WA Boys’ Cross Country takes home the 2022 DCL title

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James McDermott

WA Boys’ Cross Country practices in preparation for upcoming Divisional Meet.

James McDermott, Sports Editor

Westford Academy Boys’ Cross Country dominated the DCL Championships on Friday, Oct. 28 at Franklin Park, winning 58-31 behind record-setting performances from junior Paul Bergeron and sophomore Jack Graffeo. 

WA’s emphatic 58-31 victory is largely due to five WA runners finishing in the top twelve. Bergeron set a new DCL Championship record with a time of 15:17, surpassing the previous record of 15:21. Then Graffeo ran a 15:28, recording a top ten finish of all time at Franklin Park. 

While Bergeron and Graffeo are vital to the success of the team, WA’s depth is also what made them so dominant in the race. Most notably, senior Austin DeSisto (6th place), junior Davis Haines (11th place), and senior Owen Schultz (12th place) also contributed to WA’s victory. The whopping five runners from WA in the top twelve put them firmly ahead of the competition. Acton-Boxborough, Concord-Carlisle, and Newton South are the only other schools that had multiple runners in the top twelve, and all three of these schools had just two.

When asked about what has made the team so successful, Bergeron praised the full commitment from every single runner. 

“I would say that there has definitely been a shift in team culture,” Bergeron said. “The guys are willing to work hard because we all see the potential.”

Although the team just won a DCL Championship, they do not have much time to rest. The Divisional and State meets are both coming up in the next three weeks. After the Divisional and State meets, three runners from the team will be moving on to try to individually compete at the national level. 

Bergeron, Graffeo, and DeSisto will be traveling to New York to race at the Foot Locker Regionals, which is their potential ticket to racing on a national level. In order to qualify for Nationals, they will need to finish in the top ten at the Foot Locker Regionals.

“This has been a special group of young men to coach this year, and they really put in the work over the summer,” boys’ cross country coach Scott Hafferkamp said. “We have strong leadership, impressive depth, and a mix of young and veteran runners.”