by Emily Miller
The boys cross country team won the Group IV XC state championship meet at Holmdel Park on Nov. 12. The boys clinched first place with a score of 85 points and an average race time of 16 minutes and 42 seconds. Senior Quad-Captain Jack Leahy said, "It’s in our minds, it’s in the air–victory is everywhere."
The race took place on a sunny autumn afternoon, which according to Coach Chris Tafelski, was out of the boys’ normal rhythm as big races are usually held during the morning. According to senior Kevin Ingram: "We had the first two runners up front like always and the next five were running as a pack together until the third mile. Then we split."
Leahy came in first for Westfield, followed by senior John Kirna, junior Kevin Smith, sophomore Matthew Luppino, senior David Carville, senior Evan Tarlow and Ingram.
Westfield, ranked fourth in the state, beat West Windsor-Plainsboro South, ranked third in the state. West Windsor came in second place in the meet.
Coach Jack Martin said: "[Carville, Tarlow, Leahy and Kirna] are good captains who motivate the younger kids. Everyone has worked hard, and this work clearly pays off. Luppino, Carville, Ingram, Smith and Tarlow were a solid pack and hard to beat. We had all seven runners cross the finish line before most teams had five."
During the race, the rest of the boys team was covered head to toe in white and blue paint, making noise with jingle bells, cowbells and their voices. The boys ran to random parts of the course to ensure that the varsity seven were cheered on. According to senior Steve West, "It means a lot to the varsity when we come, so we try our best to get a lot of the team to go."
Tafelski said: "This is a great group of guys who have been together as a unit since this time last year. Their training hasn’t stopped, and that’s what it takes to be a long distance runner and part of a great team."
The varsity seven will race in the Meet of Champions tomorrow at Holmdel Park.