Bombers Dostie, Croteau, Morin run away with it

The Bombers’ boys’ runners emerge after the starting whistle. (Photo by Chris Putz)

WESTFIELD – Through the first four meets of the season, Westfield High boys’ cross country senior runners Tim Dostie and Blake Croteau have finished 1-2 with each athlete having won the race twice. Yesterday, the tie was broken.
Dostie crossed the finish line first in 16:08 at Stanley Park’s 3.1-mile course to help lead Westfield to a 21-38 win over Belchertown. His season-best time still remains at 15:50, achieved on Holyoke’s relatively flat course.
“Our regular season is moving along as planned,” Dostie said after catching his breath following Wednesday’s run. “We have a team that can possibly take the (Western Mass.) title, but we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves.”
Croteau wasn’t too far behind Dostie in the meet against Belchertown, placing second in 16:15. Matt Jacobson was third in 16:17. Ben Doiron and Tim Stocker were fourth (17:12) and fifth (17:23), respectively, as Westfield swept the top five spots.
“(Blake) has been my mentor,” said Dostie, who noted that he and Croteau worked out all summer. “He gave me workouts. I owe everything to him.”
Jacobson, Croteau, and Dostie have been separated by just a few seconds all season.
“They play off each other,” said Westfield coach Dana Geis. “It’s not a vicious competition. They push each other when maybe one decides to slack off a little. They’re just all real special kids.”
Seniors Artie Cruz, Jake Santangiello, Patrick Monette, Michael Beauregard, and Kyle Enko have also combined to bring a maturity, competitiveness, and toughness that will make Westfield hard to beat down the stretch, into PVIAC, Western Mass., and possibly beyond.
“As a group of guys, they seem to be a lot tighter as friends,” coach Geis said, in reference to previous Bombers’ teams. “The upperclassmen, our top kids are going out of their way to participate in workouts.”
Hopefully, for Westfield, that will translate into long-term results.

Westfield junior Ally Morin continues to take the girls’ cross-country circuit by storm.
Morin shed 30 seconds from her previous best to finish the home course in 19:09 yesterday, well ahead of anyone else.
Jen Gresty (2nd, 22:12) and Michelle Morgan (4th, 22:15) managed to crack the top five for the Bombers.
“Allison has really exploded (onto the scene) in the past 1 ½ years,” said Westfield coach Michael Rowbotham.
Rowbotham began to excel late last cross-country season, and continued to surge in outdoor track. This season, she has already shattered three course records.
“I want to do well now instead of just sitting at the back of the pack,” said Morin.
Last summer, Morin ran eight miles four times a week, and participated in the Stanley Park races on Monday nights to prepare for the fall competition.
Now she is focused on making her mark.
“Hopefully I can pull out some real good times, and another course record,” Morin said. “I’m going to do my best to stay in peak condition. I want to go to states real bad.”

A STAR-STUDDED RUN: Three former Westfield runners – Carolyn Stocker (sophomore, University of Maine), Julie McGilpin (senior, University of Vermont), and Sierra Swords (freshman, St. Anselm College) – are set to return to Stanley Park this weekend to participate in the All New Englands this Sunday in the Whip City. All three are expected to compete in the varsity race, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Collegiate races are expected to take place locally all throughout the month, culminating in the conference championships Oct. 27 and the 100th running of the New England championships Nov. 10.

MCKINNIE LEADS RAMS: Southwick’s Emily McKinney finished eighth overall (20:41) in Southwick’s dual loss to Longmeadow (15-46) and Northampton (20-38). Abigail Howe (21:28) was 12th.

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