By PHIL BRODSKY
Orange Live Sports Writer
Prior to last Friday’s Southern Connecticut Conference’s boys’ cross country championship race at Hammonassett State Park in Madison, Amity Coach Bob Orgovan admitted that his Spartans would not beat very talented teams from Xavier and Fairfield Prep for the top two spots but he did expect Amity to be among the top four teams. As Orgovan had predicted, Xavier did win the 3.1 mile race and the SCC crown, scoring only 46 points. Prep was second at 64 and Amity sat in third place with 74 points.
Fairfield Prep’s Chris Alvarado was the race’s individual winner as completed the course and crossed the finish line in 16 minutes, 14.92 seconds. The Spartans’ top finishers were: Shae Belenski (4th out of 133 runners—16:25.42), Brian Dunleavy (13th—[16:52.14), Anthony Barletta (18th—17:04.26), Michael Yuan (19th—17:05.51), Connor Dunleavy (20th —17:07.06), Brian Moser (21st—17:07 75), and Aaron Barkin (24th—17:16.58).
According to Orgovan, “I was very pleased with how we ran at Wickham Park. We came together and ran nicely in a group. From our No. 2 guy to No, 7, there is only a 20 second gap. Running in a pack is a strength of this team, so if we just move our pack up a little bit at the Class LL Championship Race on Saturday, we’ll be in good shape. The toughest teams in the state are usually in the S.C.C. For us to place third is really good. We can’t be No. 1 every year. Right now, Xavier is No. 1 in the state poll. Prep is No. 4 and we are No. 5.”
By placing among the top 12 runners in the race, Belenski was named to the All-SCC team. To be included on the All-Housatonic Division team, runners had to be among the top eight Housy finishers. That group included: Belenski, Brian Dunleavy, Yuan, Connor Dunleavy, Anthony Barletta, Connor Dunleavy, and Brian Mosher.
Amity also won both the junior varsity and freshman races last Saturday. In the junior varsity race, the Spartans had 21 points with Cheshire (45) and Xavier (76) behind them. Amity’s Alex Hart won the race with a time of 17:31. Chasing him across the finish line were fellow Spartans Eric Hansen (17:40) and Alex Bunnell (17:55).
It was much the same story in the freshman race as Amity (with 24 points) defeated both Xavier (68) and Cheshire (69). Spartan freshman Matt Arovas posted a winning time of 18:04.
THE CIAC Class LL State Championship Race will be held on Saturday at 10:40 a.m. at Wickham Park. Orgovan felt Danbury, Xavier, and Prep are the teams to beat with his team probably looking at a fourth place finish.