Boys cross country preview: Lineup returns almost intact

Members of the Weston High boys cross country team warm up on the school track during practice last week. With nearly all of their top seven runners back from last season the Trojans hope to be an even faster group.—Rocco Paul Valluzzo photo

In some ways the 2012 Weston High boys cross country team will not be much different from that of last season — which is not a bad thing.

The Trojans have practically all of their top runners back and ready to go. Chances are they have gotten even faster since then.

“It’s pretty exciting time right now,” said head coach Marty Ogden, now in his ninth season with the team. “We have 12 or 13 kids who can break into the top seven.”

With 27 runners on the team the Trojans will not be short on numbers. They may even have some new talent that could help them this season.

A number of them went to running camp during the summer and have come back in the proper shape. They should be ready when they start the season this week.

Such will show how much the have improved since last year. With a 12-2 South-West Conference record the Trojans finished first in the Patriot Division.

Weston went on to take fourth overall at the SWC finals. Moving up to Class M at the state level, it finished third overall.

The Trojans lost only one runner to graduation. Former captain Brad DeMarco missed most of last season due to a stress fracture in his foot but did return in time to finish in Weston’s top seven in the league and state races.

The rest of their scorers are back, including senior captains Noah Krassin and David Stankiewicz, both All-SWC selections. The former was sixth in the league and the latter eighth. Also back is classmate and captain Will Glaser, who was also part of Weston’s top seven last year.

“He’s probably one of the most improved runners on the team,” said Ogden.

Classmate Matt Bolin, an All-SWC second team selection, is also back. From the junior class Weston has Sam Augustyn, who was fifth in this season’s time trials

New to the team is junior James Murphy, a transfer student who ran cross country at Fairfield Prep. Matt Proctor, another junior, is also battling for a spot in Weston’s top five places.

Sophomore Cole Clark is another experienced varsity runner, having set  many of Weston’s freshmen records for last year. He is currently recovering from a minor calf muscle injury.

Also back are Connor Gorkin, Henry Morris, Mike Aaron and Alex Sydney.

As usual, the Trojans will have plenty of competition in the SWC this season, particularly from New Milford, which has won the league for 11 straight seasons. New Fairfield and Newtown should be strong as well.

“Our goal is to stay healthy and close our one through seven gap,” said Ogden. “If we can do that the good stuff will take care of itself.”

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