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Thomaston girls cross country looks to add to amazing run

POSTED September 07, 2012
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

                       Thomaston girls cross country looks to add to amazing run

            THOMASTON – So what’s next for the team and program that has seemingly done everything? Maybe the answer is in the seemingly part.

            A glance at the stunning brilliance of the Thomaston Thomaston High girls cross country team in recent years makes the question a realistic one. The Golden Bears have won two straight Class S state titles, become the just the second and third Class S teams to ever qualify for the New England Regionals and finished 8th and 13 in the New Englands. Oh and throw in five straight Berkshire League titles

            In short, coach Mark Olsen’s program has reached the mountaintop and enjoyed the view so much, it has stayed there. What the heck is left to do for the school with just 150 or so girls.

Or has it, reached the mountain top? Has it seemingly done everything? Olsen says the there is more to do.

“The encore is to keep looking up, we’re not at the pinnacle. “We definitely talk about being State Open champions and we definitely think about moving up in the New Englands,” said Olsen.

Now either Olsen tripped while running and took a header or the Bears are really, really good. Take the second option.

There are all back, well almost, and this could very well be the best year of all. The top of the `pack attack’  that has been so brilliant for the last two years is ready to run once more.

It all starts with junior Sabrina Olsen, who brings one glossy resume her to her third season – 2010 Class S champion, two-time All-New England, two-time All-State, two-time All BL.  Running alongside is senior Cameron Chaplen, again with a resume you would pay big bucks for – All New-England, three time All-State, three-time All-BL and second in Class a year ago.

Then there is junior Becky Perugini – two-time All-State and two-time All-BL. It is a formidable trio as potent as there is. They have come, they have run and they have conquered.

This is where there is a twist thrown into this season. To get to the even loftier heights the Bears aspire to and beat the big schools, you need the depth and here’s the curve. All-State runner and the Bears solid No. 4, junior MacKenzie Blair has traded in her running shoes for field hockey stick.

The impact? Olsen is taking a wait and see attitude.

“Did it help us? No,” he said. ‘Did it kill us? No. Sarah (Guay) beat Mackenzie at the New Englands. If Sarah gets better, is that enough? I don’t know? But, we have a lot good girls in the No. 4-5 range.”

Guay will probably be the No. 4 runner with freshman Sammi Breier poised to move into the No. 5 spot. The freshmen contingent is young but looks strong led by Breier. Haley Pinho, Danielle Genest and Charlie Eberhardt have plenty of potential.

Tri-captain Bryttnie Thomaston could crack the varsity lineup. The Bears see the now and hope for the future.

And that is where this season plays out.  Not at the top of the lineup but with the depth of the lineup.

With no unexpected surprises there does not appear to be a team loaded enough to challenge the Bears in the BL. After that it gets much tougher. Immaculate-Danbury, which still feels it would have won Class S a year ago if one of its runners had not fallen during the race and suffered a broken leg, will be back.

The State Open will bring its cast of outstanding characters like Glastonbury and Cheshire. And it will come down to the runners that provide the depth.

“After our first three runners come in we will be in first place,” said Olsen. “The big schools have depth. We hope our 4-5-6 runners work hard and fill it in. I think we have the talent that is used to go against the big schools with similar makeups and we have done pretty well.”

There is more to the mountaintop and the Bears are still climbing. Stay tuned.


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