The Shrewsbury Cross Country team qualified to run in States by placing 2nd in Districts. The three teams from Central Mass that qualified to run in states had an advantage of having just run the same course the week before for Districts.
Tobin personally had a busy and some-what crazy day. District Band auditions and the Cross Country State meet are always scheduled on the same day. We decided to request an early time for him to audition on the french horn because he was concerned that he would not play well after running the race. We woke up early drove to North Middlesex, a 50 minute drive, notified the administrators he was coming earlier than his school and he auditioned. Next, we drove another 40+ minutes to get him to Gardner, MA before 10am so he could warm up for a 11:00 race!
Pictured below are many of the past and present runners that came to cheer on the team. It is impressive to have a number of past runners, all who run at their prospective colleges, come out for a State's meet! Tobin is holding the cross country flag in the picture. It is now in my attic, waiting for next season!
I had to take a photo of a number or guys dancing around in neon suits. One other school's mascot join in on the fun too. I later learned that this was the Pembroke team in neon. They ran well at State's. Tobin loved these body suits. He has ordered one to wear at the Junior class Neon dance this coming Saturday! He has guts!
At 11, the race began and John Murray was in the lead. A lead he never lost.
It was extremely crowded near the ropes for the beginning of the race. I just kept the shutter button down and let it take many pictures. Luckily I found this one of Tobin in the crowd. I don't think I can say enough about how much I treasure my camera.
Here's Tobin and CJ just after the 1 mile marker.
This is a cool spot in the race. The runners have just gone down a huge hill to climb back up another one and around a tree. It is nearing the 2 mile marker.
If you look in the background you can see how crowded the roped off area was near the finish. I could only get back pictures of him because I was only able to stick the camera out through the crowd and push the shutter button.
Kurt Gustafson, a SHS XC runner who graduated in 2003 took this picture of him on the final stretch. When I mentioned that past runners come to states to cheer on current runners I was not kidding! Kurt never ran with Tobin, yet came to States and photographed those who ran. We were able to get this photo from Facebook.
Tobin ran well at State's. He finished in 15:05, but it was logged as 15:15 due to pushing and an odd way to log times. Shrewsbury ranked 8th, the best they have ever done.
Nettie, Russ, Luke and Sophie came to cheer him on. Nettie found Tobin before the race and said "good luck". I know it meant a lot to him.
A few runners from North Andover were in the race so Nettie wore her Knights sweatshirt and added Tobin onto her back!
Jenna and Sierra came too.
So did Aidan and Isaac. It was a cold day; 37 but sunny.
Tobin saw all his fans briefly after the race. I know that it meant a great deal to him that relatives came to see him run.
Tobin is pictured here with the MA State champion! John Murray set a new state record, running the course in 14:15! He won states by 13 seconds. The record for states had been held for 12 years until John blew it out of the water. This is incredible for this is a race among the fastest in all the schools of MA! John was interviewed by many reporters that day.
They have a tradition of drinking chocolate milk after a race.
This season of cross country has been amazing for Tobin. He has worked hard since the summer and it paid off. It was an honor, priveledge and inspiration for Tobin to run and work with John this season.
Tobin has been given the honor as one of the captains of next years cross country team. It is a title he takes seriously and looks forward to working with many of the same guys and hopes to add a number of new freshman and other classmen to the team in the fall.
Cross Country is where Tobin's passion lies. I know he will strive to run well in indoor and outdoor. His progress this season has earned him a letter from UMASS Amhurst looking at him as an athlete. Time will tell where all of this will lead. I know it has helped to develop a driven son who can accomplish many things when dedication is placed into it.