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Weston Runners Shoot for Title

If everything breaks right, Weston High School's boys cross country team could win its fourth Class SS  championship in five years. Unfortunately for coach Marty Ogden and the Trojans, there are a lot of "ifs" that need to break right.

The biggest concerns are injuries and illness. Senior Stephen Vento strained an Achilles muscle in last week's South-West Conference championships. Noah Krassin has been bothered by a hip flexor. Brad DeMarco has been sidelined by mononucelosis. In addition, Canton has a powerful team and is hungry to unseat the Trojans after falling short by just five points last year.

"If we were healthy we'd have a good shot,'' Ogden said. "We've gotten nicked up the past few weeks and that's hurt us. We'll have to see what happens."

The biggest concern is Vento. He finished seventh in last year's Class SS meet and ran in the State Open. He blew away the field in the Wilton Invitational and had been a contender for the SWC individual title before the injury midway through the race derailed him. "It looks like we're running him,'' Ogden said. "He's been cross training all week and doing physical therapy. We've been going at it pretty aggressively."

Ogden has a promising sophomore in David Stankiewicz (13th in the SWC race), and senior co-captain Joseph Fitzpatrick (26th in the SWC) has also run well. The other runners in Weston's lineup Saturday are Matthew Bolin, Param Chopra and Jack Curran.

"It's a challenge to get them ready because of the injuries,'' Ogden said. "We've been a little unlucky with some of the stuff we've had. One of the reasons we've had the injuries is because the kids are so into it. We've had 22 kids at optional practices on Saturday mornings. Sometimes in past years we've had three or four kids. Maybe we're a victim of our own enthusiasm."

In the girls race, senior Kara Bucaro will lead Weston in the Class M field. Bucaro finished second in the SWC championships.

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