Arpris pg 11 10-10-19

Woodstock Academy junior Ethan Aspiras has made finishing first overall in a race more of a common event this season. He did so twice this past week.
The junior finished first in 17 minutes, 18 seconds in Auburn to lead the Centaurs past the Rockets, 21-40, and raise Woodstock Academy’s record to 3-5.
Aspiras was also pretty dominant early in the week when he finished in the same exact time to place first at Haley Farm State Park in Groton.
Unfortunately in that case, the individual effort did not produce a win for the team.
The Centaurs fell to both host Fitch High School, 21-37, and Bacon Academy, 22-33, to fall to 0-2 in Division I of the ECC.
“It helps me realize how far I’ve come,” Aspiras said. “(Last Tuesday) was our third meet against other (ECC) schools and my second first-place which I think is pretty cool and I can’t believe I’m doing it. It makes me also realize that just because I’m getting these first-place finishes doesn’t mean I will do great in the championship race. It makes me focus more on the time than the place.”
Oct. 4, the Centaurs were able to finally get some help for Aspiras.
Hamilton Barnes placed second and, after two Auburn runners crossed the finish line, Vince Bastura, Adam Thompson and Tristan Monahan finished fifth, sixth and seventh.
“The boys’ team has a lot of catching up to do but what I really like that I’ve been seeing at meets, lately, is that, at least, three people do a personal best every race. That’s great. I love to see people get better at each meet because it means there is progress. That’s the way you get better,” Aspiras said.
In Groton, Aspiras’ time was almost a minute better than Fitch runner Simon Chidley who finished in 18:08. Ryan Moores of Bacon Academy was next.
Barnes was second across the line for the Centaurs in the race in 19 minutes flat. Bastura placed 14th overall, Evan Gianfriddo 15th and Max Auker was 16th.
Woodstock Academy boys’ coach Peter Lusa said the success has given Aspiras a little boost this season and the coach liked what he saw in Groton.
With time being more the concern than place, however, Aspiras felt he could have done better.
He finished in 16:49 in the only home meet of the season and 17:01 in the Ocean State Invitational in Warwick. He wasn’t totally happy with the effort in Rhode Island.
“I really died out after the first mile and didn’t feel that strong,” Aspiras said. “The whole beginning of the course, everybody goes way too fast, because it’s just so crowded.”
Lusa knows Aspiras wants to improve and better his personal best, but there are a lot of factors that come into play.  “The course matters, the temperature matters and so does our training cycle,” Lusa said. Time is also running short.
The Centaurs have their final regular season meet Oct. 10. The ECC championship is Oct. 17 and the state championship is Oct. 26.

Girls Improve to 7-1
The Woodstock Academy girls’ cross-country team improved to 7-1 this past week with wins over Fitch, Bacon Academy and Auburn.
The coming two weeks, however, loom large especially when it comes to the ECC.
The Centaurs will get to see how they fare against the best team in the league when they travel to E. Lyme Oct. 10. The Vikings sport a 5-0 overall mark and 2-0 Division I record.
“I’m a little worried about East Lyme,” sophomore Linsey Arends admitted. “They have a really good pack and it has come back this year. They still have a lot of girls from last year. Unless we get some of our girls to come together and move up in places, we may not be looking at that good a race. We really want to have a chance at the ECC championship so we really need someone to get up there.”
Following that meet, the ECC championship will be Oct. 17.
This past week did help in the confidence department.
Both Arends and Stella DiPippo cleared the 20-minute mark in a 15-48 win over Auburn.
Arends finished in 19:41, DiPippo just 12 seconds later.
For Arends, it was just the second time she broke 20 minutes in a race in her career.
The Centaurs guaranteed themselves the win over Auburn when senior captain Meg Gohn placed third. Julia Theriaque followed Gohn across the line and Iris Bazinet was fifth.
Earlier in the week, the Centaurs downed Fitch, 15-36, and Bacon Academy, 20-35, to raise their record to 1-1 in Division I of the ECC.
“I was really happy with the performance of the team overall. The girls did really good,” said Arends. “We finished 1-2-4-6-9, which is really good for us because if we could get them to come even closer together, it’s good promise for when the ECC championship comes up.”
Without ECC defending champion Jordan Malloy from Bacon Academy in the field at the Haley Farm State Park course, Arends was dominant. She finished in 17 minutes, 24 seconds to win the race.
“It wasn’t that tough because it wasn’t a full 5K and a lot of us were mad about that that we were running less than the boys. It was OK. We won the race but it was a little too easy. There was only one hill and (the course) wasn’t hard,” Arends said.
DiPippo was 18 seconds back in 17:42 to finish second.
Gohn was fourth (19:00) followed by Bazinet in sixth (20:01) and Alexia Bourbeau in ninth (20:22).
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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