Boys' XC runs ahead of the rest (From the Shady Side News)
Monday, October 20, 1997 (Homecoming)
by Charles Cheever

    Much attention of late has been given to the undefeted record of the football team and the almost perfect record of the field hockey. This is well deserved, but somewhat overlooked is the team with the best record in the school, boys' cross-country.
    As of September 25th, they have a 12-0 record and have already won their section championship in WPIAL's in a section which includes large schools such as Kiski Area, Gateway, Franklin Regional, Plum, Highlands, McKeesport, Woodland Hills, Fox Chapel, and Penn Hills.
    Granted, a cross-country meet does not have the raw excitement of a football game or the obvious appeal of field hockey, but anyone who has been to a cross-country meet can feel the tension in the air at the start and the thrill of a close finish.
    Those who are not involved in the sport often wonder what would drive someone to run for fun. Cross-country us an individual sport, and each member of the team has his own motivations for running.
    Dan "The Man" Nguyen claims, "I'm only in cross-country for the chicks, and it's all part of my master plan to get into Stanford for field hockey."
    Ashley Daulton, a runner for the firls' team, admires the team for its dedication. "The boys' team is psycho-runners," she says, "They work so hard, while we just sit and cry."
    Leonard Wholey, who has returned to take a spot on the varsity team after taking a year off to play JV soccer, says "It's not that cross-country runners don't have the skills to play another sport, it's just that we're too good to do anything else."
    Wile top runners are often concerned with the allure of victory, many JV runners have personal reasons. Eugene Motoyama took a broad perspective of the sport, citing another team member. "In most sports, the players beat each other up. Cross-contry is the only sport where you beat yourself up."
    Many other members of the team have improved a great deal since last season, causing a high turnover rate in the top seven. This improvement, while helping the team as a whole, is not without its casualties. Pat Dickinson, his ever-present optimism curbed, said "I used to be good, but now I ain't."
    Other members of the team include sophomore Andrew Bell, juniors Andre Moura, Matt Hall, Michael Gee, Charlie Cheever, and Leonard Wholey, and seniors Mike Locke and Rob Csendes.
    The up and coming freshmen this year is Matt Welch, who should make great contributions in future years.
    The team is led this year by tri-captains Dan Nguyen, Brandon Tung, and Ganesh Muthappan. The head coach this year is once again Bill "Mac" McConnel. [sic] This year he has assistance from cross-country alumnus Paul "Scooter" Ejzak.The coaching staff is also occasionally aided by "coach emeritus, " Todd "Todd" Green.
    "I'm really proud of what we've done so far, and this is only the beginning," says Matt Hall. The section meets have ended, with the defeat of Fox Chapel and Penn Hills.
    The invitational portion of the season began with Penn State's Spiked Shoe Invitational on September 27th. Highlights of the trip include duct tape & sophomores, driving Kevin and Hairy out of the hot tub, "SPLASH!" furniture arrangement, kle_t_m_nia [sic], celebrating Scooter's 17th birthday, and to end it all, a tenth place finsish out of 36 teams.from Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Ohio, and West Virginia, making the overall record 38-9.
    Possibly the team's most exhilarating achievement this season was winning the first place trophy at the I.P.S.L. meet.
    Brandon Tung summarized the season, "No words are necessary; the results speak for themselves."