Boniface, cross country dealing with leader’s departure

How does a team move forward after losing the only captain it’s ever known?

That’s the daunting task my young teammates and I will have to face during the 2002 cross-country season.

When I transferred to Miami in the fall of 2000, junior Jeff Gaulrapp of Baldwinsville, N.Y., was just taking over the reigns as captain of the UM cross country team. We were a rag-tag bunch, but had a good core of guys who wanted to run fast.

Under Gaulrapp’s guidance, we improved week by week, earning a surprising third place team finish at the Florida Intercollegiate Championships.

In 2000, Gaulrapp amassed perhaps the greatest season ever by a Hurricanes cross country runner, capped by clocking a sterling 24:37 school-record 8K at the Big East Championships at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass. Gaulrapp earned All-State, All-Big East and All-Region honors that year.

In the following season, Gaulrapp continued his dominance, finishing as the top Hurricane in six of seven races.

Gaulrapp is one of the toughest runners with whom I’ve ever run. His poker-faced fa