Crusaders capture cross country crown

You have to go back to 2002 to find the last time the Holy Cross boys cross country team won an NVL title.

Well, the wait is over. The Crusaders captured the NVL championship Wednesday at Watertown’s Veterans Memorial Park with 61 points. That was nine better than second place Naugatuck’s total of 70. Watertown, paced by the first place finish of senior Alex Cole (17:23), was third with 91 points, followed by St. Paul in fourth with 96.

Holy Cross sophomore Jake Ferrare led his team with a fourth place finish in 17:49. Senior Joseph Dane (eighth, 18:06) and sophomore Kyle Lanese (ninth, 18:09) joined Ferrare in the overall top 10. Sophomore Ryan Depaulo had a key 13th place finish (18:34) to help his team win. The Greyhounds were ahead of the Crusaders, 21-19, after the first three finishers for both teams, but Depaulo changed that dramatically.

When adding up the point totals for both teams, Holy Cross’ top four finish of 4-8-9-13 gave them 34 points, while Naugatuck’s 2-7-10-21 gave them 40. The fifth Crusader finisher, sophomore Patrick Cugliari, was 29th overall (19:19), and 27th in terms of team placement. The fifth Greyhound came in 32nd/30th.

The Holy Cross girls finished fourth with 87 points. Seymour won with 56 points, followed by Naugatuck in second with 70 and Woodland in third with 83. The Wildcats claimed the top two spots and put four runners in the first 11 finishers to claim the team title. St. Paul was fifth with 110 points.

Junior Aurora Miller was the top Crusader finisher, taking seventh overall in 22:13. Freshman Reagan Zupkus was 16th (22:50), followed by sophomore Shania Howard in 17th (23:03). Freshman Gina Barry took 22nd (23:36) and sophomore Catherine Cruess was 25th (23:57).

Here’s how the other local schools fared:


St. Paul: Junior Matthew Doherty led the way with a third place finish in 17:34. Senior Colin Reilly joined him in the top 10 with a sixth place finish in 17:55. Senior Brian Wilson was 20th (18:58), followed by senior Declan Tolan in 23rd overall/22nd in team placement (19:03). Junior Aiden Conklin took 47th/45th in 20:53.

Wolcott: The Eagles didn’t have enough runners to score as a team, but junior Matthew Wagner finished 25th overall in 19:09.

WCA: Senior Antonio Casiano took 27th/25th in 19:15 to pace the Spartans.


St. Paul: The young Falcons put together a pretty good effort on the way to a fifth place team finish. Sophomore Maddy Bielecki had a strong day with a fourth place finish in 21:45. Freshman Gretchen Radcliff took 15th in 22:50 while junior Charlotte Jennings was 24th in 23:46. Calista Oria, the only senior of St. Paul’s five scoring runners, took 28th in 24:18 while freshman Amelia Jennings was 42nd/39th in 25:50.

WCA: Senior Jessica Coyt came in 13th in 22:46 to lead the Spartans.

Wolcott: Freshman Courtney Cajuste took 27th in 24:07 for the Eagles’ best finish.

Kennedy: Senior Hailey Vasas finished 30th overall in 24:22 for the Eagles, who didn’t have enough runners to score as a team.

PHOTO CAPTION: The NVL champion Holy Cross boys cross country team poses for a photo. (Credit: Holy Cross High School via Facebook)