WHS’ boys sweep

Westfield’s Tim Dostie, left, wins the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference championships Saturday at Stanley Park. Matt Jacobson, at right, finished second. (Photo by Chris Putz)

WESTFIELD – There’s nothing like some good old home cooking when it comes to the postseason.
The Whip City hosted the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference championships Saturday at Stanley Park, and for the Westfield High School boys’ cross country team it was as easy as 1-2-3.
Westfield seniors Tim Dostie, Matt Jacobson, and Blake Croteau finished first, second, and third overall, respectively to help the Bombers capture the PVIAC championship.
Westfield won the team competition with 47 points. Amherst (107 points), Minnechaug (111), Ludlow (125), and Holyoke (133) rounded out the top five.
Dostie completed the 3.1 mile race with a winning time of 15:43.43.
“I felt good throughout the race – the kick helped me,” said Dostie, moments after crossing the finish line. “The rest of our guys did great.
Jacobson finished runner-up in 15:47.52, and Croteau was third (16:02.70).
“It feels amazing to do it here,” Jacobson said of the Bombers’ sweeping effort. “This was a good tuneup for Western Mass. This season we’re having is amazing. But we still have a long way to go. We really want to compete at states.”
Sophomore Ben Doiron placed 12th overall in 16:42.66, hinting that this may not be the team’s only shining moment. Artie Cruz was 29th (17:12.38).
Westfield, which completed an unbeaten regular season, will attempt to carry over momentum against Western Mass., and possibly the state, for that matter, in the coming weeks.

Bombers’ Blake Croteau approaches the finish line at the PVIAC championships Saturday at Stanley Park. Croteau was third overall, helping Westfield sweep the top three spots. (Photo by Chris Putz)

The Western Massachusetts Division I boys’ championship will be held at Northfield Mountain at 1 p.m., preceded by Division II at 12:20. The girls’ D2 race will kick off the day’s competition at 11 a.m. The Division I girls will begin at 11:40 a.m. The state championship will be held the following week.
Westfield’s preparation leading up to race day, and the championship season, was a bit unique.
Croteau said the team’s elite runners have benefited from coach Dana Geis’s coaching style – they’re not all eating from the same menu.
“Coach does not just give us all the same training plan,” Croteau explained. “We do everything individualized.”
And while many of the team’s runners logged roughly 600 miles this past offseason, the top three guys ran some 800-plus miles apiece.
Croteau said his goal entering the race was logging a solid run, nothing extreme, to keep his body from exhaustion while also avoiding injury.
“I wanted to stay in shape for the next two weeks,” he said.
Other local top finishers for their respective schools included Chris Hanechak (67th, 18:05.34) and Joseph Orlowski (70th, 18:06.91), both of Gateway, and Southwick’s Chris Roy (102nd).

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