- Written by Procter Smith, Sports Information Director
A loud “HEADS UP!” to the Knights of the Gridiron: hot on the heels of your win over Cheshire, marking the return of interscholastic competition to the Hilltop after a seven-month void, the Salisbury cross country team is gearing up for a meet Saturday – October 17 – against Millbrook. The starting pistol goes off at 3:00.
As was the case last Saturday for the Salisbury-Cheshire square-off on Wachtmeister Field, numerous protocols will be in place to safeguard the athletes, the coaching staffs, and the trainers, all of whom will have been tested in advance of the meet. Attendees from the immediate school community will have to be masked and observe social distancing. No guests from off-campus, including Salisbury families and fans from Millbrook, will be allowed to attend, as a further precaution in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coaches Mitchell Morris and Thomas Severo are excited to have fifth formers Max Lampe and Charlie van Beuren back after the tandem finished first and second, respectively, for Salisbury in almost every race last fall, while leading the team to its best record ever, a glistening 23-2 slate. That record also included a first-ever championship at the Richard A. Miller Invitational Meet. With Lampe sidelined, the team ended the season on a disappointing note, slipping to a 15th-place finish in the New England Class B Championships.
Lampe and van Beuren are joined by a group of other returners who include Jack Chefetz ’21, Daniel Cho ’22, Henry Kim ’21, Chris Luo ’21, “Doc” Rice ’22, and Woojoon Shim ’22. Several newcomers to the program look to make an impact: Sean Duffy ’24, Josh Gillooly ’21, Cardigan Mountain School standout Terry Kim ’23, and Brian Suh ’21. Chefetz, Lampe, and van Beuren will serve as the team’s tri-captains.
An interested follower of the team was excited to catch up with Coach Severo recently and have occasion to tap the one-time lawman for insights about the season ahead. Never at a loss for words and perhaps anticipating an opportunity to build excitement among the team’s fanbase, Severo waxed as eloquently as ever. “The diaspora of erstwhile harriers,” quoth Severo, alluding to the departure of such stars of the season-past as Utah Bryant ’21 and Asher Sedlin ’21, “into COVID-driven, newly-offered fall athletic selections has left us with a smaller roster, but also ensured that every athlete on this team is here for no other reason than that he genuinely wants to run. No longer a backup option to rec soccer, this year's team is made up of true distance runners, inside and out.”
Attempts to reach team guru and counselor-at-large Thurgood Faulk for his take on the team’s prospects for the season ahead were unsuccessful. Severo noted, with a grim shake of his head, that international travel restrictions during the pandemic may prevent “The Faulk-man,” as he is fondly known in the New England cross-country fraternity, from returning to the States any time soon. If true, Mr. Faulk’s colorful presence will certainly be missed.