Over the past few years, the Varsity Cross Country team was nothing short of dominant with some of the top runners in the state. However, with the loss of some dominant seniors, the varsity cross country team has a new face and identity. For some, the transition from an older experienced team could be a problem, but for this team, there is hope for the season. The team won back to back MIAA cross country championships in 2015-2016 season and the 2016-2017 season, anchored by Hunter Petrick, Andrew Brinker, Ryan Hockstra, Chris Flynn, Gabe Antone, David Trider. This year’s team now consists of Chris Flynn, Gabe Antone, David Trider, Nick DeLauro, Reza Farjami, Michael Vartain and Dan Alli.
This year’s cross country team is expecting to have a rebuilding year with new faces and a different environment with some new coaches as well. The top three runners (Chris Flynn, Gabe Antone, and David Trider) have been consistent with placing and times while the back four (Nick DeLauro, Reza Farjami, Dan Alli, and Michael Vartain) are improving and working on pacing together and staying as a pack. According to Coach Jack Peach, so far they have been looking strong as a team and staying together. One area that needs to improve is the time gap between the number three runner and the number four runner. Sitting at close to a minute, the time gap needs to be shortened if the team wants to have a legitimate shot at the championship.
When speaking to Coach Jack Peach about what his biggest goal for this season was, he replied, “my biggest goal is to be a top team and be able to compete for champs.” He said, “our back four runners need to work on getting stronger and get more miles in. Also, they don’t have as much experience in these type of races.”
For a team building in experience , this year will be interesting to see how the improvements work and to see how the new guys do on the big stage. We don’t know what will happen, but the underclassmen will definitely gain from the competitions. Either way, it should be an interesting season for the Varsity Gaels Cross Country team.