Suffield High School boys’ cross-country team takes state title

By Kathryn Elliott - Reminder News
Suffield - posted Wed., Nov. 9, 2011
Suffield runner Ben Bee at the NCCC meet at WLHS. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.
Suffield runner Ben Bee at the NCCC meet at WLHS. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.

Windsor Locks High School recently hosted the NCCC Class M cross-country title meet. Spectators lined the course - one of the few tracks in which runners remain visible at all times - eager to cheer on runners from 22 participating schools.

Suffield High School, a continual force in Class M, took an early and steady lead in the Oct. 21 race. Standing out at the front of the pack, senior Dan Moroney broke away and never looked back.

Coach Domenico Casolari commented on the team’s 2011 goals. “We have three goals: winning the conference championship, winning the Class M, and doing well at the state open,” he said. “The boys did a lot of summer training and came into the season focused. They have been working hard and have been doing well despite some injuries on the team.”

In a division stacked with talent, Suffield’s divisional rivals proved to be a continued threat throughout the season. “In the NCCC, the perennial power teams can always pick up strong runners,” the coach said. “We cannot rule any of them out: Bolton, Canton, Ellington, Granby and Avon always push hard.”

In 2010, Suffield placed second at the Class M state championships and qualified for the state open. This season, Casolari is relying on his upperclassmen to keep momentum going. “Senior leadership and desire are definitely the strengths of this team,” he said. The 2011 seniors are Daniel Moroney, DJ Labarre, Connor Gates, Chris Allan, Brendan Kirschbaum, Alan Zaffetti, Alex Treiber, Dalton Shank and Greg Cristina.

At the Oct. 21 NCCC meet, Suffield finished first overall, with several runners achieving record personal best times. The individual winner, Moroney, ended with a time of 16.23. DJ Labarre was second in 16:27. Jimmy Clark was fifth with 16:42. Conner Gates was eighth with 17:21 and Patrick Begley was 15th with 17:40. Suffield won the championship meet and league title with a record of 26 - 0.

On Oct. 29, Suffield won the Class M state championship, edging out Rocky Hill High school by 1 point. Moroney won the individual state title by placing first with a time of 16:21. Jimmy Clark was seventh at 16:54 and DJ Labarre was 10th at 17:04.

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