Girls Varsity Cross Country Places First in Canterbury Invitational

The Girls Varsity Cross Country Team brought home the first-place trophy from the 47th Annual Cross Country Invitational at Canterbury School on September 21. Assistant Coach Ed Small, who is also the Anne S. and Ogden D. Miller Senior Master, said this is the first time The Gunnery has been the top team in the event, which, according to Canterbury, has been an annual tradition since 1972.
Three Gunnery student-athletes were among the top 10 finishers in the Girls Division II race and five of the seven who represented the Highlanders finished in the top 20 in a field of 94, Gianna Russillo ’20 noted as she presented the trophy to Head of School Peter Becker at School Meeting yesterday. Eujin Shin ’21 placed fourth with a time of 21:18; Russillo finished fifth with a time of 21:27; MacKenzie Teper ’21 finished eighth at 22:32; Ksenia Korobov ’20 finished 13th at 23:56; Vivian Boucher ’23 placed 17th at 24:09; Ellie McManus ’21 finished 38th at 27:10 and Yolanda Wang ’20 was 50th at 28:38.

It was the first time that several of the runners on The Gunnery boys and girls teams competed in the event, which is the first race of the season, as well as the largest and most challenging regular season meet, Russillo said. More than 360 runners representing 35 schools competed, completing the 3.1-mile hilltop course in 80-plus-degree heat, Canterbury reported.

The Gunnery Boys Varsity Cross Country Team finished eighth among 19 schools participating in the Boys Division II race. Harry Harwood ’20 finished fourth overall, with a time of 17:58. He was one of three Gunnery student-athletes to place in the top 40 in that race, along with John Blair ’21 who placed 35th at 20:18 and Robin Wright ’22 who finished 38th at 20:45.

According to Canterbury, the race began when boys teams from prep schools across New England and the Mid-Atlantic states were invited to run a 2.7-mile course. Girls teams were invited to join in 1978, and in 2002, the length of the course was increased to a full 5K. Teams are placed in a division based upon the size of the school, with larger schools in Division I and smaller schools—including The Gunnery and Canterbury—in Division II. Find complete race results here.

“I’m very excited about both the boys and girls cross country teams,” said Head Coach Morgen Fisher ’03. “This year, even before the girls registered their first place win at the Canterbury Invitational and the boys dominated their first meet at Millbrook, it was clear that this team had strong camaraderie and energy. They have bought into the idea that serious work and effort will yield the greatest reward. They are coachable and fun to support.  I'm impressed by them now and excited to see what they can do with a season of training!”    

The Girls Varsity Cross Country Team will compete Saturday at 3 p.m. against Millbrook School, Westover School, and Greenwich Country Day at Millbrook. The boys varsity team won over Millbrook on September 25. The Gunnery is also co-hosting the New England Championships with Millbrook, November 9 at White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield.

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Founded in 1850 by abolitionist, educator, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn, The Gunnery is a coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12/post-graduate. Dedicated teacher-mentor-coaches challenge students to reach their full potential in a home-like setting where character and citizenship are valued as much as intellect and achievement. Individualized attention and high expectations help young learners develop not only the skills and confidence they will need in college, but also the moral compass and love of learning that will serve them well in life. The school attracts ambitious, academically curious students who will both shine as unique individuals and thrive as contributing members of a deeply connected community. By the time they graduate, Gunnery students have become well rounded, grounded young adults with a sharpened sense of who they are and who they want to become.