WESTON, Mass. — When Veritas cross-country coach Ken McChesney and his brother Steve, who coaches cross-country at Newton South High School in Massachusetts, hatched a plan last Christmas for the Vanguard to travel east for a race, a big part of the attraction was the cultural and historical experience the students would get.
With visits to Lexington, Concorde, Harvard, M.I.T. and sites like the Old North Church and the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow House, Veritas students certainly got that during two days of touring last week.
But the Vanguard also got a lot of out of the race itself, as most of the team stayed close to their PR times despite all of the distractions that come with traveling and breaking from routine.
"The fact that they ran so close to PRs on a pretty tough course was impressive," Ken McChesney said. "They did a nice job of managing the race well even in an unknown setting."
Cam McChesney and Thomas Lattus placed third and fifth, respectively, to lead the boys to a third-place finish with 54 points. McChesney posted a time of 18:10 and Lattus matched his PR by finishing in 18:28.
Chloe Wassei and Madision McChesney were the only girls to race for Veritas, with Wassei placing seventh in 21:23 and McChesney in 23:40.
The trip was well-timed for the team's seniors, including Lattus, considering they recently completed a unit of history on the American Revolution.
"It was a really enlightening experience to see all that history come to life going to places like Lexington and Concord and seeing the gravestones of people like Paul Revere and Samuel Adams," Lattus said. "It was really great to see all of that history right in front of you."
As a whole, Wassei believes the trip can only help the Vanguard, who have two races remaining before districts Oct. 27 in Salem.
"It was really motivating and it was really fun because it was a great bonding experience for us," Wassei said. "I feel like we can run districts well and do it together."