MANCHESTER>> A friendly rivalry has been building in recent years between the Tolland and Glastonbury girls cross country teams.
Each of the last three years has seen one of those two teams win the CCC championship with Tolland capturing the most recent two.
But on Wednesday at Wickham Park the Tomahawks got them.
It came down to a tiebreaker as both teams finished with 56 points, but it was Sara Wilcox, the sixth Glastonbury runner to cross the finish line, that made the difference. She came in 29th whereas the sixth Tolland finisher was Breann Campise in 69th.
“I was really worried when they said it was a tie, because I knew I got sixth,” Wilcox said. “So I was really happy when they said that we won.”
Glastonbury girls coach Brian Collins peaked at the results before they were announced, but didn’t tell his team.
“We knew we could be in the game,” Collins said. “We knew they [Tolland] were favorites and rightfully so, they’re the defending state open champions and they’re a great team. We’ve been hoping to close the gap a little bit with time and get a little bit closer and we did that at the Wickham Invite and everyone ran pretty well today and we closed up even more.”
Wilcox is typically the Tomahawks fifth runner, but Moracca Wiley ran one of her best races finishing 21st overall to grab that fifth Glastonbury spot and really helped the team.
“She had an outstanding race which put us in that position,” Collins said.
Katherine DeLoreto of Tolland won the overall girls championship with a time of 19:06.29, more than 22 seconds ahead of her teammate Hayley Collins in second. Jody DiCicco of Berlin finished third.
“I love this course, it’s kind of like a second home to me,” DeLoreto said. “So I just try to push no matter what the day and try my hardest.”
Glastonbury placed three runners in the top seven with Gaelyn Kattman fourth, Kaylee Stebbins fifth and Allison McArdle seventh.
On the boys side it was essentially Glastonbury’s meet to lose and the Tomahawks didn’t disappoint.
Scoring one more point than the girls did in their victory, Glastonbury (57) topped East Catholic (143) and Manchester (155) to claim its first CCC championship since 2009 according to coach Howie Brenian.
“It means we’ve built back,” Brenian said. “A good strong process and obviously Randy’s been a great leader, so it’s nice to see him pull the team up to this point for his senior season and they’ve been working hard and just have to be very pleased.”
Randy Neish, who hasn’t lost a race in Connecticut this season, crossed the finish line first with a time of 16:25.90, nearly six seconds ahead of Michael Stoker of South Windsor. Patrick Briody of E.O. Smith finished third.
“I felt comfortable, had a big lead at the hill so I just cruised the last mile,” Neish said. “No sense in killing myself today and save it for the postseason.”