Raiders Cross Country heads to the hills on Tuesday to start 2016 campaign.
TORRINGTON: The Torrington Cross Country team takes to the hills starting on Tuesday when they travel to Ansonia for a four-team meet.
The Raiders will battle Ansonia, St Paul and Sacred Heart at 3:45 as head coach Drake Waldren (37th year, 415-280) gets his first look at his 2016 team in action.
Torrington lost a pair of stars to graduation last year as Ashlynn Cook (All-Iron Division, All-LCS) and Shadow Pereira have moved on.
The boys posted a 2-12 mark a year ago while the girls came in with a 9-5 final record.
Several key returners with a ton of talent both in cross country indoor and outdoor track will lead the way.
On the girls’ side, senior Gabriella Vega (All-NVL and All-LCS) is one of the elite runners not only in Torrington but around the state. Vega has also been named captain of the squad.
She is joined by another elite three sport runner in junior Ariana Santos who along with Vega, gives Waldren a potent one-two punch at the front of the pack.
Juniors Anna Clinkscales and Carlee Greene are joined by freshman Logan Montefeltri as they prepare for action on Tuesday.
On the boys’ side, senior Anthony Sidharta (All-LCS) returns to a team that looks to improve from a tough 2015 campaign. Mike Galan (All-LCS) will co-captain with Sidharta this season.
He is joined by fellow seniors Nate Reynolds, Tom Lamont and Josh Ivain.
Two juniors, Bill Weber and Matt Lovetere and a freshman, Erik Crook will be tasked with giving the Raiders much needed points.
Waldren is optimistic about what he sees as the season gets ready to roll.
“The girls have a good core led by Vega and Santos,” Waldren said. “They have the potential to be very good. The boys’ team has many new members who will need to develop as the season goes on.”