SOMERS, N.Y. – More than midway through the race, Somers’ boys cross-country team could be seen running together on its home course. It’s unusual for most teams, as one or two runners will usually separate from the group.
But Somers sticks together.
That pack mentality helped lead Somers to the Division 2 team title at its home meet, the Big Red Invitational, on Sept. 7. Somers last won the meet in 2017.
“It meant so much to win this meet and for it to be at home was even better,” said Somers boys coach Mike Lacko. “Last year left a bad taste in the team’s mouth. So to come out and get a win like this is huge. I try not to look at rankings but we beat some teams on Saturday that are ahead of us in the Class B rankings. This was big for our young team.”
The Tuskers’ top seven runners all finished in the Top 25. Somers, which posted 52 team points for the win, outscored second-place Brewster by 20 points.
Somers netted an average team time of 18:05. Matt Reimann, a senior co-captain, was the top finisher in sixth (17:46.2). Senior co-captain Peter MacNeil crossed the finish line in eighth in a time of 17:56. 3. Nicola DeMarinis (10th, 18:05), Colin Brooks (11th, 18:05.5), Tommy Spencer (17th, 18:35.4), Cole Willman (23rd, 18:46.3) and Connor Fucci (25th, 18:50.4) rounded out the top 25 finishers.
Jan Hoekstra (27th) and Joseph Torre (28th) finished in the top 30.
The goals are high for the boys team this season.
“I go into every season telling our team the goal is to win leagues, place Top 3 in Westchester County and win the Section 1 Class B championship,” Lacko said. “Last year, we finished ninth in Class B and deep down inside myself and this team we can win the Class B title again. We won it back in 2016. This 2019 team shows a lot of the same attributes as that team. This is going to be a special year for Somers cross country.”
The Tusker girls were led by Gabby Parisi, who took 21st in 22:39.9. Katherine Olsen was 25th (22:59.6), Ella Lansky placed 29th (23:43.4), Katie Hill was 36th and Maeve Janecka took 42nd.
“I thought the girls ran well,” Somers coach John Vegliante said. “It was a promising start to the season. Gabby Parisi had a big day for us. She came on strong at the end of last year and picked up where she left off. I expect her to have a big season. Katie Hill was a pleasant surprise as well. She’s a senior who just joined the team this year. This was her first 5k and she ran herself into a varsity spot.”
Somers’ girls squad placed fifth out of 11 teams in Division 2.
“As always, our goal this season is to keep improving and run our best at the end of the year in the championship meets,” Vegliante said. “We want to be ready for the league, county and sectional meets and look to place as high as possible.”