It's an old sports cliche: a team attributes their success to how "close" they are as a group.
Well, the St. Anthony's boys cross country team is very close. And not just in that way -- they actually finished very closely together Saturday.
Just 28 seconds separated the Friars' top runner from their seventh runner as they brought home the team title in the championship race of the Brown Invitational at Goddard Park in Warwick, R.I.
St. Anthony's had 41 points, 26 points ahead of Pembroke (Mass.). Patrick Ginty led the way with a seventh-place time of 15:51.
The Friars had a seven-man average time of 16:08.9, which was the fastest average in the meet's 30-year history, coach Tim Dearie said.
"It's just reflective of the depth we have this year," he said. "We go 14 deep. Our JV team would be an excellent varsity team."
Miller Place was the top Long Island school in the girls race, taking third. Tiana Guevara won the individual championship with a time of 18:06.0, twin sister Talia Guevara took fifth in 18:32.0 and Laura Nolan was sixth in 18:33.0.
"We came here as a speed workout," Panthers coach Fran Sullivan said, "to test ourselves on a flat, fast course."