SHP Cross Country Team Takes on Brown Northeast Invitational

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The Prep’s cross country team made the trip up to Warwick, Rhode Island last weekend

to race in the Brown University Northeast Invitational meet. Both the varsity and junior varsity teams won second place. The sixteen runners, led by Head Coach Chris Barnitt ’88 and Assistant Coach Randolph Schweitzer put forth an incredible effort, full of PR’s (personal records).

On a beautiful, crisp Saturday morning, the runners took to a notoriously competitive course at Goddard State Park. Teams from four different states piled into the park, anxious to compete. The varsity team took off through the first mile of the 5k, with the last runner coming through at 5:29. With the bulk of the race ahead of them, the pirates pushed each other through the next leg. The elite seven flew off of the final hill and kept their strength through the last mile. Breaking 16 minutes for the first time and finishing first for the Pirates,  co-captain Colin Schweitzer ’20 (15:51) and Kevin Harvey ’21 (15:55) gave their all through the final shoot, placing 5th and 6th overall. Chris Gizzo ’21 (16:33) and Luke Incardona ’21 (16:57) were next to cross the finish line. The varsity score was rounded out by Ben Ferrara ’22 (17:00), with an especially impressive finish. Brian Phillips ’20(17:05) and Danny Collum ’22 (17:08) finished strongly as well, completing the varsity line up. The seven varsity runners gave their all and won second place, only 7 points behind the first place winner, Hackley School (NY). The team left Rhode Island with an impressive team average of 16:27.

Earlier that morning, the JV squad conquered the same terrain. In a race of almost two hundred runners, the team stuck together and pushed through the woods and past the Greenwich Bay waterfront. With a strong start and consistently swift pace, Anthony Bottino ’22 came in first overall in the JV race, breaking his PR with a notable 17:27 finish. Gabriel Ferriero ’21 came in next for the pirates, placing 9th overall, with a PR of 18:01. Cristiano Ribeiro ’20 (18:31), Will Spies ’20 (18:35) and Paddy Sheppard ’20 (PR-18:39) stuck together and finished out the JV team score, bringing the team average to 18:15. The rest of the JV squad put forth a resilient effort and ran a majority of the race as a pack. Branding themselves as what the team calls a “Seton wall,” Dylan Coffin ’20 (18:46), Mike Lazzari ’21 (18:47), Holden Colter ’20 (PR-21:21), and Ryan Surmay ’20 (PR- 21:31) finished off the junior varsity race. The JV team also took home second place out of twenty-four schools to McKee/Staten Island Tech (NY).

Head Coach Chris Barnitt bused the boys up to Rhode Island after school on Friday, accompanied by Assistant Coach Randolph Schweitzer. Coach Barnitt huddled the team together before the race and gave the runners his last bits of advice and words of encouragement before the start gun fired. Father Ed Bradley, the team’s resident chaplain helped to sponsor the trip, but was not able to make the trip with the crew to give his famous pre-race prayers. The runners, led by Coach Barnitt, said a prayer of gratitude and guidance in his name, asking for inspiration to exert themselves and to push boundaries previously doubted. After a three count, the team chanted “Pirates!” The sound and energy of their pre-race ritual reverberated through the air and a silence swept over the field where the race began. The runners toed the starting line, the official fired the start gun, and the victory ensued.