Monday, October 10, 2016

Vintage 1974 High School Cross Country Racing Movie. My Form was Bad then and is Worse now but at least I was Fast!

Way back in 1974 I was fortunate to be the co-captain of an outstandingly deep XC team while at Phillips Exeter Academy. After a summer of 100 mile weeks, I started the season "hot" winning several dual meets in a row, often in course record time, always going out crazy fast.
My team mates took the long approach, not training much during the summer, and peaking for the 2 big races: against arch rival Andover and for the Class A Prep Schools Interschols Championships. I hung on for dear life. We had huge depth and won both races in convincing fashion putting our entire team of 7 between 4th and 13th place in the 10 team field.

My father took sensational movies (below, expand to full screen) of these 2 races and we recently digitized them.  I am the character in red and white with big hair, glasses, a goofy stride, in 2nd or 3d place early in both races.
1974 Exeter Andover and Class A Interschols Meets

Many incredible memories of my teammates (John Rice, Chris Reich, Mark Hagler, John Weston, Dave Hanson, John Kermath and many others) and coaches (Ralph Lovshin, Bucky Bruce, Don Putnam) who are all featured in the movie.  The pace was furious on our flat course, well under 5 minute pace for the first 2 miles. Our JV team of Steve Owlett, Brian Cassidy, Mark Horton, Rick Samaha, and Ed Ernst was even more dominant taking the first 5 places and on time would have placed between 20th and 27th place in the varsity race.

Many thanks to Rick Samaha '76 who provided the newspaper articles and results. Rick was 4th in the JV race in 1974 but increased his training and went on to break the school course record set in the '74 Interschols by John Rice, lead his undefeated team to a win at the 1975 Interschols and set a school 2 mile record of 9:27 on cinders in the Class A championships, and then, just after his senior year, ran a 9:18 2 mile in the Junior AAU Championships. Rick is still a top masters track runner. He recently wrote an article for Road Trail Run about his favorite race shoes, running and competing over the years here

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