Team returned home from muddy dual meet in Pennsylvania with win.
When the WRA Boys XC team exited the bus after the 2 and 1/2 hour trip out to the Kiski School in Pennsylvania, they were met by cold rain and muddy trails up the mountainside. Well, they had done rain before. And they had done hills. So they decided to try something new by taking both of them on at once. In their first dual meet of the season, the WRA boys came home with the win.
Throughout the season, the boys had been motivated much by Personal Records—hard proof from the clock that their hard work was paying off as they cut seconds and minutes off their bests. But in the season finale on Saturday, as the rain fell in steady streams and the boys slipped and slid their way up and down the trails, it became clear that the clock was going to tell them nothing about grit or toughness, about growth or improvement. No, there would have to be other motivations if they had a chance at victory.
At the start of the race, the focus was palpable. And as the boys crested the first long hill a mile into the race, it became clear that these were not the same runners who had shown up for practice that August day for a nice easy 2 mile jog. With the rain falling steady, the final push to the top of the hill had turned into a slick swath of mud. One after the next, the WRA runners fell and got up again, lost their footing and regained it. And they kept fighting their way to the top. Jack Colafella '23 was in a race for the lead against River Valley's top runner. Although he had to settle for second at the finish, he fought hard the entire race to keep the door open for an individual victory. After Jack, the long green line stretched behind him, unbroken by any other runner—Ian Kolencik '25 ran the toughest race of the season, flying off the mountain with terrifying speed, daring the conditions to catch him, and he was followed closely by David King '22, whose steady presence grounded our young team this season. Carter Fleming '24 was right behind, another runner whose consistency helped the team to push through many a hard day, and then William Colafella '25 rounded out the top five scorers and sealed the victory for the team. William was determined to break into the top 5 this season, and he has made himself into quite the runner as he did so. Broden Windsor '22, who may have had the record number of falls out there today, didn't let any of those slips stop him from finishing next.
One after the next, the WRA boys flew down the steep, muddy hill to the fields and the finish. They cheered each other on mid-race, and when the boys later in the pack heard of the victory unfolding up front, they whooped for joy mid-stride. Congrats to the team on their first wins of the season, on the first ringing of the Victory Bell in our seniors' 4-years here, and congrats to each and every runner for taking what the day gave us—that rainy sky, those slick trails, and that opportunity to make something of it—and running with it (yes, literally).