Staples’ Boys Cross Country Takes Home the State Opens Title

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Staples’ Boys Cross Country Takes Home the State Opens Title

Alex Spadacenta, Staff Writer

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On Friday Nov. 6, the Staples boys’ cross country team traveled to Wickham Park and won the state open title, scoring a total of 108 points and beating Danbury by 13.

The boys worked hard throughout the offseason in order to prepare themselves for this season.

“As we say in cross country, the most important two words are July and August,” long time track coach Laddie Lawrence said. “They were a lot better when they came back than I thought they would be.”

The state opens for boys cross country consist of the two best teams from each class, with a total of 21 teams qualifying.

Staples cross country has now won three state opens, this one being their first win since 1990. After placing fifth in 2013 and third in 2014, this 2015 win was an incredible experience for the team.

“I felt like all the summer training finally paid off and that the season was a success,” Harrington said.

“It was something all the guys really wanted and it felt like all the effort an[d] hard work accomplish something,” Ahmad added.

Key runners included captains Chase Gornbein ’16, James Lewis ’16 and Ben Foster ’16. Alongside them, Sunil Green ’18, Ben Seiple ’18, Zak Ahmad ’17 and Brandon Harrington ’17 scored points for the team.

“It’s an honor to be one of captains of the best team in recent history and to be able to run with so many great athletes,” Lewis said.

Indoor and outdoor track are right around the corner, and many have high hopes for these upcoming seasons. “It shows a lot of promise for great distance performances in track and a great xc team next year,” Harrington said.

Along with these state championships, the boys have also won ten FCIAC and four state titles. This back-half of this season has been especially difficult for the team, seeing that they were never at their full potential due to illnesses and injuries.

Saturday, Nov. 14th the team traveled to Vermont for the New England Regional Championships. The team finished in third with Ahamad as their best runner placing 34th.

With this winning cross country season, the boys have a good base for distance with indoor and outdoor, however they are lacking in sprinters, throwers and jumpers, resulting from the loss of many seniors.

There are high hopes for this group and team this season. “I’m really proud of this group and the way they pull together for each other, and this team has been really well oriented toward each other and not individually,” Lawrence said with a smile. “There’s a lot of concern ‘how my teammates are doing.’ It’s just been a solid core group of kids, I really have a lot of respect for, and I’m very pleased that they’ve done as well as they did.”

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