On the first day of fall at Berens Park in Elmhurst, Henry Golden swung his leg anxiously. Two days after a sweltering Open race on Detweiller, he was taking the line in the annual Gary Goss Freshman/Sophomore invitational. After fully committing himself in the summer, Henry was anxious to better his mark from the previous year, when he finished 28th in a field of 216. He was making progress, and he saw an opportunity.
Right from the gunshot, Henry raced with purpose, and his Open teammates followed. They were resolute in their race plan and devoted to one another. We’ve been waiting for this, their posture seemed to say. Let’s see what we can do.
The freshmen, banged up by some tough track workouts, raced twenty minutes later. Once again, the gregarious Nico Castillion (14th, 10:56) let his legs do the talking, followed by Andres Lopez (18th, 11:00), Joseph Cyrus (11:03), Logan Brown (11:09), and Connolly Corbin (11:20). The freshmen finished 4th in a talented field, with Matthew Gutierrez (11:23) and Ryan Palmer (12:13) rounding out the top seven.
For the rest of the underclassmen, the Open race was a chance to show the depth of their program and the volume of their training. Golden (10:57), Ian Kim (11:01), and Cory Papasthathis (11:01) packed together and held together, finishing 1st, 3rd, and 4th respectively. They were soon joined in the chute by fellow sophomores Ben Serna (11:23) and Josh Kubicki (11:25). Other sophomore stalwarts included Ashwin Rajan (11:39), Alex Del Genio (11:58), Wei Jiang (11:43), Angelo Lavacchi (12:01), Zach Thompson (12:08), Blake Fleming (12:44), Prithvi Thakur (13:36), Patrick Conniff (13:47), and Hisham Alam (13:47). As for the freshmen, honorable marks were established by Sam Hotchkiss (11:37), Nick Lapetino (11:37), Brady Gudauskas (11:47), Connor Boehm (11:57), Zephyr Windmiller (12:05), Clark Minnerick (12:10), Jacob Neal (12:19), Kyle McGladdery (12:27), Matthew Xu (12:37), Colin Benjamin (12:51), John Xu (12:54), Ben LeGrand (12:55), Tyler Pham (13:11), Alan Wei (13:31), and Ethan Hung (13:56).
Last year, the champion of the Open Race was Aidan Stone. He was coming off a serious injury and unsure of the stability of his knee. But Aidan, too, saw an opportunity. A year later, firmly ensconced in the Varsity, he ran a PR on Detweiller. It’s a good lesson for Golden, the other sophomores, and the freshman squad. A lot can happen in a year. Let’s see what we can do.