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Numbers Down for BVT Girls XC in the CAL
Blackstone Valley Tech girls' cross country coach Caitlin Forgit sums up her team's 0-1 win-loss record with the schedule nearly complete in one word, "weird." "It's been a weird season," she said. "Either we have only had four girls, or the other team has only had four girls. I think it's been a challenge with most of the schools in the league to get girls to run cross country."
Valley Tech officially has seven runners on the girls' roster this fall, but injuries have dropped them down below five — the minimum number to register a score — more than once this year. Other teams have had the same problem, and the result has been that the Beavers only had one match that counted, even though they were supposed to have six in the books by the start of this week.
The problem does not plague the boys' program, which has around 30 runners.
"It's always been lopsided since I have been here," Forgit said of the disparity between the genders. "This is my sixth year coaching and there is nothing I can put my finger on as to why."
Valley Tech does have several successful fall sports programs, including the perennially powerful volleyball program that has students flocking to participate. This year's volleyball program is fielding a full varsity and junior varsity roster, as well as two freshmen teams. And even though numbers have never been exceptionally high around the league in girls' cross country, Forgit said this year is different.
"I have never quite seen it like this," she said.
"It's something I have been talking to my athletic director about. We may have to be more creative in recruiting kids who are cut by other teams or try to get freshmen right away when they come in."
The runners the Beavers do have are putting together strong seasons. Lauren Flynn has been among the team's top finishers and Forgit is expecting her to qualify for the all-state meet. Madison Gannon qualified for all-state last year and is on track to do so again thanks to a strong, consistent campaign, her coach said.
Meg Altavilla has shown marked improvement from a season ago. "She has dropped minutes off of her time from last year," Forgit said, noting Altavilla is nearly five minutes faster running a 5K. "She has come along well and it's been awesome to see her improve this year. She is like a whole new runner."




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