(Left to right: Jeremy Wiening, Cameron Felici, Ari D’Arconte, Isaac Barbosa, Eli Mejia)
By Cameron Felici
2023 fall sports have begun at Cranston High School East!
The Boys and Girls Cross Country teams start their season this Saturday, September 2, the Injury Fund meet at Deerfield Park in Smithfield.
Last season, the boys had a strong start to the season with an 8-1 start to the year, before ultimately finishing 8-4, with their four losses coming at the hands of Coventry, Hendricken, Pilgrim, and Toll Gate.
The girls, on the other hand, had an undefeated season and won their first division title in over 30 years, led by current junior Maddison Dutra and recent graduate Stella Loezos.
This year, the boys are looking to improve on last season while the girls are hopeful to repeat as Suburban division champions.
The boys' team will be led by Senior Captain Cameron Felici, junior Nathan Gong, and incoming freshman Cohen Brinker this season, while the girls will be led by Junior Captain Caroline Brennick, junior Maddison Dutra, and sophomore Jessica Chin.
Both teams lost crucial seniors from last year, the girls' losing three of their five scoring runners (Stella Loezos, Madeline Baxter, Miko Lehnert), while the boys' lost four of their five scoring runners (Wyatt Harris, Eli Mejia, Isaac Barbosa, Jeremy Wiening) as well as one of their two non-scoring varsity runners (Ari D'Arconte).
The teams have been preparing for their season all summer, with captains' practices starting as early as the first week of July. Captain Cameron Felici believes that the team’s hard work has paid off in preparing them for the season.
"When I started holding captains practices in July, I did so knowing that these practices would benefit us, especially at the beginning of the season," said Felici. "Because of the summer training, we'll definitely have a stronger season than a lot of people think, and I'm confident that I'll personally walk away from one or two of our dual meets this year with a first-place finish."
Felici's confidence is not unwarranted. Last season, in the team's dual meet at Roger Williams Park against Cranston West, he finished 4th place overall, 3rd out of all other Cranston East runners, and was the top finisher excluding seniors.
One promising aspect of this year's Cross Country team is the incoming freshmen, especially on the boy's side. The Boys' Freshmen team has high hopes for Saturday's Injury Fund, as there are enough freshmen on this year's team to score in the Freshmen 4k race. Due to this advantage over other teams, this year's freshman team is looking forward to placing high in the team rankings.
For results of Cranston East’s cross country meets, follow @chseboysxctf for boys’ results, and @cranstoneastrunning to view results for the girls.