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Gael Harriers Off & Running with Victories at Six Flags Wild Safari Invy, Disney Cross Country Classic

The Upper Campus cross-country team has been providing as many thrills of late as the theme parks at which it has competed. Heading into the CHSAA Sophomore Sectional Championships on Oct. 11 and the Manhattan College Invitational on Oct. 14, the largest meet in the nation that draws more than 10,000 runners, the Gaels are riding an unprecedented string of top finishes at the seventh annual Six Flags Wild Safari Invitational on Sept. 30 and 21st annual Disney Cross Country Classic Oct. 6-7 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

At Six Flags, the Gaels came up just two points shy of winning the varsity team competition--its best-ever finish--and dominated at the JV level. Senior Tyler Dorsainvil took home top honors in the Varsity B 5,000-meter race with a new school record of 16:31, besting the previous mark of 17:00 set by Kieran Mulvany '16 in 2015.

Last year's breakout runner, Pedro Bravo '20 set a new sophomore record of 17:05 in finishing seventh overall, topping the old record by 15 seconds. Brendan Mulvany '20 (8th), Michael DeStasio '20 (12th) and Gibran Mourani '18 (32nd) also medaled.

Meanwhile, the JV team earned top billing overall, beating the runners-up by 10 points behind the strength of eight individual medalists. Sophomore Aiden McDermott won the JV race with a time of 18:26 and Nick Mingione '18 finished sixth, while Michael Martire '20, Mason Scott '18, Ryan McDonnell '20 and Thomas Kenny '19 swept spots 10-13. Benjamin Francisco '19 and Finn Bannon '19 rounded out the JV medalists with 16th and 28th-place finishes, respectively.

The freshman team added two medalists in Dylan Nelson '21 and Matthew D'Ambrosio '21 to go along with a seventh-place finish in the team competition. Bannon, McDermott and Scott were named the Athletes of the Meet by coach Jan Mitchell.

The Gaels quickened their collective pace at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex for the Disney Cross Country Classic, winning the varsity division and taking second in JV, while finishing fifth out of all participating schools. Bravo (16:55.8) and Dorsainvil (17.16.5) finished second and third, respectively, in their race as Iona Prep beat out 22 other schools.

Mulvany (17:31.3) was eighth, McDermott (18:16.2) 21st and Destasio (18:19) 22nd. McDonnell won the JV race, besting more than 200 other harriers. In short, just a third of the way through their season, it was as Coach Mitchell described...

"The greatest day ever!"


Source: Photos courtesy of Coach Jan Mitchell