By PHIL BRODSKY
Orange Live Sports Writer
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For the second year in a row, the Amity boys cross country team placed first in Varsity Race No. 2 Saturday at the Windham Invitational in Willimantic. The Spartans edged arch-rival Cheshire 65-66, with Staples High of Westport coming in third with 92 points.
Staples’ Henry Wynne (perhaps the state’s top scholastic harrier) won the 3 mile race with a time of 15 minutes, 48 seconds. Shae Belenski was Amity’s top finisher (sixth overall out of 122 runners.). His time was 16:51. The Spartans other top finishers were Brian Dunleavy (9th—16:57), Connor Dunleavy (10th—17:02), Aaron Barkin (14th—17:06), and kmichael Yuan (29th—17:24).
Following the race, Amity Coach Bob Orgovan said, “We didn’t run as well as I had hoped or thought we’d run. We were flat but we still ran well enough to win. On paper, I thought we were more than 1 point better than Cheshire . It’s very early in the season but we still need to get better or we will have real trouble doing the things we want to do this fall. We packed well but everybody Nos. 1-5 has to pick up the pace and run faster. Right now I’d say we are on par with Cheshire but Xavier and Fairfield Prep are currently both better than we are.”
The Spartans came into the race ranked No. 3 in the first state poll, but Orgovan conceded that he would not be surprised to see his team ship back to Nos. 6-8.
He added, “Xavier ran in a different race but ran faster than we did. It’s the same story with Fairfield and Danbury , which are 2 of the top non-SCC teams in the state.”
For the first time in school history Amity also won the junior varsity and freshmen races. In the 3 mile junior varsity race, Alex Hart was second out of 237 runners as he crossed the finish line in 17:54. Teammate Josh Meier was third at 17:56. Amity outpointed Staples 25-56 to win the junior varsity title. The 2.1 mile freshman race was claimed by Matt Arovas, with a time of 12:20. There were 271 runners in that race. Arovas’ time was faster than any Amity freshman had ever run in this race.
The Spartans outpointed Griswold High (of Jewett City ) 99-181 to complete their first sweep of this traditional 3-race season-opening invitational.
If you or your company would like to sponsor boys cross country for the fall season, call Terri at 203-506-1747.