The State Open Cross Country Championships will take place this Friday at Wickham Park in Manchester. The girls will start at 2 p.m. and boys 2:45 p.m.
Here are 10 boys to keep an eye on during Friday’s race.
- Recent UConn commit, van der Els has been one of the strongest runners in the state all season. Clocked the fastest time of the entire boys field at the divisional meet, winning the LL in 15:52. Will look to win his first Open title this Friday.
- If it wasn’t for a finish mishap at the Class LL meet last Saturday, Altopp might have won the state title. The Brown commit is a hard runner with great finishing speed, and will challenge van der Els for the Open crown.
- The CCC champion has proven all season he’s one of the best. Neish finished third at the LL meet, running 15:59. Familiar with the course, Neish could be right there down the stretch vying for the victory.
- In his first cross country season, the sophomore has made a name for himself. The SCC Champion, Thompson finished fourth at the Class LL (16:05). A smart runner, Thompson will be one of the top guys to cross the finish line.
- The sophomore with great finishing speed has shown us he’s capable of dropping fast times. Murray was the top runner at the Wickham Park Invitational, running 15:56. He placed fifth at the LL (16:05) and is never counted out of a race.
- The two-time Class M champion, Mas is an experienced and strong runner. The senior ran 16:13 last Saturday at the state divisional meet, but mixed in with a faster field, Mas, who has incredible finishing speed, has the potential to lower his time and finish top 10.
- The junior has experienced a breakout season, as he’s lowered his times from a season ago. He finished in third place at the FCIAC Championships and placed eighth (16:13) in a deep Class LL field. Brisman, a hard runner, has an opportunity to near the 16 minute mark, one of his goals this season.
- A smart and patient runner, Beaudette hasn’t shown us his best race yet this season. At the Class LL meet he was ninth in 16:14. If the right conditions, look for Beaudette to run near 16 minute mark or lower.
- Senior captain for Amity, Block has established himself as not only the leader for the Spartans, but a consistent top finisher for the team. He captured seventh place at Class LL, running 16:12. A gritty and determined runner, Block will challenge for one of the top 10 spots.
Trevor Reed (Danbury)
- A junior, was Danbury’s top finisher at the FCIAC Championships and Class LL divisionals. Placed sixth at the LL meet, running 16:11. If can stay with lead pack and in striking distance late, has an opportunity to crack the top 5 at the Open.