NORTHBOROUGH/SOUTHBOROUGH – The Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) boys cross country team got off on the wrong foot, but it is making strides toward the rest of the season.
“It’s been an interesting start because of weather and bus issues that caused two meets to be rescheduled,” Head Coach Nathaniel Uttaro said.
According to Uttaro, his runners have made up for that slow start by beating Shepard Hill and now Westborough Sept. 27 26-33.
Uttaro identified key runners who have made their mark so far this season for the ARHS cross country team. All of the Titans have run about a 17-minute race on the 3.1 mile course.
“Right now, Joe Lamburn is our top runner,” he said.
Uttaro added that Lamburn, Chris Kardos, Aiden Ruiz and Matt Zhang, who are all juniors, are the top four on the team so far this season, but there are many guys who are “right there.”
The team is young as there is “only one senior in the mix,” according to Uttaro.
“They just love running and that’s been awesome in terms of their enthusiasm for being at practice [and] doing the workouts. And, they really want to improve,” Uttaro said.
He said the team’s passion for running adds to the camaraderie of the team, along with pasta dinners before each race.
“From what I can understand, they [the pasta dinners] are well attended,” Uttaro said.
Before the boys hit the starting line, they huddle together and chant their unique team saying from the 1980s movie “Cool Runnings.”
“It’s something like, ‘Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, come on everyone it’s bobsled time.’ It’s hysterical because that movie is much older than any of them are,” Uttaro said.
Uttaro said many runners worked hard over the summer and he “would love to see those results pay off for them.”
As part of the goals for the ARHS cross country team for this season, Uttaro said he wants the team to be “competitive in Central Mass” and qualify for the Central Massachusetts Championships.
Last year, the team placed second in the championships.
According to Captain Mark Cayer, the season is “off to a really good start.”
“Everyone on the team has been giving great effort and we are working really well as a group. We have been able to do more team building activities that we were unable to do for the past couple of years due to COVID,” he said.
The next meet for the Titans will be against Wachusett Regional High School on Oct. 7.