Greens Farms Academy is a PreK-12, coed school in Westport, CT

XC PREVIEWS: Dragons Have Talent to be in the Run

John Nash

Like many of the courses his teams run on, Greens Farms Academy cross country coach Glen Colello has seen his program climb hills, overcome obstacles and take a series of left and right turns.

This year, there is talent on both sides of the course and expectations are high.

The GFA boys team this fall has Colello especially excited with some talented runners who will push each other through each race and practice, making everybody better.

“Expectations are very high for this group,” Colello said. “We have a solid nucleus of returners with a few new runners and it will make for a group that will compete for the top spot in FAA’s as well as New England’s.”

While the team’s No. 1 runner, Larson Palmgren, graduated last spring, many of GFA’s top seven runners return.

Senior Conor Minson will join juniors Sam MacDonald and Brendan Howard as some of the returning veterans on the team. Minson and MacDonald were both in the top five GFA runners the last time the FAA championship meet was held back in 2019 and Howard emerged last fall as a runner who can work his way through a field. Junior Luke Laferriere is one of the school’s top athletes and is expected to have a big year, too, Colello said.

 

On the girls side of the coin, once again just a five-runner roster leaves the team with some depth issues, but there is talent and experience amongst four of the five that will start each race.

Junior Georgia Palmgren and junior Paige Parisi sophomore Grace Horton are captains and will join Grace Horton, a third-year varsity runner, and Jordan Moss as returning runners. Senior Dana Cofsky is new to cross country and has shown a lot of talent in early season practices, Colello said.

“With only five girls needed to cross the finish line to score as a team, we have a tall order in keeping everybody healthy,” Colello said. “If healthy, the girls are solid and and have their sights set on the top three in both the FAA and New Englands.”

Right now the team is focused on building up its endurance with the season starting this weekend.

“Miles, miles, miles,” Colello said. “Running miles, building stamina and doing it as a group will pay off in November.”

And when November rolls around, the Dragons could find themselves in the thick of some big race chases.

“Large invitationals and FAA competition will create tons of excitement around the fall in general,” Colello said. “When there are goals of winning championships it makes practice so much more meaningful. The kids are hungry to put GFA back on map as an XC power. With only three senior boys and one senior girl, GFA cross country is staring at a strong future.”

The Dragons will open the season on Saturday at the Wilton Invitational. They'll open their home schedule with an FAA meet at Sherwood Island in Westport on Wednesday.

2021 GFA CROSS COUNTRY ROSTERS

SENIORS—Dana Cofsky, Jonty Hammer, Conor Minson, Chris Noland.

JUNIORS—Dylan Cofsky, Charles Henry, Brendan Howard, Luke Laferriere, Sam MacDonald, Brady Melnick, Jack Merzon, Matt Olins, Georgia Palmgren, Paige Parisi, Jamie Paterson, Jason Rubenstein, Jackson Schnabel.

SOPHOMORE—Devin Agah, Nile Gage, Grace Horton, Andrew Knight, John Pegler, Quinn Reynolds, Joseph Stoerzinger, Eddie Xue, Jakob Zapanta.

FRESHMEN—Barrett Bachner, Logan Cofsky, Aaron Hopper, Jordan Moss, Eliot Pitchenik, Brian Twitchell.

8TH GRADERS—Ben Lublinsky, Max MacDonald.