Cross country might very well have been somewhat overshadowed over the decades by Shepaug Valley School's penchant for success in such sports as baseball and swimming.

Yet coach Tom Scarola's Spartans offered another reminder Saturday, Oct. 25, that the Region 12 harriers have plenty of talent, too.

Coach Scarola and his pack proved dominant in state Class S at Wickham Park in Manchester to add to the program's multiple state championships in the sport.

The Spartans placed all seven runners among the first 20 finishers in a 178-runner field to total just 49 points en route to a one-sided victory.

Ed Wolfe trailed only individual champ Trevor Chambers, of Bolton, to show the way for the Region 12 crew.

The Shepaug pacesetter clocked 17:34 and was chased home by teammates Erik Quist (7th, 17:45), Sean Parker (9th, 17:54), Clayton Firmender (14th, 18:16), Joe Freeland (18th, 18:25), Ryan Welsh (19th, 18:29) and Quinton Walsh (20th, 18:36).

The Spartans' nearest pursuer among 25 Class S squads was Berkshire League rival Thomaston with 108 points.

The state title for coach Scarola and his student-athletes was even more satisfying given the team had sat out Oct. 17's Berkshire League meet because of a team suspension invoked because of practice indiscretions.

The Spartans will climax their season Friday, Oct. 31, by competing against the state's best in the prestigious State Open at Wickham Park.

The Shepaug girls also ran Saturday at Wickham.

Coach Jim Lowe's small corps of runners didn't place as a team, but boasted sophomore Lauren Bresson with a creditable 38th-place performance.

In her support were Emily Prizioso (119th, 27:23) and Jemma Roche (121st, 27:41).

For more photos, see updates at www.newmilfordspectrum.com.

Norm Cummings

Photography by Norm Cummings