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Cross Country on track to meet expectations

Posted By Mark Garrity On October 21, 2009 @ 12:39 am In Sports | Comments Disabled

The Boys’ Cross Country team gears up for another successful run in the postseason.

The Lions’ runners are looking to improve on an outstanding 2008 campaign, during which they sat atop the state rankings for a large portion of the season and won the Dual County League (DCL) championship.

This particular season has not been as dominant previous ones, but the Lions are succeeding nonetheless. The playoffs are around the corner and the team has two more meets against Westford and Tyngsborough.

They hope to bolster their 4-3 record and gain momentum going into the DCL championships.

“Our record in the regular season was not that good, but we have a serious shot at [going deep] into the postseason, senior and captain Yuji Wakimoto said.

The team is currently running on all cylinders, despite the rough opening weeks.

“The team overall has had a rocky start competing but is looking very fast from the new kids to the seniors and leaders of the team, senior and captain Kyle Olsen said. “When its all said and done I wouldn’t been surprised to see another repeat of South DCL Champions.

Trying to outperform last season’s team, whose majority of top runners graduated last spring, is a tough feat. This year, the Boys’ Cross Country team is comprised of athletes from all grades.

The 2009 schedule began with meets against the most potent schools in the DCL. Losses to Acton-Boxborough, Lincoln-Sudbury, and Concord Carlisle provided the Lions with a taste of top-tier competition.

An injury to Wakimoto was a significant blow to the team, but he expects to be at full health come playoffs.

As DCL championships approach, the boys have stepped up their game and are in top running shape. The DCL competition is extremely fierce, and the team will take any advantage they can.

If the Lions want to repeat as conference champions, they must battle through the likes of Lincoln-Sudbury, Acton-Boxboro, Concord-Carlisle, and Westford Academy.

The DCL scoring format, which totals the places of all runners on a team, adds pressure to an already intense atmosphere.
“If you screw up, the whole team screws up, Wakimoto said.

Coach Matt Capstick helps his team overcome this pressure through his highly acclaimed motivational speeches. From these speeches, runners transform their pregame jitters into adrenaline.

“We want to bring that pressure to our side, Wakimoto said.

The team looks to work on running as a pack during meets. This strategy ensures that the slower runners will keep up with the faster runners, and then the team’s score would be better.

Although this year’s squad is not as potent on paper, Wakimoto describes the team as having the most dramatic “margin of improvement within one season out of his four years on the Boys’ Cross Country team.

Wakimoto aspires to have the entire team compete at All-States. In order for this to happen, the team has to rank within the top five at sectionals.

“If we stick to our smart race plan, he said. “Then our tough workouts [all season] are going to show.

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Article printed from Denebola: http://www.denebolaonline.net

URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/cross-country-on-track-to-meet-expectations/

URLs in this post:

[1] Sports Spotlight: Kyle Olson and Yuji Wakimoto: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/09/30/sports-spotlight-kyle-olson-and-yuji-wakimoto/

[2] Cross-country continues dynasty into 2007 season: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/11/21/cross-country-continues-dynasty-into-2007-season/

[3] Girls’ Cross Country wins All-States, hopes to qualify for Nationals: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/11/26/girls%e2%80%99-cross-country-wins-all-states-hopes-to-qualify-for-nationals/

[4] Sports Spotlight: Girls Cross-Country: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/09/23/sports-spotlight-girls-cross-country/

[5] Girls cross country finishes season with Dual County League title: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/10/29/girls-cross-country-finishes-season-with-dual-county-league-title/

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