It's been a while since I've written here, as I took my customary fall vacation to Washington state to visit my roots. While I was away, the Dover-Sherborn boys' cross country team handily defeated Bellingham and lost a close meet at Norton.
Greeting me in the green fields of Dover-Sherborn's cross country course today was a light rain that was reminiscent of fall in Washington state. It made for damp conditions as I waited around for the start of the race, though at 65 degrees, it was rather comfortable. I walked past the Dover-Sherborn boys and looked into their eyes. I noticed determination and hunger in many of their eyes. This team struck me as focused, especially when they all struck out on another warm-up run as they waited for the race to start.
Finally the gun went off and the horde of blue and red thundered across the field toward me. I gaily trotted into the woods to see the race from a few different vantage points. Standing at the 1-mile mark, I noticed Dover-Sherborn's Trevor Chistolini well ahead of the pack. This guy was running like a man possessed. Not far behind were Greg Litle and Ben Brea. Several Holliston runners were mixed in with some Dover-Sherborn runners after these guys. This looked to be a close race. I then sauntered over to one of the hills on this challenging course. What I saw there was determination and grit. While the hill seemed to deflate the Holliston runners, the Dover-Sherborn runners seemed to drop their arms a bit and accelerate on the hill. They were passing Holliston runners while cruising up the steep incline. The Dover-Sherborn performance on this hill must explain why Dover-Sherborn ended up scoring 16 points to Holliston's 43.
On my way back to find a cup of hot chocolate and a towel, I spotted the Dover-Sherborn coaches quietly conversing. I asked Coach Swanson what he thought of the performance and he answered by asking me a question. "Remember what I told you 3 weeks ago?" he asked. "I'll fill in the blanks for you- world class system."
Coach Harte was slightly more forthcoming. I asked him what he thought of this monumental win. He responded, "Monumental? How so? A win is a win, by 1 point or by 35 points. I'll tell you why I think we won though. Because these guys have been training hard and they are focused on one goal: improvement."
"What about getting a couple more wins though?" I asked the coach.
"Listen, all we are concerned about is being committed to the training program. That commitment leads to improvement and improvement leads to excellence. If we are improving, the accolades will come our way."
Next up is Dover-Sherborn's final home meet against Medway next Wednesday afternoon.
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