By John Anderson

3rd, 2nd, and 1st. Colin Galloway, Matt Healey and Tom Gannon start their first race of the fall season. ©John Anderson

3rd, 2nd, and 1st. Colin Galloway, Matt Healey and Tom Gannon start their first race of the fall season. ©John Anderson

One of the most impressive aspects of Cross Country is the team spirit. Whether first or last, parents, fans, and teammates cheer them on. And, they don’t quit. Auburn’s 2.96-mile course is a combination of asphalt, concrete, grass and dirt, and it is relatively flat, (flat as opposed to steep hills).

Since the boys tend to finish the course in less time, they run first. This year, Coach Jim Gonyer chose three seniors as captains, and they did not let him down on opening day. Tom Gannon, Matt Healy and Collin Galloway finished first, second and third and propelled the Rockets to win the meet against Millbury, 23-33. In Cross Country, the finish places of the top five runners are totaled to yield the score. Auburn had 1,2,3,8 & 9 while Millbury had 4,5,6,7 & 11.

Gannon’s time of 18:15 was well behind the school record of 15:37, but it was the best on this warm afternoon. Mario Fraioli set the school record on October 4, 1999. He is now an Olympic level running coach, an author and senior editor of Competitor magazine.

Ava Sargent and Brianna Allain are in the lead for the Auburn girls. ©John Anderson

Ava Sargent and Brianna Allain are in the lead for the Auburn girls. ©John Anderson

The girls lost to Millbury, 20-39. Brianna Allain finished 3rd with a time of 24:59 and Ava Sargent finished 5th at 25:30. Coach Tom Adams was pleased with the first race and reminded his runners that they are a young team.