On Saturday, November 26, the Monroe-Woodbury Boys Cross Country Team returned to Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls to compete as the MWXC Club, as teams no longer represent their schools after state championships. For the first time, MWXC won the Federation State Championship, qualifying them to compete at the Nike Cross Regionals. With hopes of advancing to the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon on December 3, MWXC focused on achieving a first or second place finish in order to head out west.
After a season filled with hard work and much success, MWXC came together with the best cross country teams in the state and once again would go up against the strong and talented runners from Corning and St. Anthony’s High Schools.
Every MWXC runner brought everything they had to the course, but Corning and St. Anthony’s were able to push ahead, as MWXC dug down deep battling against unforeseen illness and fatigue. Still, MWXC proved to be strong contenders maintaining their status as one of the best three teams in the state, finishing the race in third place.
With Corning and St. Anthony’s advancing to Oregon, the top five finishers who were not part of an advancing team could qualify as individual runners representing the New York region. As Collin Gilstrap ran for MWXC, he had a solid position at the front of the race. Without knowing what was happening in the race behind him, he held his place as the lead runners strived to take the lead. Through the halfway point, Gilstrap was running with two other runners 3-8 seconds ahead of a pack of six additional runners. The competition was intense, but every step Gilstrap made put him a little further ahead and in pursuit of the first place runner, Maximus Haynia.
Securing second place, on the last straight away Gilstrap sprinted to the finish line and earned his spot in the Nike National Championship race as the second place runner. With a triumphant individual season, Collin Gilstrap becomes the third MWXC runner to qualify for Nationals. He follows in the footsteps of John Trautmann (1984-1985 - Kinney) and Jack Jibb (2014 - Foot Locker).
Securing second place, on the last straight away Gilstrap sprinted to the finish line and earned his spot in the Nike National Championship race as the second place runner.