Chris Abbey, East Lyme, senior
Captured the ECC title last fall, before taking second place in Class MM.
Nick Bendsten, Wolcott, junior
The defending NVL champion, he finished ninth in Class M. Only two of the top 14 runners from that race graduated. Bendsten was also second in the 3,200 at Class M last outdoor season and 11th at the State Open.
Michael Bohlke, Newington, sophomore
Took 30th at the State open after placing 16th in Class L.
Eamon Burke, Xavier, sophomore
Could be in line to be the No. 2 runner for the Falcons along with fellow sophomore Noah San Vicente. Finished 10th in the SCC race last year but is the third fastest returner.
Jackson Cayward, Tolland, junior
Finished 18th at the State Open last fall, and is one of several Eagles returning with the aim of wrestling the State Open crown from Xavier.
Charles Coffin, Ridgefield, senior
Placed 33rd at the State Open, and leads a Tigers squad which didn’t graduate any of their top runners. Took fourth in the 800 at the Class LL outdoor meet.
Robbie Cozean, Xavier, senior
Fresh off a national championship in the 5k at New Balance nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina in June. Finished third at last year’s State Open in cross country and is the lone Falcons runner in their memorable top four returning this fall.
Azaan Dawson, Fairfield Prep, junior
Won the 800 in the Class LL championships in June. Placed seventh in the cross country State Open last season, improving from 20th in the Class LL race.
Chris Deforest, Terryville. senior
The top returner from the Berkshire League and Class S, Deforest finished second in both races a year ago.
Garred Farrell, New Milford. senior
The Green Wave’s No. 1 runner with the departure of Eli Nahom, Farrell finished ninth in the 3,200 at the SWC championships last May.
Morgan Fierro, Staples, senior
The top returner from last year’s competitive FCIAC championships, Fierro helped the Wreckers to the team title with his fourth-place effort. He finished fifth in the 3,200 at the State Open last outdoor season.
Sam Geisler, Newington, junior
Placed sixth in the Class L race, leading Newington to a third-place finish. Also finished 11th in the CCC race.
Jacob Gerow, Tolland, junior
Placed 34th at last year’s State Open, and took 13th in the 3,200 at the State Open last outdoor season.
Jacob Hefele, Danbury, senior
Took 11th at last season’s FCIAC championships, 22nd in Class LL and 29th at the State Open during the cross country season.
Austin Hutchens, Warde, senior
Finished sixth in the Class L race in the 1,600 last outdoor season. Finished 12th in the FCIAC championships in cross country and 39th at the State Open.
Nick Jacobs, Newtown, senior
The top returning runner from the SWC, Jacobs finished second in the event last year in 16:50.
Matt Jennings, Haddam-Killingworth, junior
Finished second in last year’s Shoreline championships, and placed 24th at the State Open. Won the 1,600 in the Class M meet last outdoor season.
Brandon Mellitt, Cheshire, senior
The top returner after the SCC was decimated with graduation. He finished seventh in that race, eighth in Class L and 15th at the State Open.
Aidan Puffer, Manchester, sophomore
Has broken seven age-level world records, including last spring when he dropped the 14 year-old 5K mark to 14:47.46. Placed 11th in the New Balance nationals race Cozean won, and took down the Class LL title in the 3,200 during the outdoor season.
Alec Sauter, Tolland, senior
Took 21st at the State open last year and eighth in the CCC.
Callum, Sherry, Conard, sophomore
Gavin’s twin brother, Callum finished 12th in the 2-mile freshman race at New Balance nationals last June.
Gavin Sherry, Conard, sophomore
Placed second at the Class L, State Open and New England championships last year. Finished his freshman year with a fourth in the 3,200 at the outdoor state open.
Jacob Smith, Glastonbury, senior
Finished seventh in last year’s CCC championships, eighth in Class LL and 47th at the State Open. Took sixth in the 3,200 in the outdoor Class LL championship race.
Nick Taubenheim, Staples, senior
Clocked in the exact same time (16:42) as his teammate Fierro at the State Open last year, as the pair finished 22nd and 23rd. With the massive amount of graduation across the state, the duo are the seventh and eighth-fastest returners in the event.
Jack Watson, Danbury, senior
Forms a one-two punch with Hefele which could lead the Hatters back to the FCIAC title. Finished 35th at the State Open last year and eighth at FCIACs.