Aldrich steps it up in leading Wreckers at State Open
The Staples boys cross country team capped its season in 15th place with 274 points at the State Open Nov. 13.
Wreckers coach Laddie Lawrence said, "I was a little disappointed with outcome of state opens. I think we all were. We felt like we would definitely be among the top eight and hopefully the top six. [Junior] Jack [Roche] having a 102 temperature and being ill the day before basically did us in. Everyone ran their best time at that course of the season, with the exception of Jack due to his illness."
Senior captain Chase Tagen added, "I was a little disappointed coming in 15th as I felt we had the potential to definitely be top eight in the state and possibly make New Englands [top six]"
Junior Ben Aldrich led Staples by placing 63rd with a time of 17:18. Senior captain John Foster said, "Ben Aldrich ran well, placing first for Staples." In second for the team was Foster (17:19) who came in 64th.
Roche (17:56) placed 116th. Zorfas said, "Jack got the flu which caused us to miss the top 10. If Jack was where he normally finished, we would've made the top 10 and maybe even New Englands."
Tagen (17:56) took 117th and sophomore Mikolaj Kulis (17:59) finished 123rd.
Although the Wreckers were disappointed with the outcome of the open, Staples feels it had a successful year. Lawrence said, "Our record of 14-3 doesn't really do us justice. Those three losses were only by a couple of points and occurred on days where one person was sick. This year we were second in the division because Ridgefield beat us in the last meet. In the FCIAC, we were third. We could have been first except for a Darien runner and Danbury runner having especially good races during that meet. At the state class we ran a great team-oriented race and finished close together. As a result we did better in the class meet than we were ranked, which qualified us for opens."
Tagen added, "Overall, I thought we had a successful season as we were faster than last year's team. I thought placing fifth at class LL was the highlight of our season as I thought we would have been a little further down."
Lawrence credits the preseason training program, which began in June, for his team's success. He said, "The base that we established in the summer led to great racing from our guys. We were much faster than last year. The fact that we were always ranked among the top ten for the season shows how consistent we were. We went all the way to the open which we did not do last year. If Jack hadn't have been sick we might have gone to New Englands. Overall it was a great running year."