Boys' cross-country aims at winning conference

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Sep. 27, 2012
At their home meet against Wethersfield on Tuesday, Sept. 25, the team celebrated Senior Day. Pictured (l-r): Mike Wicks, Steven Porcello (a junior), Connor Grothe, James Dougenik, Dan Budarz, Ashwin Nagaraj, Ryan Karzar, Brian Benbernagel, Sebastian Milluzzo and Alan Lavoie. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.
At their home meet against Wethersfield on Tuesday, Sept. 25, the team celebrated Senior Day. Pictured (l-r): Mike Wicks, Steven Porcello (a junior), Connor Grothe, James Dougenik, Dan Budarz, Ashwin Nagaraj, Ryan Karzar, Brian Benbernagel, Sebastian Milluzzo and Alan Lavoie. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.

Head coach Peter Anthony of the boys' cross-country team at South Windsor High School had a good season last year, and expects a good one this year. “Last year we were 12 and 2 in the conference,” said Anthony. “We only lost to Glastonbury in a dual meet, and then we ran against them again at the conference meet, and lost to them by a couple seconds.”

Anthony was lucky enough to only lose two of the fastest seven athletes from last year. The two top runners from last year, junior Ethan Gasta and senior Connor Grophe, return, and the team is bolstered by a promising group of freshmen.

“We have high expectations for this year,” Anthony said.

Their season victories so far include meets against Manchester, Windsor and Wethersfield. They came in sixth at the recent Windham Invitational, losing to region powerhouses such as Xavier, Hall, Conard, Simsbury and Farmington.

In cross-country, having the fastest runner in the race is not always good enough. What matters is the total score of the top-placing runners. “The reason why we lost to Hall and Xavier is their one and two guys are finishing first, third and seventh,” Anthony said.

When he observed Glastonbury's performance at Windham, he noted that they have fast one and two runners, but their “three and fives aren't too strong.” “Right now our three, four, five and six guys are almost all better than their three, four and five,” he said.

“But, we're very competitive, and our goal is to win our first conference in the North,” said Anthony. “There's not going to be too many opportunities in the future where we'll be this strong and this close.”

Vying for third place after Gasta and Grophe are Ryan Karzar, Cooper Goslin and Michael Wicks. Behind this pack is freshman Michael Stoker, who may break in and take the third fastest spot for himself.


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