A trio of New Milford-area athletes played a key role this autumn for Canterbury School's standout girls cross- country team.

The Saints recently closed the books on the 2014 campaign with an 8-3 dual-meet record, a second-place finish in the Canterbury Invitational and third place in the Glover Invitational.

Coach Tracy Garcia-LaVigne's distaff pack climaxed its season with a strong performance Nov. 8 in the New England championship race at Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vt.

The Saints' freshman Anna Oeser, of Brookfield, capped her bravura season by earning runner-up laurels in the New England race, thus becoming Canterbury's first all-New England girls' cross country runner.

Oeser was the individual winner seven times during the fall, including in three invitational races.

She also set a new record of 19:12 for the Saints' five-kilometer course.

Senior co-captain Iman Deversevic, of New Milford, ran second to Oeser in the New England race, much as she did all season, and fellow senior Alanis Perez was fifth for the Saints.

Junior Kendall Ross, of New Preston, a transfer from Shepaug Valley School in Washington, and freshman Claire Kegel placed third and fourth in Vermont for Garcia-LaVigne.

Sophomores Liz Longo and Marta Sanchex rounded out Canterbury's team effort.

Juniors Chesi Piccolo and Eva Yao keyed the Saints' showing in the New England junior varsity race.

"The girls' solid and consistent race performances have helped anchor the team's success," said Garcia-LaVigne, "and will continue to strengthen and add

depth to the team in 2015."

For her season-long performance, Oeser was accorded the team's Most Valuable Player honor, matching the award presented to John Wilson, of New Milford, for the Saints' boys squad.

-- Norm Cummings