New Milford runners cap another successful season

From left, Eli Nahom, Stosh Davis and Luke Simmonds led the way this season for New Milford.
From left, Eli Nahom, Stosh Davis and Luke Simmonds led the way this season for New Milford.John Nester / For Hearst Connecticut Media

NEW MILFORD — It was another banner year for the New Milford boys cross country team.

The Green Wave capped its 2015 season with South-West Conference and CIAC Class L championships for the second straight year. It was the 15th conference championship in the past 18 seasons for the Green Wave, who also cruised to the state title by outdistancing Darien, 50-96.

Stosh Davis, Lucas Simmonds, James Kane, Charles Osborne, Eli Nahom, Eric Vazquez and Nathaniel Diamond led the way for the Green Wave.

“It was a great season and we were really happy with the way things went,” New Milford coach Chris Bacich said. “We had some veteran leaders and a lot of new guys step up and do well in their first year as varsity runners.”

Davis, Diamond and Simmonds were New Milford’s three captains this season and gave Bacich confidence coming into the season the Green Wave would be strong once again.

“I expected to have a good team to be competitive among the top teams,” Bacich said. “It’s hard to tell which kids will develop and most of our guys ran up to what they should have. The kids came along really well and progressed nicely.”

Kane, Osborne and Nahom were among the younger runners whose development helped push the Green Wave to the top of the league and the state. Osborne was the second sophomore and Nahom was the first freshman across the line at the state meet while Kane was 11th overall.

The success of the young core at the varsity level and the depth in the program has Bacich looking forward to the future.

“As a freshman, Eli really delivered,” Bacich said. “We are a little small for a Class L team with 20 kids in the program, but we are deep. We also had a good JV group this season, we won the JV SWC title. I am really excited for next year already. A lot of kids are coming back and we have a strong junior class that will contribute a lot.”

About the only thing that didn’t go right for the Green Wave this season was the State Open. Bacich and the Green Wave went to Wickham Park expecting to vie for the overall title but a rough start dashed those dreams before the race really even got going.

“The Open was a different story — the kids were amped up and ready to go for it,” Bacich said. “We kind of had some of the Class LL teams on alert and then we had four guys fall around the 150-meter mark. They got caught up, banged up, spiked, were bleeding. You can’t afford to have something like that happen where most of your scorers go down.”

Bacich said the Green Wave runners really showed their true colors by gutting it out and making a serious run to get back into the race.

“We had guys run 30 to 40 seconds slower because of the fall,” Bacich said. “It was incredibly frustrating for the guys because we really had a very good chance to win.”

But the unfortunate luck at the Open won’t take the shine off a stellar season.

“We won the league, cruised to the Class L title by a significant margin and had a great season,” Bacich said. “And I’m super excited for next season. We will be back in hunt once again if our training is in place.”