Weston senior tri-captain Kara Bucaro is heading to Vermont for the New England cross-country championships. Bucaro made it to New Englands and will compete in Vermont tomorrow by finishing 18th at the State Open with a time of 19:41 last Friday at Wickham Park in East Hartford.

Although she qualified because of last week's performance, the seed was planted for her success in the offseason.

"I was hoping to perform well at Opens but to make New Englands is an amazing honor because I'll compete against great runners," Bucaro said. "I worked hard over the summer and I kept my mileage up. I knew what I wanted to accomplish, how I wanted to accomplish it and having the attitude I could do it."

Before the race, she set a goal for herself and a little sage she received from someone who knew the course also helped.

"I got some great advice from the Immaculate coach," Bucaro said. "He said to aim for the top 15 and if I didn't get the top 15, I'd get the top 25."

She's looking forward to going to Vermont and knows what she needs to do to excel there.

"I have to stay with the girls in the top 15 and give it everything I have on the course," Bucaro said.

While Bucaro made New Engands, Trojan boys senior tri-captain Steven Vento (16:43) fell a little bit short in 26th place, .01 second short of placing. An Achilles tendonitis injury to his right ankle that knocked Vento out of the SWC meet affected him at Open. Following his injury, he spent time rehabbing it instead of training for Opens.

"The Connecticut State Open is one of the biggest meets and I prepared for it all season," Vento said. "I tried to stay positive and my goal was to make Open."

For most of the race, he was 15th or 16th before many runners started to pass him with 1,000 meters remaining in the race.

"Most of the guys had more time to prepare for the race and I ended up dipping back and fell to 26th," Vento said. "When I crossed the finish line, I thought I was 24th but when the results came out, I saw I was 26th and I was bummed out. Stuff happens and I look forward to the [upcoming] indoor track season."

Weston sophomore David Stankiewicz (18:01) finished in 136th place.

"I didn't do as well as I hoped but I was happy to be there and race," Stankiewicz said.