MANCHESTER >> Cheshire freshman Brendan Murray is the first to admit he typically doesn’t have much of a kick.
So much for that theory. Saturday afternoon running in the boys’ championship race at the Wickham Invite, Murray ran an impressive time of 16 minutes and 31 seconds, utilizing a strong finish at the end to surge to a third place finish.
“I guess today I felt very strong,” Murray said with a laugh.
The top overall finisher was Ari Klau of Hall (15:58) while Glastonbury’s Randy Neish was second (16:18).
Murray said the race strategy for the challenging course was to start slow as a pack and picked it up each lap and mile.
“I was with a group of like a seven pack and coach told before the hill just pass all of them, I just gave it all I had,” Murray said.
Murray has slowly emerged on the scene this fall as not only one of the best freshmen in the state, but now as a top name.
“I’ve been very happy with my performances,” he said. “This race our coach gave us permission to go as hard as we could. I gave it my all; I worked it at the end.”
Staples was the top team with 66 points, while Cheshire placed seventh (161). In the boys’ seeded varsity race, Cognichaug senior Christian Alberico finished second (16:33), while McMahon’s Eric van der Els won in 16:30.
“The plan was kind of just go out conservative, the first mile is like all uphill, let the guys go out fast, set the pace,” Alberico said. “When I got to the Monster (green hill) I tried to make a move toward the front and then the last move was right around the backstop. It was just a fun race, good to be here.”
Guilford’s Ben Siciliano finished in seventh (16:57). The top team was Ledyard with 167 points.