On Saturday afternoon, 47 teams took to the track at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex to participate in the 10th annual Little 50.
The races did not disappoint.
Pole-sitter Cream won its second-straight women’s Little 50 despite trailing Las Corredores for the majority of the race, while in the men’s race, Mercury won its first race since 2009, also taking the lead late against the then-two-time defending champion Los Corredores.
“I can’t believe it,” Cream runner Aubrey Little said. “We were so far behind. What a fantastic way to end senior year and especially our running career.”
The event kicked off at 5 p.m. at Billy Hayes Track when the women’s teams started their race.
For the first few laps, Cream, Las Corredores and The Plastics exchanged leads.
However, Las Corredores decided to make a move and took the lead for the majority of the race.
“We felt like starting off, to not worry about taking the lead and just staying with the top of the pack,” Las Corredores runner Lavina Schwartz said. “Toward the middle, we started pushing it and trying to gain a lead, and then it was just all about maintaining it.”
When there were only four laps remaining, Cream surged ahead and regained the lead from Las Corredores. They never looked back.
When the final runner for Cream crossed the finish line, she, along with her teammates — the same ones they had won with last year — collapsed to the ground in disbelief.
“For a couple laps, we just felt like maybe we hadn’t given it our all, and I came back and every single one of them, at different points, we were saying, ‘Just leave it all out on the track,’” Cream runner Tricia Oxford said. “When we saw the (checkered) flag, we did not know what was happening at all. That was sick.”
Two hours after the women’s race started, the men’s race began, in which Los Corredores was vying for a third-straight title.
It was then that Los Corredores got out to a strong lead, holding the top spot for the first 45 laps against its second-place rival and best friends, Mercury.
“We wanted to get out really hard and hope to break them. We figured that was the only way to do it with the wind how it was,” Los Corredores runner Michael Nussa said. “We ran our race plan perfectly, but we just were probably a little too aggressive and blew up at the end. It’s just how it went.”
During those final five laps, Mercury took the lead from Los Corredores and held on for the remainder of the race.
“Corredores won the past two years, and they were definitely the favorites coming in,” Mercury runner Kevin Murphy said. “We were down by 15 seconds or more at one point, but the last few laps, we just believed and we pulled through.”
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