Cross Country race later this month.
Smithers will continue his cross country season to compete with local standout Josef Holt-Andrews at the Foot Locker Regional meet in Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, NY on November 30. He will be training with Holt-Andrews and coach Dan Crooker over the next three weeks in preparation for the Foot Locker race.
The secret to Gould’s success this year in winning the Maine Association of Independent School Athletic Directors conference title and the NEPSTA title is the depth of the men’s team. Seniors Marcello Deluca and James Su, juniors Henry Smithers, Evan Landon and Aiden Clarke, and ninth graders Matt Bennett and Marcus Wentworth combined their efforts to lead Gould to its first place finish.
The Gould women’s varsity team rallied against injuries and placed 9th in the meet led by captain Pratt Olson, Izzy Layman, Amelia Laguia, Belis Turgeron, Rina Ishi, Ma Lee, and Jazmine Wu. Ishi, Lee, and Wu stepped up to perform at the varsity level for the first time all season.
In the junior varsity races, Matt Beja, Mercedes Amigo, and Alejandra Pardos all won ribbons for finishing in the top 20. Luke Liu, Schuyler Leff, Bill Cai, and Mariana de Vega also put forth outstanding efforts in the JV field.