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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WA Boys’ Cross Country finishes third at the DCL Championship

Junior+Nicholas+Berthold+finishes+strong+during+the+DCL+Championship.+WA+finished+in+third+place+overall.
Provided by Meaghan Lu
Junior Nicholas Berthold finishes strong during the DCL Championship. WA finished in third place overall.

After two consecutive first place wins at the annual DCL Championship, WA Boys’ Cross Country finished in third place at the annual meet at Franklin Park on Friday, Oct. 27. Newton South won the DCL championship, with Cambridge Rindge & Latin close behind in second.

Junior Jack Graffeo led the way for the Ghosts, as he individually dominated the meet, coming in first place with a time of 15:54 in the 5K race. Graffeo came into the race on a high note after winning the Twilight Invitational by nearly 30 seconds on October 14 at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds. Senior Davis Haines, senior Adam Wedlake, senior Jack Whitman, and junior Nicholas Berthold followed behind in seventh, eighteenth, twenty-fourth, and thirtieth place.

Going into the season, WA had hopes of winning the DCL Championship, but injuries got in the way of achieving this goal.

“Throughout the season we have been struggling with a few injuries, but as we get to the postseason we are looking very strong,” Haines said.

While Haines has not had to deal with injuries, WA’s top runner and Stanford commit, senior Paul Bergeron, has been suffering from a hip and back injury since his first place finish at the Ocean State Invitational. In order to properly nurse the injury back to full health, Bergeron sat out of the DCL Championship.

“I had to sit out, as racing through the injury could cause it to flare up and end my season,” Bergeron said. “I want to do everything in my power to be back to 100% by the State Meet and contribute everything I can for the team after having to sit out at DCL’s.”

Along with Bergeron’s absence, the weather also played an impact on the team’s performance. At race time, it was 76 degrees, much warmer than what all runners have been running in throughout the fall. The high heat caused runners from all teams to run slower than usual, but it was still a present road bump.

“We have been training in cooler weather, so the heat caused my mouth to be very dry and also caused my legs to feel heavier and less moveable,” sophomore David Caggiano said. “I do think that my performance would have been a lot better in cooler weather, but it affected everybody equally, so I am not very disappointed.”

Even through the injuries, WA has stayed focused on their long-term hope of coming out on top at the Massachusetts State Championship on Saturday, Nov. 19 at Fort Devens.

“Our team goals are still to contend for that State Title, and I think we are setting up well to have our best day on the day of States,” Bergeron said. 

Building a solid core has been key for WA, and Haines believes that it will prove beneficial for them as they look onwards to the postseason.

“We have built a good foundation of fitness that will work well for us later in the season,” Haines said. “As a team we have been working very well together, making practices more beneficial and fun.”

A major reason for this strong foundation is WA’s coaching staff. Head Coach Scott Hafferkamp has developed a tight-knit relationship with his runners over the years, contributing to their consistently high team morale.

“The coaches have absolutely contributed to our team’s success,” said Haines. “They give me great advice and workouts that help me get faster. Coach Hafferkamp also allows us to alter the workout or training if something would work better.”

Now, with Bergeron nearing his return to racing, WA has their eyes set on rebounding from their third place finish at the DCL Championship, and winning the State Championship. Last year, WA came in second place at the State Championship meet.

“We still feel very confident about where the team will be at going into the postseason. The team culture is definitely there, as we all want to work hard and better ourselves,” Bergeron said. “We still have a long way to go before States.”

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James Farley, Editor-in-Chief
Hey, my name is James Farley, and I am a senior Editor-in-Chief for the WA Ghostwriter!  I love writing, and also have a passion for sports, so I am excited to incorporate these aspects of my life into my work here for the newspaper. Outside of school, I love spending time with my family and friends, going on vacations, and playing sports. I can’t wait for what’s in store this year with the Ghostwriter!

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