Brian Gamble ’23 completed yesterday’s MBIL Cross Country championship 3.1-mile race at Gann Academy in 17:21, a course record, leading the boys’ team to a first-place victory.
The girls’ team earned runner-up, despite two of its top three runners being unable to compete at the championship.
Gamble also beat Connor Reif’s ’19 course record last year by 30 seconds, besting 110 runners.
“It was really difficult, but by the end, it was all worth it,” Gamble said of his win.
Gamble was followed by Gator scoring runners Richard O’Keefe ’20 (18:07), Clayton McLaren ’21 (19:18), Edan Zinn ’23 (19:49), and Kyrell Luc ’21 (20:16), earning the team 32 overall points, its lowest overall championship score and its first league victory since 2016, when the team finished with 33 overall points.
Boys Head Coach Paul Brauchle said the win was a team effort, noting that often, it comes down to the fourth and fifth finishers.
“Edan and Kyrell ran strong tactical races by not going out too fast and running even splits throughout,”Brauchle said. “Both passed upwards of 20 opposing runners within the last two miles of the race.”
The boys’ success at the MBIL championship race bodes well for the NEPSTA race on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Hebron Academy in Maine.
“If we run as well at NEPSTA as we did yesterday, the boys should be the best performing Brimmer and May team to place at the race,” Brauchle said.
As for the girls, Co-Captain Anja Westhues ’20 finished first for her team, crossing the finish at 23:39.
“I’ve had my own share of injuries this year, and the fact that I could still finish where I did despite all of the setbacks made me very proud of myself,” Westhues said. “It was definitely a great last MBIL cross country race for my high school career.”
The Gators top-five runners tied Gann Academy, but Karly Hamilton ’21, who came in sixth place for the team, bested Gann’s next finisher by just one second, securing the team’s second-place score.
“It was a very exciting moment when I found out my score had gotten us second place,” Hamilton said. “Our coaches drilled into us the whole season that everybody mattered, and this race made me realize how right they were.”
Brauchle said that yesterday’s victory is especially encouraging, as only one of the team’s scoring finishers, O’Keefe, graduates this year.
“While Richard was a great asset this year, our team next year looks to be even better in 2020,” Brauchle said.
Gamble was also unanimously voted MBIL Most Valuable Runner by the league coaches.