Alex Hall's NH College Notebook: Pacing himself is paying dividends for Keene State harrier PattersonBy ALEX HALL
September 26. 2015 9:32PM
HAYDEN PATTERSON knew from experience how to best attack the Dartmouth College Invitational. The Keene State College senior cross country runner did not try to keep pace with the top Big Green runners. Instead Patterson, of Dover, found a pace that worked for him throughout the eight-kilometer course.
“The Dartmouth guys are Ivy League, Division I,” Patterson said. “They're the best of the best and they are a top, top notch group of runners. It would be absolutely foolish for us (Keene State runners) to try and chase their top pack. From years past, I knew I needed to resist the urge to go with the top group of runners.”
Patterson was not only the first Owl to cross the finish line at the invitational, he was the first runner not from Dartmouth to do so. He took 16th place with a time of 25 minutes, 41.94 seconds and Keene State placed third at the five-team meet. The time was not a personal best at the event for Patterson but he said his offseason training left him feeling much better after the season's first race than usual.
Patterson spent this summer running 100 miles per week, a change from previous years when his focus was split between training and working.
“I ran the exact same time as last year but I ran in a much more controlled and good-feeling manner,” said Patterson. “It felt a lot easier to run the exact same time.”
The Dover High School graduate said that his finish at the Big Green's meet provided a big confidence boost for him heading into the UMass Dartmouth Invitational Sept. 19.
On a particularly humid Saturday, which also happened to be Patterson's birthday, he put together perhaps his best performance of his college career.
“That day was especially hot and humid and, me personally, I cannot attack the second the guns go off if it's really humid,” said Patterson. “Really, the strategy I have to employ personally to run a race competitively (in those conditions) is basically just sit back and try and stay with the top group and move up constantly through the race.”
While Patterson said he has a strategy heading into races, he has learned from past teammates that a good runner must be able to adapt.
“Just from what alumni have told me, even the best laid plans all fall (apart) because races are very unpredictable,” Patterson said. “My No. 1 goal is to be able to react to races that day, especially when it's hot and humid.”
Patterson's initial strategy worked well throughout the five-mile race, leading him to a ninth-place finish with a time of 25:36.01. The Owls took fifth at the 43-team meet. The result left Patterson with mixed feelings despite being the first Little East Conference runner to cross the finish line.
“To be honest, I went into that race, that was actually on my birthday, and thought, ‘I've never won a cross country race,'” Patterson said. “To me, I went into that race confident I could come away with the win... On one hand, the performance was arguably my best in cross country ever. I definitely saw a lot of good from that race and things I'm actively going to look to improve upon as the season unfolds.”
Patterson said his goals for this year are to qualify for both the regional and national meets. In the meantime, he is enjoying his role as a leader for the Owls.
“It definitely feels nice to be in a leadership role with the other seniors on the team,” said Patterson. “As a senior class, we're trying to instill the important role (the freshmen) will play in future years at Keene. They will set the culture that will be found at Keene for years to come.”
Men's cross country
Bentley University's Cody Murphy was named the Northeast-10 Conference rookie of the week this past week. The freshman from Dunbarton was the first Falcons' runner to cross the finish line at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational. Murphy placed 41st overall with a time of 26 minutes, 35.73 seconds in his collegiate debut.
NHTI's Brendan McCoo won the River University Invitational last week, earning him the Yankee Small College Conference player of the week award. McCoo, of Pembroke, finished the eight-kilometer course in 27 minutes, 34 seconds to help the Lynx took first place at the meet.
Women's cross country
Raquel Gelinas, an NHTI runner from of Pembroke, won the River University Invitational last week, finishing the 5-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 32 seconds. The Lynx finished third overall at the meet and Gelinas was named the YSCC player of the week this past week for her first-place finish.
Wilkes University of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., goalkeeper Kate Mahoney was selected as the Middle Atlantic Conference defensive player of the week, the league announced Monday. The senior from Kingston made a combined 12 saves for Wilkes over a 1-1 week.
NHTI defender Shannon Hart was selected as the YSCC player of the week this past week after tallying six goals over two games. Hart, a freshman from Swanzey, netted a hat trick in both games to lead the Lynx to two victories.
Colby-Sawyer senior Jodi Dumayne was chosen as the North Atlantic Conference defensive player of the week this past week. The senior from Claremont did not allow a goal over a 3-0 week for the Chargers. She made a combined eight saves and had two shutouts in the three triumphs. Dumayne was also named the ECAC defensive player of the week.
Simmons College goalie Brianna Rastello recorded her eighth career shutout Tuesday when the Sharks earned a 2-0 victory over Wheaton College. Rastello, a senior from Salem, made seven saves en route to the win.
NHTI golfer Spencer Coronis was named the YSCC player of the week for his runner-up finish at the Southern Maine Community College Invitational Sept. 19. Coronis, of Newport, finished with a score of 88 to help the Lynx win the tournament.
Jenna Beaulieu boasted a .545 batting average at the plate last week for NHTI, earning her the YSCC player of the week award. Beaulieu, a senior from Troy, tallied six hits, seven runs and four RBIs in a 5-0 week for the Lynx.
Assumption College senior Molly Brown has been named one of the team's captains for the 2016 season. Brown, a senior from Manchester, was also recently named to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division II Academic Honor Roll. The Manchester Central graduate appeared in 17 games for the Greyhounds last spring, finishing with 27 goals.
Alex Hall compiles the college notebook for the New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @AlexKHall.