Rarely do you see two cross-country runners decide to tie, whether they’re teammates or not. Georgetown Day’s Tristan Colaizzi and Aiden Pillard did just that in the boys’ D.C. State Athletic Association championship race Saturday morning at Fort Dupont Park.
Nearing the finish line of a tough course after breaking away form the pack, the teammates locked hands to ensure they would both finish first with the same time. Colaizzi let out a resounding roar after they snapped the tape with a time of 17 minutes 34 seconds.
“We were going to do this together,” Pillard said.
Sidwell Friends senior Megan Wilson won the girls’ race in 19:46, ahead of teammate Ellie Leape (20:28) and Georgetown Visitation’s Margaret Lindsay (21:07).
Wilson was unable to run in the Independent School League championship race a week ago because of a health-related issue, which added excitement to Saturday’s win.
“I was really nervous before today because I hadn’t raced in three weeks,” said Wilson, who has focused on running for only little more than a year but four days ago committed to run track for Stanford. “But we did some really solid workouts as a team and I was excited to get back out there.”
At a little past the halfway point of the boys’ race, Abdur-Rahmaan Kelly of Theodore Roosevelt and Ross Pendergast of Wilson were in a dead heat for the lead heading into a portion of the course that features sharp turns and hills. Confident in their abilities to run hills, Colaizzi and Pillard saw an opportunity to make up ground. They passed Kelly and Pendergast in a wooded portion of the course before entering the home stretch with the lead.
Coming down the race’s final hill, Colaizzi and Pillard decided to go for the tie.
“We’re usually not far from each other,” Pillard said. “This was the first time we were in enough control of a race to do it.”
Kelly finished third in 17:42 on the tough course and Pendergast was fourth in 17:45.
The two earned a combined three points for finishing in the top two, which helped Georgetown Day win the team title with 23 points. Sidwell Friends (42) was second with Wilson (62) third. Visitation won the girls’ meet with 40 points to Sidwell Friends’ 42. Georgetown Day (67) placed third.
For Colaizzi, the win made up for some of the injuries his team has endured through the season.
“Our team has been through a lot this year,” Colaizzi said. “My brother [Griffin Colaizzi] has been injured. Two of our top five have been out. It was a great win.”