A combination of strong upperclassmen and young up-and-coming runners gives the Garnets a winning formula.
By Melanie Cane and Lauren Dempsey
A combination of strong upperclassmen and young up-and-coming runners gives the Garnets a winning formula. Having an influx of new runners gives the Garnets more depth than they have had in years, allowing them not only to compete at the Varsity level but also to field JV and freshman teams. They have 50 runners on their roster this fall.
Rye opened their season at Harrison, with the Boys’ team scoring a big win over their crosstown rivals. Jack Ryan (18:46), Ryan Bird (18:48), and Finn Mundinger (20:08) placed first, second, and fourth respectively. The Girls’ team came in a close second to Harrison. Coach Joseph Brown said if freshman Janie McNiff had competed in the Varsity race instead of on the freshman team, Rye would have won.
McNiff ran 11:46 on the 1.5-mile freshman course. According to Mundinger, Harrison’s course was “poorly groomed and over lengthened” at that meet.
In their home opening meet against Fox Lane and Port Chester on September 16, the Boys’ team lost a very competitive meet to Fox Lane by a score of 32-26 and defeated Port Chester 50-15. They were paced by Bird (14:42) and Ryan (14:45), who were 1st and 2nd overall. Mundinger placed 7th (15:36) in a field of 54 runners.
The Girls’ team lost to Fox Lane 50-15, but defeated the Port Chester squad by the same score. McNiff (18:25) placed 6th in the Varsity race, in a pack of 26 girls, to lead the Garnets.
The Garnets’ JV Girls’, JV Boys’, and Freshman Boys’ teams defeated Fox Lane and Port Chester. Freshman Mike Carty won the freshman race.
Mundinger said Fox Lane is likely to be their toughest competition at the league championship in October.
At the Brewster Bear Invitational 5K Race September 20, three Rye runners placed in the top 21. Ryan’s third-place finish at 15:52 was close to the all-time meet record. Bird finished in 11th place at 17:02, followed by Alec Howells at 17:30. Alex Neave, Andrew Willis, and Greg and Kevin McGinnis helped the Garnets to a strong overall finish against top teams not only from Section 1, but also from Long island, upstate New York, and Connecticut. Eighth grader Natalie Weiner finished in a blazing 20:02, sixth overall. Also competing in the Varsity race were Julia Stern and Lauren Dempsey, both juniors, sophomores Hanae Kano and Rachel Davis, and McNiff.
In a tri-meet hosted by Harrison on September 23, the boys beat Harrison and close rivals Byram Hills. The girls had an off day, losing to both teams.
The Girls’ team is captained by Katie Brand, Jenny Wang, Anjali Logue, and Jackalyn McGowan. Injuries, illness, and SAT’s have slowed the start of the season for some Garnets, who are confident they will be back in fine form in time for Sectionals.
The Garnets’ next meet is at Bowdoin Park on September 28.
<Boys’ Cross-Country Captains Alec Howells, Alex Neave, Jack Ryan, and Ryan Bird