By John Torsiello
The Granby Memorial High School girls’ cross-country team finished the regular season with a sparkling 10-3 record and gave a terrific performance at the recent Wickham Invitational.
The Bears’ number one runner, Katie Pinson, finished third overall with a time of 20:08 in the girls seeded race at Wickham and Alexa Cakes finished 10th overall with a time of 20:34. Also medaling was Emma Sheehan with a time of 22:23.
Going into the North Central Connecticut Conference meet Wednesday (after press time) at Windsor Locks High School it looks like Granby will be chasing Avon and Suffield (Suffield was first in the seeded race at Wickham and Avon was second) with the Bears battling Ellington and Bolton for a top three finish. Granby beat Ellington during the dual meet season but lost to Bolton in a very close meet.
Said head coach Walt Hansen, “We are looking ahead to the Class SS meet where I believe there are four teams that have a shot at a championship, us, East Hampton, Oxford, and Griswold. We may not be the favorite but if we keep doing what we are doing, anything can happen.”
The coach said that even though the Granby team is relatively small (14 girls), he believes the squad has pushed one another to improve and has worked extremely hard.
“They are improving at a rate that is much quicker than I anticipated. We have terrific leadership at the top with Alexa Cakes, a captain and three-time All-NCCC runner. She is looking for a fourth on Wednesday, and has a goal of becoming All-State. Katie Pinson has been a fantastic addition to the team, and as a first year cross-country runner, her times and performances speak for themselves. She also has a goal of becoming all-conference and All-State.”
Amanda Radcliff (sophomore) and Emma Sheehan (freshman) are having super years as the Bears’ number three and four runners.
“Amanda, in particular, has improved from last year, taking significant chunks of time off from her performances of a year ago. The two of them have pushed each all year and have formed a healthy competition that has made our team better.”
Rounding out Granby’s top five is Lauren Sannizzaro, who Hansen said, “may just well be our most improved runner from a year ago, improving on some courses from last year over four minutes.”
He added, “Our other captain, Gabbi Stahl, has been injured most of the year but has provided our team with excellent vocal leadership and support.”