All Things Wayland XC 2018

October 7th, 2018
Wayland High School, MA
USATF New England XC Grand Prix Race 3/USATFNE NIRCA Challenge

“Running is hard, isn't it”
-Tom Derderian

Early on Sunday morning, the HFC Striders arose and went to Wayland High School to set up for the 12th Annual Wayland Cross Country Festival. The club raised flags, spray painted roots, and set up tables in order to prepare for the hundreds of participants ranging in age from 5 to 69. Wayland XC Festival served three roles: a youth development program, a USATF New England (USATFNE) Cross Country Grand Prix Event, and a cross federation challenge between USATF New England clubs and members of the National Intercollegiate Running Association (NIRCA).

NIRCA is the governing body serving non-varsity collegiate running across the United States. USATFNE and NIRCA have recently began communication with each other in order to help promote our great sport. NIRCA creates opportunities for collegians, while USATF deals primarily with post-graduates and youth. It was great to see runners and clubs from these two organizations come together to share in the joy of our great sport.

The day opened with youth development races, with hundreds of youth running the 3k. A well marked course and supportive crowds guided these kids to the finish, hopefully planting seeds of lifelong running in their legs and hearts.

At the conclusion of the youth races, the women toed the line to break in the new 5k course. Representatives from local high schools, USATF Clubs, and teams from NIRCA, jumped at the sound of the gun and competed for the title. A muddy-and hilly-course took the runners by surprise. First place finisher Sydney Masciarelli of Marinapolis High School told stories of her surprise and the mud and the hills. Second place Michelle Vaccaro of Harvard Running Club(NIRCA) and third place Nicole Borofski of the Boston Athletic Association agreed. All three runners also mentioned they took the first mile out a little too fast, and were relatively gassed by the time the reached the aqueduct climb in the second mile. Masciarelli-15- held onto her lead, and won the race in a 17:47, both a course and event record. Vaccaro finished in a 19:13 and Borofski in a 19:33. When asked about their future racing plans, Mascarelli has the remainder of her high school season, Vaccaro looks forward to NIRCA Regionals and Nationals, and Borofski aims to compete at the famous Boston Mayor's Cup, hosted by the Boston Athletic Association and USATF New England on October 21st.

Regarding women’s teams, the hosting HFC Striders beat out the Western Mass Distance Project by a score of 31 to 42. Northeastern (NIRCA) beat out some USATF Clubs and placed 3rd overall.

On the men’s open and masters side, the competitors(including the author of this article) went to the line hoping to run a fast time. Well, the difficult course had a different plan….Similar to the women’s race, the men's race fielded a fast first mile. The leaders split a 5:10 first mile. The second mile humbled the field and the times slowed. Overall first place finisher Luke Janik of Northeastern admitted he drastically slowed for the second mile. Nonetheless, the race goes on, and Janik would persevere to cross in a 16:40, a mere 4 seconds ahead of second place finisher Andrew Erskine of the Battle Road Track Club. Four seconds behind Erskine was Austin Scott of the newly formed Old Goat Track Club.

Last, but certainly not least is the master’s recap. Women’s 40+ winner Kara Haas of Greater Lowell threw down a 20:34 to win over Ashley Krause of WMDP. Men’s master saw TJ Undger of the HRC Striders win the masters division with a 17:10, an excellent time just a week removed from his masterful performance at Lone Gull 10k.

Men's team scores: By placing four runners in the top 12, Northeastern men would go on to win the title over the Battle Road Track Club, a USATF Elite Development Club.

Full results can be found here:
Please direct any questions or comments to

NIRCA Teams present:
Northeastern University
Boston College
Harvard University
UMass Amherst
Merrimack College
Bryant University
Olin College
Purdue University

USATF Clubs:
HFC Striders
Boston Athletic Association
New England Distance
Greater Boston Track Club
Battle Road Track Club
Greater Derry TC
Greater Lowell Road Runners
Western Massachusetts Distance Project
Liberty Athletic Association
Central Mass Striders
Old Goat Track Club
Cambridge Sports Union
Gate City Striders
The Heartbreakers
SISU Project
Sentinel Striders (Youth)
Waltham TC (Youth)
Haverhill Elite (Youth)