I was a bit water-logged after traveling to Dover-Sherborn to see their meet last Wednesday. Today I descended upon Dover-Sherborn on a glorious day as the Dover-Sherborn boys met up with the boys in dark blue from Medway.
These two teams had a fierce battle on Medway's course last year, with Dover-Sherborn's #5 runner securing the close win (28 to 30). It looked to be more of the same this year at the start of the race. One or two brave DS runners were at the front of the pack but were surrounded by 6 or 7 Medway runners. It looked like the Medway runners planned on starting fast and beating the DS runners on the trail. Something changed in the middle of the race, however. At about the two-mile mark I spied Dover-Sherborn's lead runner Trevor Chistolini sprinting up a hill with a Medway runner far behind. Behind that Medway runner came no less than 6 Dover-Sherborn runners. These guys all made their way up the hill like it was a mere speed bump on a rough road. They helped to finish off a convincing win for Dover-Sherborn with 19 points to Medway's 44.
I wanted to catch up with Dover-Sherborn head coach Steve Harte and ask him how his team has been able to go from 1-4 to 3-4 with two lopsided wins. I called out to him, "Coach, what do you think of that win today? Pretty impressive, wasn't it?" He just brushed me aside, muttering, "I'm just thinking about tomorrow's workout. Tomorrow we get faster."
Fortunately, I was able to corner Coach Swanson for a chat. I asked him thoughts were running through his mind after the win.
"A lot of thoughts are running through my mind," he answered back. "VDOTs, PRs, monster races." I wasn't sure what he was referring to, but I kept listening. "I keep thinking about how these guys worked the hills today. They maintained speed into the hill and then put some surges on in key places. I was most impressed by how they pushed themselves coming down the back side of K2. These guys get stronger every day. You won't find a more committed team around."
Well, that about sums it up as the sun sets behind the trees in the back fields of Dover-Sherborn High School.
Next up for Dover-Sherborn is a meet at Ashland State Park next Wednesday.