1. State Open
Unlike a lot of states, Connecticut runners get the chance to flex their muscles statewide and find out just how good they are against everyone.
A week after each classification runs at the state meets, those who have qualified, get a chance to race one another to find out who is the best in the state at Wickham Park.
On a Friday afternoon, short and sweet — two races — and the day is over. It’s a best of the best meet in a way as the top girl and boy are crowned! And that’s pretty darn awesome.
2. Class state championships
Late October day. Usually a beautiful fall setting in one of the state’s most challenging and amazing cross country courses, Wickham Park in Manchester.
The cross country state championship meets are unique in that fans and runners get a chance to compete on the same day at the same site.
Class LL, L, M, MM, S and SS all run one after another starting at 9 a.m. and going until late afternoon.
It’s a long and busy day, but if you’re a fan of cross country, nothing beats watching teams competing for state titles, individuals racing their hearts out and fans lined up everywhere cheering them on.
3. Wickham Park Invitational
This meet in mid-October is a great preview of the state championships. Held at Wickham Park, runners get a chance to run the course and test out the giant hill, aka, “The Green Monster.”
What also makes this meet top-notch is the fact that not only multiple teams in Connecticut come, but out of state as well. Last year, Coe-Brown (NH), Pinkerton (NH), Cumberland (RI) were just few to compete. This invitational gives runners and teams a good chance to look at some of the competition before New Englands.
4. Stratton Brook Invitational
Held in mid-to-late September, this is a good early season invitational that attracts teams from all areas of the state.
Run at Stratton Brook State Park in Simsbury, this is one of the more unique course that features a covered bridge.
This meets features freshmen, junior varsity and varsity races and breaks off into small and large schools. Last year, Hall’s Ari Klau set a 5K course record of 16:06.7.
5. Wilton Invitational
Another meet in September, this one is held in Wilton and features a lot of Fairfield County teams, but also brings in from other parts of the state.
Open to Connecticut and New York state teams, this invite is held at Allen’s Meadow and is a faster course.
The boys run a 5K, while the girls’ length is 4K.