By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE – Over the past few seasons, the Plainville boys cross country team has been one of the top squads of all the CCC South.
The girls squad is an up-and-coming group of athletes that has grown as well.
Each will be looking to leave its mark in a very competitive CCC South and will have to battle the likes of Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern and Middletown in a very tough league.
What should we expect of Plainville cross country this season?
Let’s take a quick look at both the boys and girls teams:
Boys Cross Country
Record Last Season: 10-4, third place in the CCC South
Key losses: Ryan Acey (All CCC South), Nick Evangelista (All CCC South)
Strength: Growing numbers
Who to watch: Omar Adbelsame (jr.); Ryan Sifuentes (jr.); Josh Hausman (sr.).
Outlook: Gone from the Blue Devils cross country team are all-conference performers Ryan Acey and Nick Evangelista, along with Gunner Hoffman, Dom D’Onofrio, and James Lux and a new group of leaders have emerged.
And off a campaign that saw Plainville finish an impressive seventh at the Class M championship meet, the team has proven it can compete and do well for a small school.
The Plainville squad might be a bit on the youthful side but there are a couple of strong leaders on this team who have been outstanding during preseason conditioning.
One of which has been junior Omar Adbelsame who seems to be here, there and everywhere when it comes to running.
He’s clearly been one of the leaders on this squad in the squad’s mid-summer workouts and he also did very well in 2012.
Adbelsame knows what it takes to get the job done and is one of the veterans on this Blue Devils squad.
At the Class M championship, Abdelsame placed 37th with a time of 18:30 and could be the featured runner of the group.
Junior Ryan Sifuentes was also impressive at the Class M, making a finish in 19:47, and will also be one of the top racers on the team.
It’s important to realize that Plainville has only one senior – Josh Hausman – so underclassmen will have to not only step up but perform at a high level from the get-go if the Blue Devils are to do well.
The CCC South is always a challenge and last year, Oct. 17, in the league meet from Wickham Park in Manchester, the Plainville boys took third place and showed what it could do as a team in the clustered division.
The Blue Devils making a third place – or better – finish in the CCC South again is not out of the realm of possibility but it will take some new varsity competitors to step up for the team to get there.
Girls Cross Country
Record last season: 4-3, fourth place in the CCC South
All Conference: Delaney Russell (All CCC South)
Strength: Just like the boys, growing numbers
Weakness: Just not enough runners
Who to watch: Delaney Russell (sr.); Nikki-Ann Duncan (sr.); McKenna Rita (jr.); Annie Florance (so.); Elizabeth Tata (so.).
Analysis: On the girls side, the team is small in terms of numbers but eight warriors will take their marks during each and every event.
The Blue Devils carry four seniors and while it’s a small group, it’s impressive none the less because as of a few years ago, the Plainville girls weren’t scoring as a team.
Now, that’s a distant memory.
Last year, Plainville went 4-3 in CCC South action and that’s an amazing record in the always challenging division.
Senior Delaney Russell is an CCC South All-Conference performer and took first Plainville’s meet against Bulkeley, winning the event last year.
Russell was a top finisher in the CCC South Championship race (23:28:13) as well as sophomore McKenna Rita and freshmen Annie Florance and Elizabeth Tata.
Russell, Rita, Florance, and Tata should be more than competitive in Plainville’s races and expect senior Nikki-Ann Duncan to also give it her all.
The pieces are in place and it’s up to the Blue Devils to get the job done.
It’s very possible by the time the CCC South Championship comes about, the Blue Devils could be one of the featured squads at the event.
2013 Plainville boys cross country roster
Head Coach: Shaun Berard
Senior: Josh Hausman
Juniors: Omar Abdelsame; Jacob Dallas; Nino Freitas; Jacob San Juan; Ryan Sifuentes; William Tuxbury; Gabe Yawin
Sophomores: Tyler Czuprinski; Peter Lawson; Payton Manente; Chris Newton; Jarod Romankiw; Greg Sileo
2013 Plainville girls cross country roster
Head Coach: Shaun Berard
Seniors: Nikki-Ann Duncan; Justyce King; Delaney Russell; Stephanie Tata
Juniors: McKenna Rita
Sophomores: Annie Florance; Elizabeth Tata; Madison Ware