Aspiris pg 11 11-1-18

Ethan Aspiras of Woodstock Academy was pretty happy following the Class MM state cross-country championship race Oct. 26 at Wickham Park.
“I feel tired,” the sophomore said with a laugh. “I feel really good because I had a personal best and this is a really hard course to do that on. It was nice.”
Aspiras finished in 17 minutes, 57 seconds, good for 30th place in the race.
“It’s good to end my sophomore cross-country season this way,” Aspiras said.
He also felt good during the race.
After fighting his way through the first mile, he got a surge of energy at the start of the second.
“I was looking for him and I was thinking he went out too fast, but I never saw him again,” said senior Kenneth Birlin. “I think he’s going to be really good over the next couple of years. Even last year in track, he was already a leader on the team and I think he’s going to lead this team over the next couple of years.”
That surge of energy continued through the final portion of the race.
He looked strong going up the final hill, better known as the “Green Monster.”
“I definitely gained some confidence here because it’s hard to get under 18 (minutes) especially where I’m at now, not even 16 (years-old) yet. If I can do this now, I can imagine what I can do my senior year and how much progress I can make,” Aspiras said.
That means offseason work. Aspiras plans to continue his progression by taking part in both the indoor and outdoor track seasons.
“I see some confidence and some planning,” coach Peter Lusa said of Aspiras. “He’s already saying ‘Next year, I need to be…’ There is that forethought and our season is so short, you have to front load that sort of stuff and maturity is bringing that kind of thought.”
Birlin followed behind in 62nd place, finishing in 18:42.
It was Birlin’s last cross-country race in a Woodstock Academy uniform.
And Lusa had reason to be happy.
Freshman Hamilton Barnes was 75th in 19:01 followed by Matt Roethlein (19:17) in 85th; Christian Mink (19:23) in 87th; Evan Gianfriddo (19:45) in 99th and Spencer Collins (19:53) in 106th. As a whole, the team finished in 12th place.
“We’re starting something,” Lusa said. “We’re losing Kenneth, Spencer and Noah (Pepper) who were our only seniors here (Friday), so everybody else is hopefully coming back. We have some young kids who are really enthusiastic. The young kids are seeing Ethan and they’re starting to plan and that will go a long way.”
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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