EPHS boys' cross country begins 2020 campaign

Townies seek to build momentum this year into next

By Mike Rego
Posted 10/11/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School boys' cross country team opened up its 2020 Eastern Division regular season meet schedule with losses to host Portsmouth, LaSalle and Tiverton …

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EPHS boys' cross country begins 2020 campaign

Townies seek to build momentum this year into next

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School boys' cross country team opened up its 2020 Eastern Division regular season meet schedule with losses to host Portsmouth, LaSalle and Tiverton over the 3.1-mile course at The Glen Athletic Complex.

The Townies fell to the Patriots and Rams by 15-50 scores and to the Tigers 19-36. Sophomore Ryan Stover was the top EPHS finisher, running 27th overall in 23 minutes flat.

Grant Wosencroft followed for the Townies in 29th with a time of 23:13, edging teammate Jack McKnight in 30th by fractions of a second. Simon Polombo ran 32nd in 23:46 and Trevor Germano ran 34th in 25:55.

LaSalle runners swept the first five positions overall, posting the winning time of 15:56. Portsmouth's first runner ran sixth in 17:30. The top Tiverton runner ran 18th in 20:33.

On a more positive note, all nine runners vying for the Townies this season will be back again next year, presenting them the opportunity to gain valuable experience and build upon their results this fall.

Stover is a sophomore. Wosencroft is a junior, McKnight a sophomore, Polombo a freshman and Germano a junior. The rest of the roster includes sophomores Jayden Delgado, Nick Heady, Colin Leddy and junior Alex Crowley.

The uncertainty surrounding the start of the season due to the coronavirus halted the Townies' preparation. EPHS head coach Bob Lyons said his upperclassmen led the group through summer workouts, were following the plan accordingly and showed some momentum as the usual beginning of fall sports in late-August/early-September approached.

Still, it was unlikely EPHS would be able to contend with the better programs in the division the likes of LaSalle, Portsmouth and Barrington, whose rosters are comprised of athletes who in the coach's words "live and breath running."

"If we're competitive with the teams not in the upper echelon I'll be happy. If we win a few meets I'll be happy," Lyons said. "But I want them to get out of their comfort zone, push themselves a little bit. That's what I mean about these kids who live and breath running. They do that. You have to push yourself every day.

"They're a great group of kids to be around. They work hard. I'm happy with what they're doing. But I want the kids to buy into what I'm trying to teach them. I want them to not just finish the workout, but strive to do better each workout."

As for the COVID-19 health and safety mandates put in place by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League allowing for the competition to take place, the coach said they're things his team was already following as the season approached.

"We were doing these things even before the Interscholastic League guidelines came out. We were distancing when were stretching, wearing masks, stagger running, not sharing drinks, no high fives or fist bumps," Lyons explained.

He continued, "It's admirable they're trying to give these kids a season and do everything possible to get through it. Do feel pressure to get through this so kids can continue to compete in the winter and spring seasons. So you're determined not to mess things up, to make that happens."

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.