Cross Country in like a “wrecking ball”


Members of the Branford High School boy's cross country team (center, in red) get off to a strong start at the Windham Invitational in September.
Members of the Branford High School boy’s cross country team (center, in red) get off to a strong start at the Windham Invitational in September.

By Branford Buzz Staff

Branford Boys and Girls Cross Country have come in as a wrecking ball to kick start the 2013 season. From the team’s performance at the pep rally to their performance on the race course, Cross Country has made their presence known.

The boy’s team has opened up with a record of 5-2 and girl’s teams is 6-1. The first and only home meet of the season for the cross country teams will be Tuesday, Oct. 8 at Supply Ponds at 3:45 p.m.

For the boys, commanding wins over Jonathon Law, Hillhouse, Career, Wilbur Cross, and West Haven defined their season so far. The only team to get the best of the Hornet’s this season has been Xavier. Led by captains Pat Laske and Dan Jakubiak, the boys  who follow in their footsteps include Ryan Connell, Alec Janis, Aodhan Dunn, Pat Cantrell, Jackson Mariotti, and Nathan D’Amico.

The boys’ team has been plagued with some key injuries to varsity runners Luke Arsenault, and Nathan D’Amico. Coach Kevin Connell says, “I have been impressed by the guys as they have all stepped up to filling the missing spots on the team.”

The girl’s team holds victories over Jonathon Law, Hillhouse, Career, West Haven, Wilbur Cross, and Cheshire. It was the first time ever that the Branford girls have beaten Cheshire in cross country. The team did suffer a close defeat to Mercy which was a hard fought meet for both teams.

The girls’ team has set a lofty goal for this season and is looking to try to win the SCC championship. Cyrene Nicholas and Anneliese Troidle are out front of the pack of great runners in the SCC Championship. The girls’ team consists of some depth including runners like Jess Lohret, Tracy Crookston, Maddy Vitale, April Simmons, and Cleo Kyriakides.

The team exerts great leadership from their three captains Sophie Bysiewicz, Crookston, and Simmons. They can’t say enough good things about the work ethic and inner drive from the girls on the team.

However, the team has suffered some repercussions and loss. One of the boy’s team captains, Pat Laske, said “[We] lost some good runners this past year, but it’s the next man up and you have to work hard and make the most of your opportunity.” He also acknowledged that the work  put in as a team over the summer is paying off and is really showing in the performances.

With a fine performance at the Ocean State Invitational, both the boys and girls teams had two members of their team finish in the top 30 of the varsity race and receive medals. Notable wins include Cyrene Nicholas finishing 9th, Pat Laske finishing 24th on October 1, 2013 against Cheshire- the girls’ defeating Cheshire for the first time in the last 50 years.

Cross Country is making a marvelous mark in their teams history this year, be sure to go out and support our Cross Country team!