KHS cross-country program grows into its third season
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Killingly - posted Tue., Sep. 18, 2012
Head coaches Joseph and Dr. Mel Banas are in their third year of building a cross-country program at Killingly High School. In that first year, three students went out for the sport. This year, 12 boys and eight girls have been practicing since Aug. 28 for their six scheduled meets. And while it is a young program, Joseph Banas said the athletes are buying into the sort of program that he and Mel are trying to build. “It’s a credit to the kids because they are helping recruit,” Banas said. “We’re just here to help guide them.”
Banas expects the top three girls - Breanna Comfort, Lily Orr and Heather Currant - to be competitive in the ECC. “Our girls’ team is small but strong,” Banas said. “We anticipate our top runner and newcomer, Breanna Comfort, to make an impressive presence.”
Senior Josh Beaupre captains the growing boys’ team. “Our numbers afford the team the opportunity to use each other for pacing, running as a pack and overall racing strategy,” Banas said. “We have a number of junior boys who also have the experience of competition that will be useful in assisting the less-seasoned freshmen. As the younger boys become more conditioned, we expect exciting improvements in performance.”
Beaupre believes the team’s supportive culture will help inspire all the runners to turn in their best performances. “My goal is to push everyone, including myself, to do better than we ever have,” he said. “With all our conditioning, all the team bonding, all the team-building, I think we understand each other’s goals. We see each other at our worst points. We’re able to communicate well with each other. Without communication, you can’t be successful. We’re close-knit, like a family,” he said.
Junior Corey King is the Redmen’s top runner. This is only his second year running cross-country. “He’s a hard worker,” Banas said. “He’s just a great kid.”
The Redmen and Redgals will have meets on Oct. 2, 9, 18 and 27.