The Cranston East Lady Thunderbolts drew first place in the Suburban Division cross country opener 5K race at Roger Williams Park on Monday afternoon. Classical earned second-place, while Cranston West placed third. “The girls got off to a good start,” East coach Rob LaBanca said. “We beat Classical and Cranston West. A close meet with Classical, we won by two points.” Johnston and Central were also on hand for both the girls and the boys races, but neither had enough runners to qualify for team points. Classical’s Caroline Janowich took first overall for the girls with a time of 22:52, while East’s Stella Loezos finished in second at 23:15. In third place was East’s Eden Fisher with a time of 23:46, followed in fourth by Classical’s Grace Jordan and in fifth East’s Aislinn Baxter. Rounding out the top ten girls were East’s Miko Lehnert in sixth, followed by her teammate Alessandra Messina in seventh, West’s Aria Lee in eighth, Johnston’s Audrey Mahoney in ninth, and Classical’s Rudy Groves in tenth. “So, we were able to bunch those girls together and it was just enough to beat Classical,” LaBanca said. “And that’ll go a long way for us trying to qualify for states through the division, which is one of our goals this year.” The Lady Falcons, who finished in third-place made a lot of progress since starting practice, according to their coach Dina Cesana. “I was very proud of them,” Cesana said. “They all improved. They all gave 100 percent and that’s all I can ask. So, I’m very proud of Cranston West.” And Cesana believes her Lady Falcons will only improve from there. “Oh, definitely,” Cesena said. “I have a lot of freshmen and I think they needed to get the first race under their belt to get that endurance in, that stamina, and understand that they can do this and that they’re only going to go further and get better.” For the boys, it was Classical who placed first, West in second, followed by East in third. Paul Bucci, West’s coach was happy with the team’s second-place finish and felt the day went as planned. “The kids did exactly what I thought they’d be doing,” Bucci said. “They’ve been working hard all season. They’ve been doing speedwork on the bike path, hill work over at Meshanticut Lake, and distance runs on the bike path. They did exactly what I thought they could do. They did a great job.” Dylan Maples of West drew first place individually with a time of 18:12. “He’s a great kid,” Bucci explained. “He comes to practice every day, gives 100 percent and he has fun. And that’s the most important part.” Classical’s Max Schmidhauser took second place while his teammate Cooper Michaud drew third. Finishing fourth was East’s Dan Duarte, followed by Classical’s Nick Mott in fifth. East boys coach Bob Bouchard feels his team is just getting warmed up. “We’ve got a long way to go,” Bouchard said. “We just started practicing. So, some of the kids ran really well today.” “Dan Duarte, our No. 1 runner, he ran for us as a freshman, but he wasn’t around last year,” Bouchard explained. “And so he came in fourth today. Other than that, everyone else is trying to get back into shape. We had a senior heavy group last year. We lost a lot of guys. We’re young. We’re all freshmen and sophomores. So, we’ve just got to get out on the road and start to get a little more distance in us. But overall they ran pretty good today.” Bouchard believes his squad will become a much different team by season’s end. “They’re definitely going to build on this,” Bouchard said. “They’ll be a big difference from today’s meet verses the end of the year. That’s how it usually works. Because most of these guys haven’t run all summer. A lot of teams are running all summer and they’ve got their feet underneath ‘em. We don’t have that right now. But soon, we’ll be ready to go.” Rounding out the top ten for the boys was, Classical’s Ethan Itkin in sixth-place, Central’s Tear Samudra in seventh, West’s Alex Phok in eighth, with his Falcons teammates Nick Montaquila in ninth and Ben Harvie in tenth.