What happened a little later in the race was just as important to the Weston High boys cross country team in its opening meet of the season against New Milford last week.
Both teams had runners vying for position in the top few places. But when the Trojans’ fifth runner beat the Green Wave’s fourth, it clinched a 27-28 win for the former at home on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
It was Weston’s first win over the defending South-West Conference champs since 2008.
The meet was also a sweep for the Trojans, who also beat Brookfield 20-38 and swept Immaculate 15-50.
Weston was actually not quite at full force for the meet. Cole Clark did not run and senior captain David Stankiewicz was hampered by a sore hip.
Such made things close at the finish line. The Green Wave took the first two spots with a pair of runners finishing in 16 minutes, 30 seconds on the 5,000-meter course.
A bit of a gap in the Green Wave’s order allowed the Trojans to have three runners finish and stay in contention for the win. Leading the way, Noah Krassin was third overall in 16:44.
Will Glaser was right behind him 11 seconds later. The Trojans also had James Murphy finish under the 17-minute mark, taking sixth in 16:58.
With New Milford’s Jay Humphreys taking eighth in 17:04 it was still in the lead, but only for a few seconds. Back to back finishes then clinched it for the Trojans.
Sam Augustyn brought victory within reach in 17:07 to take ninth. Matt Proctor was a second and a space later, beating New Milford’s Hugh Sichel by four seconds to clinch the win for Weston.
“We still had a 24 second split between one through five,” said Weston coach Marty Ogden. “That’s probably the closest one through five split any Weston team has ever had in a race that we had to run hard.”
Also in the varsity race, Matt Bolin was 15th in 17:42. Stankiewicz was 19th in 17:47.
The Trojans were out running again four days later when they traveled to Willimantic for the Windham Invitational. Despite missing two runners, they finished sixth in their section with 137 points.
Amity Regional was the winner with 65, just edging Cheshire, which was second with 66.
Stankiewicz moved up quite a bit in Weston’s order, taking first on the team and 13th in a field of 122 runners in 17:04.6. Krassin was 24th in 17:18.1.
For the second straight race Murphy was third in the order, this time in 17:23 and 28th overall. Next came Augustyn in 17:31.5.
Completing the scoring for the team was Glaser in 17:47.2 to take 46th. One spot later was Mike Aaron in 17:49.1.
Weston visits Oxford and also takes on Masuk and New Fairfield on Tuesday at 5 p.m.