Staples boys cross country repeats as State Open champions
The Staples boys cross country made it a perfect sweep of the fall season by taking the State Open title on Friday at Wickham Park in Manchester. Wreckers senior Zak Ahmnad also made it a clean sweep of championships as he won the individual race in 15:46, one second ahead of Fairfield Prep’s Drew Thompson.
Staples scored the lowest with 61 points as a team, ahead of rival Danbury (77), Xavier (165) and Warde (180). It was the second straight State Open championship for the Wreckers.
The Wreckers placed five in the top 30 overall to take the title. Sunil Green finished 12th (16:22), Ben Seiple finished 14th (16:23) , Will Landowne crossed the line in 21st (16:28) and Christian Myers (16:44) finished 30th.
Ahmad trailed Thompson in the final 600 meters, but used a strong kick down the stretch to edge the Jesuits’s junior. Ahmad also edged Thompson in a close race to take the Class LL title.
“It was the same kind of race,” Staples coach Laddie Lawrence said. “They came out of the woods with 600 to go and Zak was a little behind him, they drew even at about 300 and about 200 Zak got a little edge on him.”
On the girls side, Staples’ Susannah Martin placed 11th in the race with a time of 19:36. The Wreckers placed ninth as a team after finishing third at the Class LL meet a week ago.
"I thought the class meet went well for the girls," Staples Amanda Morgan said. "Going into the (State Open) I knew if we could duplicate that we could end up in the top six and that would be great, but it would have to one of those everything aligning days."
Staples has one final race to participate in; the New England championships will take place at Ponaganset High School in Rhode Island.
“New Englands is always icing on the cake, if you do well there great, if not it’s not a big deal,” Lawrence said. “The most important meet is the State Open.”