9/10 - A Race to Remember

Before the cross country meet at SUNY Brockport, third-year Erin LaFave was just getting into her own pre-game race routine when she got quite a surprise.

LaFave was surprised by her father and brother, John and Alex LaFave. The duo left Troy, Michigan at 4 am and arrived right before the race to give LaFave even more reason to win the race.

During the race, she was holding her own pace, staying in 3rd, 4th place for most of the race. At the 5500-meter point of the race, she was in third place and it seemed that she would have given up, until she saw her father and brother signing encouragements to her. Something sparked in her.

She used a strong late kick in the home stretch to pass Vanessa Martell, an unattached runner, by 73 one-hundredth seconds to win the Brockport Invitational. She led the RIT Tigers to 2nd place.

"I knew I had to win the race," LaFave said. "My father and brother gave me the motivation to win the race. I just had to win it."

The RIT Women Cross Country team takes off from the starting line. Erin LaFave #340

Erin LaFave leads a pack at the 1-mile point

Erin LaFave pacing herself in third place with 1K left in the race

Erin LaFave turns on the fire and starts catching up...

Passing Brockport Rachel Malone into second place...

...and she outsprinted Vanessa Martell in the last five meters to win the race

Erin LaFave with her brother Alex post-race

The LaFave family. (L to R): Alex, John and Erin