On the calendar, the summer officially ends in a few more weeks on Sept. 23.
But as we all know around here during this time of year, once it hits late August and early September, the fall cross-country season has essentially started.
Here in the Bay State, the statewide invitationals will kick off this Saturday with three meets. At Highland Park in Attleboro, we have the annual MSTCA X-C Relays. This meet will feature Co-Ed, Freshmen/Sophomore and Junior/Senior Relays that cover 4.6 miles. More than an hour away, is the annual Vineyard XC Invitational at Martha’s Vineyard, a meet that’s sponsored by Marathon Sports and HOKA. This popular event will feature Freshmen/Co-Ed, Junior Varsity and Varsity Races. There’s also the 22nd annual Clipper Relays, a popular and fun event hosted by Newburyport at Maudslay Park.
We’ll do our best to provide on-site coverage at most of the invitational and championship meets that will be held this season, and throughout the year. If we’re not there, we can always use your help. Send us your photos (jpeg format), videos (mpeg format), write-ups, etc., and will get that all on the site. You can send everything to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to this weekend’s Vineyard XC Invitational, Marathon Sports and HOKA will be sponsoring three other meets this season – the Ocean State Invitational at Goddard Park in Warwick, RI on Sept.22-23, the Wickham Park Invitational in Manchester, CT, on Oct. 7, and the Catholic Memorial Invitational at Franklin Park on Oct.14
There’s no question that the Ocean State Invitational, which will be celebrating its 16th year, is one of top meets on the east coast. Thanks in part to some new amenities that have been added to this year’s meet, this month’s regional competition could be its biggest and best one yet.
Among the amenities is an Athlete’s Village. This will be a new destination on the grounds of Goddard Park for athletes to visit before and after the race, according to co-meet director Siobhan Breagy. She indicated that in the main area, the HOKA team will have a Recovery Station with everything you need to start recovering after your race. There will also be giveaways, which will include a unique piece of meet memorabilia showcasing Goddard Park and the race course. The HOKA team will also have the latest products on-site as well as some additional giveaways.
“Our goal is for these high school athletes to compete against some of the best teams in the Northeast and also have a great time and maybe make some new friends from other teams along the way,” Breagy said.
HOKA will be providing some prizes for the awards in each race. Marathon Sports will also be setting up shop at the Gazebo, offering a wide variety of footwear and meet merchandise.
We’ll have more on the Ocean State Invitational as we get closer to the meet.
Leading up to this weekend’s meets, Bay State Running will provide quick capsules of all the divisions this fall and the teams and athletes to keep an eye out on the trails. Of course, a lot can change in the weeks and months ahead. But we’ll give it our best shot based on results from last year, key returnees and some inside knowledge.
Mr. Cross Country, Mike Mahon, our state’s most faithful fan, has informed us that he will soon be reaching an impressive milestone. For 39 years, Mahon has been a regular fixture on the trails this time of year, often traveling to multiple meets statewide by his bicycle. On Sept. 12, at his alma-mater Keefe Tech, Mahon is set to attend his 2,000th career meet where his Broncos will play host to Assabet. Think about this for a minute. Mahon has averaged slightly more than 50 meets per season! Now that’s dedication! Mahon’s at Hopedale on Monday afternoon where he’s watching the Blue Raiders take on Milford. That’s meet No. 1,995.