NEW MILFORD - The New Milford High School boys cross country team is entering the championship portion of the schedule at the top of its game.
The Green Wave were 8-2 on the season ahead of Tuesday’s scheduled meet with Newtown Bunnell and Weston. Newtown will be a formidable test for New Milford and a good tuneup for the upcoming SouthWest Conference Championships on Oct. 18.
The three-time defending Class L champion, New Milford knows that late October means championship season, and the team’s focus is once again on making a run at league and state titles.
“Our focus is to finally get everyone healthy before our championship defense, while continuing to develop our younger runners and get them as much experience as possible,” New Milford coach Chris Bacich said. “If all goes according to plan, I think we can make another strong run at the conference title and contend at the Class L meet.”
Leading the way this season is a runner who will be expected to head the Green Wave’s charge if they are to continue their championship winning ways — junior Eli Nahom, whom Bacich says has been New Milford’s pacesetter this season.
“Eli is a perfectionist, so we expect he'll be ready at crunch time, as will Charlie Osborne and Garred Farrell, both of whom have been very solid at the two and three spots,” Bacich said.
Sophomore Jason Golembeski and freshman R.J. Harkin will likely fill out New Milford’s top five down the stretch, but a few other runners may factor in as well.
With only four seniors on the roster, the Green Wave are primed to be a factor for years to come, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t focused on this season.
“We are a young team, so reaching or exceeding our high standards this year makes things even more promising going into next year,” Bacich said. “But right now I'm excited about what we can do in these next few weeks.”
In their most recent meet on Oct. 3, the Green Wave dropped a close meet to Pomperaug (28-30), but beat Masuk and Kolbe. The Wickham Park Invitational on Saturday was run as mostly a JV race.
“As of now we're just trying to get our postseason lineup into position and get everyone healthy again,” Bacich said.