The Staples boys cross country team finished in seventh place at the Class LL championship meet with 214 points at Wickham Park in East Hartford to qualify for the State Open as a wild card team.

Going into the meet, Staples knew that class LL was going to be the toughest race of the meet. Lawrence said that this race was the "deepest" and "fastest." Therefore in order for the Wreckers to make opens, they would have to qualify as a wildcard, which they did.

The strategy for the meet was for senior captain Ben Aldrich as far out in front as a possible with senior captain Jack Roche following closely behind. Then for the team to have a tight pack behind Roche

Coming in first for Staples was Aldrich, who placed 10th overall with a time of 16:35 and made the All-State team. He said, "My goal for the state meet this season was to place in the top 12. It had been my ultimate goal to individually be all-state since joining the cross country team as a sophomore. It was never guaranteed, so I'm very glad that I was able to step up and perform the way I did."

Following him was Roche (17:21), sophomore Henry Wynne (17:23), seniors Kentaro Higuchi (17:44) and Jeff Caffrey (18:01).

Staples competes at State Open today at Wickham Park. Aldrich said, "I hope I can place in the top 25 and make the New England championship meet."