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Canterbury Hosts 47th Annual Cross Country Invitational

Kelly Slonaker

Canterbury hosted the 47th Annual Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, September 21, with over 35 schools in attendance. The day began with registration and observation of the 5k course at 10:30 a.m. before the first race started at 12:30 p.m. The temperature soared into the mid-80s as the races began, and the clear sky offered little respite from the heat for competitors. Canterbury faculty helped cool down runners with a hose on the turf.

Each school’s teams were placed in a division depending upon the school size, with large schools in Division I and small schools—including Canterbury—in Division II. The Girls’ Division I runners kicked off the races at 12:30 p.m., followed by the Girls’ Division II race at 1:00 p.m., Boys’ Division I race at 1:30 p.m., and Boys’ Division II race at 2:00 p.m. Over 360 runners competed in the day's events.

Girls’ Cross Country Team Captain Lorelai Lee Swanek ’21 (23:06) placed 9th out of 94 competitors in Girls Division II; Abby Omaña ’20 (23:45) placed 14th; Brigida Caruso ’20 (27:29) placed 51st; and Maggie Ondrey ’21 (27:59) placed 57th.

The Canterbury Boys’ team finished fifth overall in their race among 19 other Division II schools. Jack McCluskey ’20 (18:11) led the team with his fifth place finish; Cullen Mulhern ’22 (20:16) finished 30th followed closely behind by Jasper Sun ’20 (20:17) who placed 32nd; John Bagg ’23 (20:38) finished 36th; and Hanyan Cai ’22 (21:03) closed out the scoring five with a 46th place finish. Sebastian Tseng ’21 (22:01) and Oscar Wang ’21 (22:14) finished in 67th and 76th places, respectively.

Tracy Garcia-LaVigne, Head Coach of Girls’ Cross Country, and Drew Houghtalen, Head Coach of Boys’ Cross Country, have spent their fall season preparing their runners for the race as well as organizing the widely-attended event, aided by Paddy McCarthy, Associate Head of Athletics. 

The Canterbury Invitational has been an annual tradition since 1972 when Prep Schools across New England and the Mid-Atlantic were invited to bring their Boys’ Cross Country teams to the School to race 2.7 miles across our hilltop. Girls’ teams were invited to join in 1978, but it was not until 2002 that the race was increased to 3.1 miles as a true 5K.

47th Annual Canterbury Cross Country Invitational Photos