FSU Women’s Cross Country blazes new trails

By Elizabeth Ward
Volunteers on the trails. (Photo by Elizabeth Ward)

Early Saturday morning on Sept. 13, you wouldn’t have seen these women filing in to a coach bus to head out to a meet. Instead they were filing into Coach Jamie Aubuchon’s car and heading out to Saima Park on Route 31 in Fitchburg.
The women’s cross-country team was recruited by the coach to aid in the cleanup of the walking trails as well as the soccer fields in the vicinity. The group that initiated the cleanup for the park is the up-and-coming charter school in the Fitchburg area, The Sizer School, where coach Aubuchon hold his second job as a math teacher. The school’s plan in cleaning up the park is to eventually use it as their home athletic fields.
Though the weather was not as favorable as they hoped, the trails were given as much work as the girls could provide. With rakes, hedge clippers and gloves on their hands, they set out into the woods helping trim down overgrown roots as well as mowing down tall grass that would have previously made it impossible to pass on these once narrow trails.
The FSU Athletics page celebrated the women and men who helped these efforts over the weekend. Among those who attended were Jessica Mangan of Everett; Dorothy Petzl, an international student from Germany; Ebony Shuerman of Fitchburg; Karollynn Wickless-Adams of Philidelphia PA; Nicole Gaffney of Paxton; Sadie Zibikowski of Ashburnham; Ethan Aubuchon of Fitchburg; and Joshua Kaddy of Westminster.

What does the future hold? (Photo by Elizabeth Ward)

Coach Aubuchon’s take on the trails: “There isn’t much room for running or walking, but we’ve heard word that there’s a possibility of a wood chipper coming in to laying out a better ground work for the trails.” Hopeful outcomes for the new Sizer school that they will have a promising looking athletic field could potentially mean for the FSU cross-country team that they too will be able to use the field at times.