Just two days after Thanksgiving, still full of turkey and mashed potatoes, the Gray Bees competed in their final race of the 2014 cross-country season, the Footlocker Northeast Regionals.
Located at the legendary Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York, the meet included the best runners across the region. Conditions were less than pleasant for the runners, but not uncommon for an early December day: mid 30s with sun, and a little snow mixed in later on.
The team was prepped and ready to go; however, so was the national calibre competition. Standing on the start line of each race, stretching about 100 yards wide, approximately 150 runners were eager to show off their abilities in front of the plethora of college coaches and spectators with hopes of gaining national recognition.
The day started out with the freshman and sophomore race; Steven Payne ’18, Juan Rosa ’17, and Byron Simmons ’17 ran. The Gray Bees came away with an 18th place medal and podium finish from Steven. Next up was the boy’s championship race, one that attracted a great deal of attention, and whose top 10 finishers would be sent to Balboa Park in San Diego, California, all expenses covered, to compete at the famous Foot Locker Nationals. Edwin Rutto ’16 represented the Gray Bees.
Coming into the race, Rutto had racked up six wins, and a second and third place finish respectively, so his confidence and the probability of qualifying was high. However, in the weeks prior, Rutto had developed an injury in his calf, which forced him to drop out of the race a mere 200 yards in.
Despite the devastation, the Gray Bees still had one last event to tackle- the boys junior/ senior race. Rocking “Saint Benedicts” across their jerseys were Scott Bamberg ’16 and Benjamin Guerin ’15. About halfway through the race, Benjamin positioned himself perfectly and finished in an outstanding sixth place, earning himself the title of “All Northeast, First Team.” All-in-all, the race turned out to be another day at the office for the team; they were able to keep their composure amidst the frantic nerves that come with competing at such a prestigious race, and did the job.