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Slowed by illness and injury, East Greenwich senior Ben Fazio had a tough end to his cross country season with a 20th place performance after finishing in 18th the year before.
â€śI had my first ever injury at the beginning of cross country and then I had mono throughout the whole season,â€ť Fazio says. â€śCross Countryâ€™s my favorite season and not having a good season definitely gave me some motivation to do better in indoor.â€ť
Since that point Fazio has taken off and at the RIIL Indoor Track State Championships he turned in a gold medal performance in the 1,000.
â€śIâ€™m feeling good,â€ť Fazio says. â€śIt was my best season so far in high school so now Iâ€™m just kind of resetting, trying to just lay low at beginning of the season and not change anything because it worked whatever I did.â€ť
Now six weeks later, Fazio is looking to put the final stamp on his career at East Greenwich with a successful outdoor track season.
The Avengers likely wonâ€™t have enough horses in the stable to compete with teams like
Chariho, North and South Kingstown in the Southern Division but individually EG should hold its own.
East has a number of individuals that could potentially medal at states and as a team should be in the hunt for a Class C Championship.
â€śWinning the Class C meet would be nice and then going to states and having a couple guys run again just like we did in indoor,â€ť Fazio says. â€śWe can be competitive on individual levels but as a team not the most competitive.â€ť
Seniors Caleb Gladstone, Scott Kulm and Brendan Higgins, junior Garrett Scanlon and sophomore Tommy Sommer should be the frontrunners for the Avengers this season along with Fazio.
Juniors Graham Chapski, Nate Waddell and sophomore Matt Wegrzyn are also experienced runners who should help the Avs this spring.
One the girls side the Avengers are young but have a number of talented athletes that should keep them competitive in the Southern Division and Class B.
Sophomore Margaret McCaffrey returns as the Avengersâ€™ strongest threat having finished in sixth place at states during the cross country season after taking a tremendous leap forward between her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Last spring at outdoor states then junior Rebecca Nunez was involved in one of the best races of the day, as she finished second in the 300 hurdles as Barringtonâ€™s Shenelle Teixeira, Classicalâ€™s Alicia Holloway and Nunez were each separated by just seven-hundredths of a second.
Now a senior, Nunez figures to be a state title contender in both the 110 and 300 hurdles.
Freshman Maria Nunez, sophomores Jen Sarazen, Emily Ferguson and Lauren Swanson, juniors Phoebe Osterhout, Madison Baiocchi and Summer Murray and senior Mikayla Baiocchi should also be consistent contributors for the Avengers this season.
Also upcoming for the Avengers is the second annual Bunny Hop 5k at Goddard Memorial State Park on April 13 beginning at 8 a.m. hosted by the East Greenwich Track Club.
For more information or to register for the event log on to www.egtrackclub.com.