What a difference a few years make!
Three years ago the seniors on the Wakefield boys' cross country team were part of an 0-9 team. Since then they have steadily made their way into the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association's rankings and are currently sitting in seventh place in the Division II state standings.
Today they completed their undefeated season and were crowned Middlesex League champs in the small school division. They finish a 7-0 season with a 15-50 win over Stoneham. Eight Warriors finished ahead of Stoneham's first runner. Those individuals were Stephen Robertson (17:02), Aaron Lucci (17:03), James Bridges (17:04), Marc Bucchieri (17:14), Jared Gellar (17:16), Jon Miksis (17:29), Chris Haddad (17:37), and Andrew Russo (18:33).
All season long, the Warriors relied on their depth. In many meets they dominated by putting their seven varsity runners in the top ten. Robertson gives them a serious mental advantage, but removing his points from the lineup would not have changed the win column. The Warriors still would have gone undefeated without that guaranteed number one. This proves how much of a team sport cross country really is.
Now that the regular season is over, the boys can concentrate on some very big goals. This is where Robertson's impact will be felt in a major way. Next Monday at the Woburn Country Club, the varsity group will make an attempt at the League Meet Championship with a single faceoff of all 12 teams in the Middlesex League, large and small. Lexington and Winchester will be a great challenge, but the Warriors match up well. Following that meet, on Nov. 12th, they will be up against the best teams in the state at the Division IV Eastern Mass. Championships, shooting to qualify for All States.
Major Improvements by the Junior Varsity
Ryan Carey (18:54) finished in 10th, one second behind Stoneham's first runner with a 35 second improvement. Timmy O'Connell (19:34) finished 12th with a 27 second improvement. Rob Mogni ((19:40) 13th with a 49 second improvement. Michael Sheehan (19:58) 14th with a 45 second improvement. Stefan Bucchieri (20:04) 16th with a 21 second improvement. Sean Robbins (20:21) 17th with a 9 second improvement. Nick Hill (20:48) 18th with a 22 second improvement. Mitch Severt (21:02) 20th. Joseph McCarthy (21:32) 22nd. Ryan Cunningham (21:32) 23rd with a 24 second improvement. Jared Matos (21:33) 24th with a 2:35 improvement. Nini Ren (22:01) 26th with a 41 second improvement. Nico Sordello (23:47) 29th with a 1:09 improvement. Edward Massabni (24:37) 30th with a 31 second improvement.
With these performances, they have set the bar to new heights, and the loss of a very strong senior group does not seem so scary.