Boys’ cross country team laces up for FCIACs after an undefeated season

Captain Jake Berman ’15 and Coach Laddie Lawrence discuss the upcoming FCIAC meet in Coach Lawrence’s office.

Captain Jake Berman ’15 and Coach Laddie Lawrence discuss the upcoming FCIAC meet in Coach Lawrence’s office.

The last time the boys’ cross country team had an undefeated season was over a decade ago, but after defeating Darien, Saint Joes and Danbury in the last meet of the regular season, the team was able to claim another rare undefeated season for the books.

“Those weeks where we ran 60 miles are now worth all that time and effort,” captain Luis Cruz ’15 said.

Coach Laddie Lawrence attributes the team’s success to not only their hard work in season, but out of season as well. “They packed in so many miles during the preseason, which was July and August. That’s what you have to do if you want to be successful,” Lawrence said.

And successful they were. This will be Lawrence’s 30th undefeated coaching season.

With a perfect season under their belts, the team will take on their next hurdle of competing in the 5K race for the FCIAC title on Monday, October 20th. Eight members of the Staples’ team will race against teams from other schools in the FCIAC, but only the top five runners on each team will count towards the team average. Athletes on the boys’ cross country team do not have to qualify individually, rather the coach chooses the top eight runners.

This year, the FCIAC squad will consist of captains Cruz, Oliver Hickson ’15, and Jake Berman ’15, as well as senior Daniel Landy ’15, juniors James Lewis ’16, Ben Foster ’16, and sophomores Zak Ahmad ’17 and Brandon Harrington ’17.

“Right now we’re ranked second in the state behind Ridgefield, so they’ll be tough to beat, but it’s really anyone’s race,” Lewis said.

Last year, Staples earned a score of 91, which placed them third overall, behind first place team Ridgefield, 27 points, and second place team Darien, 59. “We are hoping to have an average amongst our top five guys that is better than that,” Captain Oliver Hickson ’15 said, “We’d like to go under 16:30 minutes.”

After the team competes at FCIACs, they will be looking at competing in the State meet.

“Our main focus right now is to have a strong race at FCIACs and then turn our focus onto States and New England’s in the coming weeks,” Lewis said.