Orange Live Sports Writer
Amity boys cross country Coach Bob Orgovan made it clear that he was pleased with his team’s sixth place finish in Saturday’s CIAC Class LL Championship Race, which was held at Wickham Park in Manchester. As expected, Danbury won the LL crown, scoring only 94 points. The sixth-placed Spartans rang up 167 points.
“I thought we ran well,” Orgovan said. “We ran the same course two weeks ago at the Wickham Invitational. Our times for the Class LL meet were about 30 seconds faster per man. Xavier beat us handily at the SCC Championship Race but we beat them (195) and Prep (211) this time. Xavier didn’t run its best race and Fairfield Prep’s top runner was injured and could not run on Saturday. We were the lowest-scoring SCC team in this race. I think we are peaking at the right time.
With its sixth place finish and 167 points, Amity has qualified once again for the CIAC State Open, which will be run on Friday at Wickham Park, starting at 2:30 p.m. Finishing among the top six teams at the State Open would send Amity to the New Englands, which take place on Saturday, November, 10 in Maine.
Henry Wynne from Staples High of Westport won the 3.1 mile championship race with his time of 15 minutes, 49 seconds. Throughout the season, Orgovan rated Wynne as the top runner in the state and expected him to also win the upcoming State Open and the New England Championship Races.
Amity’s top finishers were: Shae Belenski (19th out of 190 runners); 16:59, Brian Dunleavy (29th—17:11); Connor Dunleavy (35th—17:17); Michael Yuan (38th—17:18); Anthony Barletta (46th—17:27); Aaron Barkin (51st—17:33); and Brian Mosher (75th—17:52.
Orgovan added, “If we run well at the Open on Friday, I think we can qualify for the New Englands. There is a lot more balance among the teams seeking to qualify. Last year, I thought we had a good team and we finished fourth at the State Open. This year’s team is better than last year’s team, but if we had the same time this year in the Class LL Championship Meet that we had last year, we might not have qualified for the Open. We usually run in a pack, which I want them to do, but if each of our top five guys in the pack can improve his time by just five seconds, that improves our team time by 25 seconds.”