Boys Cross Country Sets Sights on Founders


Edward Guo ’19

Ethan Sprole ’20 and Harry Li ’20 sprint to the finish line during a cross country meet.

Although Boys Varsity Cross Country ended last year’s season with a record of 6-3 and a second place finish at the Founders League Championship, the team is far from satisfied. This year the team aims to finish in first place.

At Founders last year, all five scoring runners – Michael Duncan ’19, Ian Gill ’19, Kostia Howard ’20, Ryan Pinckney ’18, and Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff ’19 – set personal records. Sidamon-Eristoff broke the school course record, with a time of 16 minutes and 47 seconds. Despite these record-setting performances, however, the team lost to Loomis. At the New England Championships the following week, the team ran even faster, this time beating Loomis and finishing in third place, behind Andover and NMH. Despite the narrow defeat, Pierre Yoo, head coach of Boys Varsity Cross Country, celebrated the team’s performance and said, “The sense of surprise and complete joy,…the range of emotion was just priceless.” 

In order to prepare for Founders, the team is taking its training to the next level. Coach Yoo challenged both returning runners and Varsity hopefuls to log 128 miles over the summer, which is the distance of nearly five marathons. 

The roster for the new season remains strong, with four of the top five runners from the the New England Championships returning. The team is trending up, thanks to new members of the team, such as Huck Whittemore ’22, who finished 8th at the most recent meet.

The team tested its mettle against two of the top teams in New England, Loomis and NMH, as well as its arch-rival Taft on Saturday, October 6. The Bearcats handily defeated Taft, 35-24, and Loomis, 31-26. However, the team lost to New England runner-up NMH 24-31. This defeat remains the only loss for the team this season, as it won both matches against Trinity-Pawling and Millbrook by a score of 50-15.

Coach Yoo spoke highly of the leadership displayed by the five captains – Blake Cilmi ’19, Duncan, Gill, Souleman Toure ’19, and Sidamon-Eristoff. Although the sheer size of the team means each captain has his work cut out for him, the division of duties has helped maximize the team’s potential. Coach Yoo said, “Last week was a microcosm of the season, because I observed a lot of effort from each runner. One motto for this year is “For Each Other,” and this was on display.”

With Founders less than two weeks away, the team is preparing mentally and physically to win the school its first Founders League Championship. However, Coach Yoo said, “If we’re not a team that runs for each other and is positive for each other, the victories don’t matter.”