The state cross country championships will take place this Saturday at Wickham park in Manchester.
To get ready for the all-day event, here is a jam-packed guide for the beginners and experts of the sport to become prepared by race day!
Where: Wickham State Park (1329 Middle Turnpike West, Manchester, CT 06040)
Weather date: Sunday, November 1 and/or Monday, November 2
Weather forecast for Saturday: 55 degrees, partly cloudy
Cost: Spectator parking and CIAC event admission fee of $10 per car (from CIAC handbook) for both the Class and Open Championships
Live results: nestiming.com
Start list: Each classification of runners, teams
Twitter: @MaryAlbl @GameTimeCT
Course: 5,000-meters for both boys and girls (Here is a virtual look at the course)
What’s at stake? From the CIAC cross country handbook on advancing the State Open on Friday, Nov. 6 at Wickham:
Start time: 10:55 a.m.
Defending team champ: Amity
2014 individual champ: Ari Klau, Hall (graduated and now at Virginia)
Top returner: Gabe Altopp, Ridgefield (3rd)
Mary’s pick: Eric van der Els, Brien McMahon (individual); Staples (team)
Insider info: This hands down may be the best and most competitive individual and team race of the day. There’s at least five guys who could win the title and four teams who could win. A must see race.
Start time: 9:50 a.m.
Defending team champs: New Milford
2014 individual champ: Alex Ostberg, Darien (graduated and now at Stanford)
Top returner: Army Noonan, Darien (3rd)
Mary’s pick: Michael Stoker, South Windsor (individual); New Miford (team)
Insider info: Darien’s Army Noonan is iffy for state championships. The senior has been battling a shin injury most of season. If 100 percent, he would be front-runner for title.
Start time: 3:45 p.m.
Defending team champs: E.O. Smith
Defending individual champ: Patrick Briody, E.O. Smith
Top returner: Patrick Briody, E.O. Smith
Mary’s pick: Patrick Briody, E.O. Smith (individual); Guilford (team)
Insider info: Since 2005, Guilford has won or finished runner-up six times. The Indians have a chance to win their first state title since 2012.
Start time: 2:40 p.m.
Defending team champ: Ellington
Defending individual champ: James Mas, St. Joseph
Top returner: James Mas, St. Joseph (1st)
Mary’s pick: James Mas, St. Joseph (individual); Ellington (team)
Insider info: Don’t mess with the headband. St. Joes James Mas, the 2014 winner, always wears a headband when racing.
Start time: 1:35 p.m.
Defending team champ: Haddam-Killingworth
2014 individual champ: Christian Alberico, Coginchaug (graduated and now at Iona)
Top returner: Cameron Garrelts, HK (2nd)
Mary’s pick: Cameron Garrelts, HK (individual); HK (team)
Insider info: Cam Garrelts of Haddam-Killingworth is fresh off his first Shoreline title and has a chance to win his first individual state xc title. It’s an almost clear path for the senior with Christian Alberico graduated.
Start time: Noon
Defending team champ: Shepaug Valley
2014 individual champ: Trevor Chambers, Bolton (graduated)
Top returner: Ed Wolfe, Shepaug Valley (2nd)
Mary’s pick: Erik Quist, Shepaug Valley (individual); Shepaug Valley (team)
Insider info: Shepaug Valley will be looking to win its first back-t0-back titles since winning Class S in 2002, 03, 04.
Start time: 10:20 a.m.
Defending team champ: Glastonbury
Defending individual champ: Hannah DeBalsi, Staples
Top returner: Hannah DeBalsi, Staples
Mary’s pick: Hannah DeBalsi, Staples; Ridgefield (team)
Insider info: Like the boys race, this could be one of the more competitive team battles. It’s Glastonbury (CCC) champ vs Ridgefield (FCIAC) champ. Two of the top three teams in the state. It will come down to those 4-5-6 runners.
Start time: 9:15 a.m.
Defending team champ: Darien
2014 individual champ: Anne Johnston, Darien (graduated and now at Williams College)
Top returner: Mackenzie Pias, Mercy (2nd)
Mary’s pick: Mackenzie Pias, Mercy; Pomperaug (team)
Insider info: Pomperaug and E.O. Smith could battle for the title, as well as Mercy. Mercy senior Mackenize Pias will look to win her first ever state xc title, but will be challenged by teammate and junior Bridgid Selfors. The pair could easily go 1-2.
Start time: 3:10 p.m.
Defending team champ: Avon
2014 individual champ: Gabrielle Richichi, New Fairfield (graduated and now at Duke)
Top returner: Cyrene Nicholas, Branford (4th)
Mary’s pick: Cyrene Nicholas, Branford (individual); Avon (team)
Insider info: Avon is coming off a fourth place finish at the CCC Championships and will be looking to win back-to-back state titles. Guilford captured fourth at the SCC Championships and could make a run at the title as well.
Start time: 2:05 p.m.
Defending team champ: Tolland
Defending individual champ: Hayley Collins, Tolland
Top returner: Hayley Collin, Tolland
Mary’s pick: Katherine DeLoreto (individual); Tolland (team)
Insider info: Tolland will be going for a fifth straight state Class M title. The last team to win five straight Class M girls titles was Montville 1978-1983 (six times). That’s the only other one to do it five or more times in Class M.
Start time: 1 p.m.
Defending team champ: Coginchaug
2014 individual champ: Elisabeth Jean, Conventry (graduated, now plays soccer for Penn State)
Top returner: Madeleine Brandon, HK (2nd)
Mary’s pick: Madeline Brandon, HK (individual); HK (team)
Insider info: Maddie Brandon led her team to a Shoreline title and won her third straight conference title last week. The senior could do the same at the state level.
Start time: 11:25 a.m.
Defending team champ: Portland
Defending individual champ: Sabrina Chesters, Parish Hill
Top returner: Sabrina Chesters, Parish Hill
Mary’s pick: Sabrina Chesters, Parish Hill (individual); Derby (team)
Insider info: This could be a very close team race between Derby and Immaculate. Derby, fresh off an NVL title, is vying for its first ever state title.