November 24, 2018
2018 gave the current Goshen High School team a true test of will and strength, as Goshen would compete against state ranked Cornwall and Mount Academy in the Section XI Class B race in an all out effort to qualify for states. Maybe in one of the toughest showdowns in Section XI, the race would end in a third place finish for the current Gladiators. While on paper the third place finish looks defeating, those who followed the teams throughout the season would recognize the difficulty each team faced that day. It came down to which team had the best showing that day, making for a close race on the 3 mile Bear Mountain course.
This was not Goshen’s first rodeo when it comes to close finishes. In 2016 the G-Men would win the Section XI title over Cornwall by one point, qualifying them for the state meet after a long hiatus from the event. Louie Greco was a key component to that historic win in 2016, so it seemed only proper that Louie rekindled some of that magic at the 2018 Bear Mountain XC Alumni race.
In a tight finish, the Goshen men (68 Points) placed second edging out Peal River (69 Points) by a mere point. The stacked Monroe Woodbury (34 Points) team ran away with the team title, but Goshen was able to sneak a couple runners inside Monroe’s top 5 scoring runners. Clarkstown North (95 Points), Suffern (140), Clarkstown South (142), North Rockland (196), and Albertus Magnus (200) would round out the team scores. Monroe Woodbury women was the only complete women’s team this year, winning the team title unopposed with 24 points.
In total, eight Goshen grads toed up to the starting line that haunted their high school dreams. While no Lady Glads competed in the alumni race this year, they were strong in support as they cheered on the 8 men running on frozen 3 mile course. Louie Greco (Class of 2018) would lead the G-Men this year, placing 5th in a time of 16:25. Louie is just coming off his freshmen XC season at the State University of Buffalo, which placed 7th as a team at the NCAA regional meet.
Finishing 9th overall and second for Goshen, Jesse Chain (Class of 2015) knew he would most likely hand over the “top scorer for Goshen” this year as Louie was determined to go out hard from the gun. Chain, coming off his final XC season at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, ran the 3 mile course in a casual 18:32, smiling the entire way. “It just feels like everything has come full circle. Last time Louie and I raced together in a Goshen uniform, I was the guy to beat as he was just trying to break into that top 5 group. His work ethic and grit is remarkable, and I knew when I was graduating that Louie would become something special to this program. It is no surprise his times are where they are. It’s been a blast watching him grow as a person and athlete.”
With Ben-dor out on injury and Sullivan unavailable, Goshen dug deep this year into their depth as a team. Finishing 17th overall, and 3rd for Goshen was the 1998 star Brett Walker. Walker and Greco share something in common, even with 20 years spanning the gap of their high school careers, as they are both members of the select teams that Goshen sent to the State meet. Walker ran the 3 mile course in 19 minutes flat, his first time back since high school. Goshen’s fourth runner was not far behind, placing 20th in a time of 19:09. Mike St. Lawrence, Class of 2000, showed off how the “Classic Gladiators” do what they do, wearing the classic Goshen Gladiator attire.
Goshen 1996 graduate Daniel Markiewicz placed 46th overall in a time of 21:54. Daniel, who has been used to running for Goshen as an incomplete team for years at the event, finally had a team to score for as he was Goshen’s 5th man. Placing 6th for Goshen and 67th overall was the 1993 Grad Jeff Cerefice, in a time of 24:16. Matt Markiewicz (Class of 1993) and Zak Constantine (Class of 2018) went 69th and 70th, running 24:23 and 24:25 respectively.
There is just something about the annual Alumni race that makes each year something to look forward to. Each athlete looks like they dug deep through their old warm-ups finding whatever fits and isn’t worn through completely, each from a different era in history. Yet, one in the same they line up as one team, with the same goal they had however many years ago. Get to the finish line, and get there as fast as you can. Aside from the racing, hearing each others stories, seeing people walk over to the line that you would never expect to show up, getting to put on the Blue and Red one more time, and making new memories is what the race is all about.
Thank you all to who showed up and made the day great, and hope to see everyone next year. Full results and the race website is below.