Information compiled by Mary Albl and Henry Chisholm
Results in links
Fairfield Prep’s Christian Alvarado and the Jesuits took care of business yet again, as Prep finished fifth place as a team with a score of 148 and Alvarado won the individuals with a time of 15:55 . Alvarado, who was coming off a win in the SCC final meet, led throughout and said he was trying to be aggressive against the tough Class LL field..
“I knew there are good runners in this race, like Trevor Hopper (Ridgefield,” he said. “I just tried to do the same thing I did last time and that worked out for me.
Hopper came in second with a time of 16:07 and third was Xavier’s Zach Williams with a time of 16:16. Amity’s pack running syle worked well, as the Spartans finished fourth with a score of 147. Ridgefield was first with a score of 60, Danbury second with 104 and Staples third with 105. Cheshire (163) was seventh and Xavier (312) was 11th.
Hand’s Griffin Pardales didn’t make it through his last time at Wickham Park.
“Last time I had to drop out,” he said. “I was not feeling good. I had to change my race strategy. Start off slower and pick it up towards the end.”
This time his new strategy worked and he helped his team place seventh with a time of 18:03. He said he was pleased with his team’s efforts.
“We were shooting for for fourth place or better,” he said “But our team was pretty strong.”
The winners were Darien (40), Hall (56) and South Windsor (131). The individual winner was Alex Ostberg (15:34) Hall’s Ari Klau (16:18) and Zach Magin (16:26) were two and three respectively.
Notre Dame-West Haven finished 11th, North Haven was 12th and Wilbur Cross was 21st.
Coming off its first Southern Connecticut Conference crown, Mercy kept it going with an impressive finish with a score of 101 for second place to break a tie-breaker with Pomperaug, who also scored a 101. First place was Wilton with a score of 68.
The Tigers’ Kaleigh Roberts was fifth overall with a time of 19:51. MacKenzie Pias was ninth with a time of 20:25 and Hand’s Kathryn Phillips was right behind her with a time of 20:25 also. The overall winner was Fairifeld Warde’s Cate Allen with a time of 19:13.
Branford took the Class with a score of 117, thanks to a fine performance from third place individual finisher Cyrene Nicholas (19:43). Second place was New Fairfield (127) and third was Barlow (153). New Fairfield’s Gabrielle Richichi was first overall with a time of 18:28 and RHAM’s Chrissy Bendzinski (19:34) was second.
New Fairfield just got past Guilford 47-48 to capture the Class crown. New Fairfield’s Zach Anderson came in first place with a time of 16:31, just beating out Guilford’s Sal Siciliano, who came in after him with a time of 16:35. Third place was Tim Kenefick with a time of 16:42. Despite the loss, Siciliano said he is proud of his team.
“We did all we could do,” he said.
Siciliano trailed Anderson down the stretch, but made it a race by pushing to close the gap to the finish line. Despite still falling short, he said it was all or nothing.
“I just turned it on, that was all I had left,” the senior said. “This is my last year so I had to leave it all out there.”
CLASS M GIRLS: Tolland dominates
Tolland won the overall with a score of 17 as Courtney Akerley was first with a time of 19:17, Caitlin Swanson was second at 19:19, Megan Steinhilber was third with a time of 19:32 and Katherine Deloreto was fourth with a time of 19:38.
Brookfield stopped Weston’s quest for another Class crown, finishing first with 48 points. Second was Ellington with 87 and third was Suffield with 108. In the individual competition, Brookfield’s Parker Timmerman was first with a time of 16:27. Second place was Pat Begley of Suffield with a time of 16:39. Ellington’s Jordan Dixon was third with a time of 16:53.
Sheehan’s Tommy Laydon was twelfth-place with a time of17:26 and said the course at Wickham is no joke
” This course is a killer,” he said. “Everyone’s time is a little bit lower here.”
Alyssa Brehler (19:17) and Meagan Perez (19:29) came in one and two respectively in the Class SS race. Third place was Madeleine Brandon of Haddam-Killingworth with a time of 19:51. The good fortune continued for Griswold, as they finished first-place overall with 96 points. East Hampton (107) and Old Saybrook (108) were two and three respectively.
Individually, Ross Golebiewski of Old Lyme won (16:47), Morgan’s Brian Gendron was second (16:50). Third was Cameron Garrelts of Hadaam-Killingworth (16:52). Old Lyme kept it going as a team with 57 points to take home the Class. Second was H-K with 74 and third place was Canton with 101.
Immaculate won with 36 points, Bolton second and Thomaston third. Carly Schuyler of Immaculate took first in Class S (19:10), Thomaston’s Sabrina Olson second (19:28).
Capital Prep won the boys Class S team title with 43 points. Bolton was second, followed by Shepaug Valley.
Thomaston placed fifth.
Capital Prep’s Dhahran Velasquez took first place in a time of 16:18.
The cross country state championships are underway here at Wickham Park in Manchester. Check back here for all results. Class S boys just starting.
RACE LIVE BLOG
Fairfield Prep coach Bob Ford said he told his team to worry about what they do, not what their competitors do.
With the challenges Wickham Park’s hill-laden course will present in the cross country state championship meets on Saturday, namely the large grassy hill dubbed “The Green Monster,” the runners won’t have much of a choice.The state-meet races begin at 9:15 a.m. with Class S and continue throughout the day. The Green Monster looms about two miles into the course and ascends about 100 yards up. Although it is the trademark of the Wickham Park course, Ford said it is not the toughest hill to run.
“I think Wickham’s a very fair course,” Ford said. “That hill is tough, but it’s not brutal.”
Mercy sights set on state crown
By Jimmy Zanor
MIDDLETOWN >> Longtime Mercy cross country coach John Hastings knew his team had a chance to be very good this fall.
Kaleigh Roberts, an all-state runner who placed second in both the Southern Connecticut Conference and Class L championship meets a year ago, was returning for her senior season, along with Mikayla Mooney and Janine Mouland. MacKenzie Pias, who earned all-state honors last year as a freshman, and Hannah Albert, a junior now, were also back.
Add a pair of talented freshmen in Bridgid Selfors and Melanie Cirillo, and Mercy had a formidable top seven that was ready to compete at a high level and maybe even make some history along the way.
Race rosters in link
BOYS: Fairfeld Prep, Amity Ridgefield, highlight loaded boys’ race.
GIRLS: Ridgefield, Glastonbury, Staples strong favorites to take Class.
BOYS: Hand, New Canaan highlight balanced race.
GIRLS: Mercy looks to continue momentum from Southern Connecticut Conference title.
BOYS: Anybody’s race in Class MM field, which features Branford’s Luke Arsenault.
GIRLS: Guilford looks to rebound from loss in SCC final with a state meet victory.
BOYS: Solid field in Class M.
GIRLS: Tolland looking good after Central Connecticut Conference championship victory.
BOYS: Strong Class SS field.
GIRLS: Woodland feeling good after Naugatuck Valley League championship win.
BOYS: Capital Prep looks to follow up Constitution State Conference title with state meet triumph.
GIRLS: Classical Magnet, which also won the CSC, hitting stride going into the state meet.
Champions list in link
BOYS: Danbury faces tough task to repeat in Class LL.
GIRLS: Can Tolland repeat as champs?
What to look for …
The Class LL meet looks to be the premier event Saturday. Look for a new team and individual champion. There is no Henry Wynne this year. He’s graduated and is running for the University of Virginia. This is good news for every team not named Staples. Ridgefield (FCIAC) and Fairfield Prep (SCC) both enter the event after winning their respective conference titles last week. Add in Danbury, Staples, New Milford and Amity, and it’s going to be a competitive team race featuring all Top 10 teams.
Individually, Ridgefield’s Trevor Hopper and Prep’s Chris Alvarado will duke it out on the course.
Darien and Alex Ostberg (second at FCIACs) should defend the L title.
Look for Guilford to successfully defend the MM title as well.
Keep an eye on Brookfield in Class M, ranked No. 7 in latest Top 10 poll.
In Class SS, defending champ Haddam-Killingworth brings in a young group and could be upstaged in a pretty balanced field.
In Class S, Capital Prep looks strong after a winning the Constitution State Conference.
From start to finish, there really isn’t a race that is lacking for strong runners.
Class LL should be the highlight. Sophomore Hannah DeBalsi, who is nationally ranked, enters as the clear favorite. She hasn’t lost a race all season. She’ll be challenged individually by Westhill’s Claire Howlett. Team-wise, hardware is up for grabs. Glastonbury enters ranked No. 2, Ridgefield No. 3, Staples No. 4, Conard No. 5 and Simsbury No. 7 in the state poll. This will be a competitive race and will come down to how the 3-7 runners respond for teams.
Class L will feature defending champion Cate Allen of Fairfield Warde. The Mustangs placed fourth as a team at the FCIAC championships. They have the depth to win. They’ll be challenged by SCC champion Mercy and Kaleigh Roberts.
Class M features the No. 1-ranked team in Tolland. It should defend its title.
In Class MM, Wilbur Cross’ Danae Rivers will look to win her first state cross country title.
In Class SS, Woodland is looking strong after wining the Naugatuck Valley League, thanks to seniors Carly Guisto, Angeline Rosato and Mary Sardinskas.
In Class S, Classical Magnet won the CSC and has momentum heading into the state meet.
You should know
If you’re a fan of cross country, you’ll want to stay until the very end. The Class LL races will be fun to watch. Both the girls’ and boys’ races are splattered with potential Division I runners, but should be competitive as ever. Add in Staples’ DeBalsi and Westhill’s Howlett, and what more could you ask for?
Conference Championship Recap
Stories in link
SCC: Fairfield Prep, Mercy victorious.
FCIAC: Ridgefield sweeps.
CSC: Captial Prep boys, Classical Magnets girls triumphant.
CCC: Hall boys, Tolland girls take home conference crowns.
NVL: Naugatuck boys, Woodland girls win Valley.
BL: Thomaston girls win again.