WA Boys’ Cross Country takes home second place at State Championships 2022


Noah Brown

WA Boy’s Cross Country team lined up with their second place trophy from the MIAA States Meet on Saturday, November 19th, 2022 in Devens. The runners include, from the left, junior Paul Bergeron, sophomore Jack Graffeo, senior Austin DeSisto, senior Owen Shultz, junior Davis Haines, junior Adam Wedlake, sophomore Nathan Dubay and Coach Scott Hafferkamp.

Noah Brown, Staff Writer

In Devens, Massachusetts, WA Boys’ Cross Country won second place behind Brookline in the MIAA Cross Country State Championship with a fantastic display of athleticism from Westford Academy’s two top runners, junior Paul Bergeron and sophomore Jack Graffeo, last Saturday.

Although WA came short of the top spot by scoring 120 points compared to Brookline scoring 81, Bergeron took first place with a time of 15:02:6, and Graffeo took eighth place with a run time of 15:42:6, both in the boy’s 5k race which made WA’s second place position feasible.

Goals were set high before the meet by Bergeron and he stayed committed to becoming the state champion.

“I would like to be a state champion. I’ve worked crazy hard for it and I believe I deserve it. If I’m not able to get the win, I would like to leave the race knowing that I proved myself,” Bergeron said.

Bergeron pushed himself, almost beating his record 5k run of 14:43:8. Yet, Bergeron still pulled off the number one spot taking the State Champion title and accomplishing his ultimate goal.

“[Winning] was definitely a great feeling. A lot of hard work went into it, so just being able to see a culmination of all that was good,” Bergeron said.

In addition to Bergeron and Graffeo’s success in the top 10, other runners put on a show in the competition, with senior Austin DeSisto in 43rd, junior Davis Haines in 47th place, senior Owen Schultz in 62nd, junior Adam Wedlake in 78th, and sophomore Nathan Dubay, who was in his first State Championship meet, placed in 154th.

For the team’s past couple of years at numerous cross country competitions, they have become an unstoppable competitor against other tough high school teams like Newton North and St. John’s Prep.

When asked how they got to this position of being one of the best in the state, Bergeron praised the team for their motivation and teamwork.

“The guys are motivated and we have a great team culture. We all are working for a common goal and want to make some history,” Bergeron said.

The team has progressed from being a regular team to state champions. WA Cross Country has evolved coming from athletes breaking records and going undefeated for three years in middle school to winning the 2022 Dual County League Championship and the 2022 Bay State Invitational, an invitational competition based out of Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

Ending the season with a fabulous meet and looking towards next season, the boys’ cross country coach Scott Hafferkamp is optimistic and proud of the team he leads.

“We still have to enjoy this year, and enjoy our time [with this year’s team],” Hafferkamp said. “Our program has shown steady improvement over the recent years so we will just have to continue that.”