CNW vs. SRC: the rivalry continuesNovember 11, 2009
My undergraduate school, Williams College, has a great rivalry with Amherst, its Massachusetts neighbor to the southeast. The historical basis for this animosity is that in 1821, the president of Williams left town with a majority of the school’s students, faculty, and library books and used them to found Amherst. Stuff like that isn’t forgiven quickly.
The rivalry between Club Northwest and the Seattle Running Club has a bit of the same flavor. Although SRC owners Scott and Leslie McCoubrey did not set out to lure athletes away from CNW, some of our early men’s squads could have been mistaken for CNW “B” teams. Even at last Sunday’s PNTF cross-country championships, many SRC people could be recognized as former CNW runners: Ben Sauvage, Mike Bailey, Dan Salazar, Quoc Tran, Uli Steidl, me, Chris Charles, and Mark Davies, just to name a few.
To be honest, CNW may not see the SRC as a foe worth worrying about, since CNW almost always beats us. Since the SRC started fielding cross-country teams in 2003, the only SRC squads to defeat CNW at the PNTF meet (in cases where both had full teams) have been the open women in 2004, the open men in 2005, and the masters women in 2007. From the SRC side, though, I can attest that we are always hoping to add to that list.
We almost did it on Sunday. Our masters men — led by Ben Sauvage (3rd), Blair Cossey (4th), Glen Weisman (5th), Dan Salazar (8th), and Mike Bailey (10th) — lost to CNW by a single point, 29-30. The joke afterward was that Ben cost us the title by failing to outkick CNW’s Tony Young, Young being the fastest 45-and-older miler in the world.
Inspired by the masters, we younger guys did what we could, but our scoring quintet of Uli (3rd), Ben Mangrum (4th), me (5th), Destry Johnson (7th), and Ben Haber (12th) was defeated 26-30 by a set of CNW harriers including Mark Mandi (1st) and Joe Gray (2nd). Likewise, our masters and open women’s teams were vanquished despite strong individual performances by Lyuda Vasilyeva (1st in the masters race), Jeanine Stewart (5th in the open race), and several others.
Despite these setbacks, I feel optimistic about our chances against CNW next year. If we can just steal a few more of their athletes….