NEW CANAAN — It was deja vu all over again.
It just wouldn’t be an FCIAC Girls Cross Country Championship if Danbury High School’s Lauren Moore and Ridgefield’s Gabriella Viggiano weren’t racing neck-and-neck to the finish line.
In 2017, it was Moore who hit the wire one second ahead of Viggiano to capture second place overall behind runaway winner Morgan McCormick of Wilton.
On Thursday, Viggiano turned the tables as her last push at the wire made her the 2018 FCIAC Girls Cross Country Individual Champion over Moore. The margin of victory at New Canaan’s Waveny Park for the 4,000-meter race was microscopic (Viggiano 14:39.07; Moore 14:39.53).
“It was a great race. I really love running at Waveny Park,” Viggiano said. “The final time was a personal best for both Lauren and I by about 20 seconds. After finishing third in 2017, I wanted better this year.”
Due to the recent heavy rains, the Waveny Park course was adjusted for safety for both the girls and boys races while remaining the usual 4,000-meters and 5,000-meters distances.
“This season there were a lot of girls who improved over last year. A group of us have battled throughout the regular season,” Moore said. “The fact this was my last FCIAC Girls Cross Country Championship was meaningful. I wanted to make it the best one I could. I left everything I had on the course. I had nothing left at the end.”
Moore was thrilled that her runnerup finish led Danbury to their first-ever FCIAC team title.
Junior Meilee Kry (9th place), sophomore Daniella Grullon (11th place), junior Sarah Johnson (12th place) and Cassandra Sturdevant (16th place) completed the victorious Danbury contingent.
Danbury’s 50 points held off Trumbull (57), Ridgefield (77) and Greenwich (89) in the team race.
It was Greenwich High sophomore Mari Noble who finished third overall (14:41.75), just over two seconds behind Viggiano and Moore in the windy conditions.
“Everybody was out to win today. Everybody was in peak form,” Noble said. “I had visualized the race Wednesday night. I gave it my all. I have no regrets. It was quite exciting down the stretch. I’m looking forward to the state meets.”
FCIAC GIRLS XC CHAMPIONSHIP
4,000 meters at Waveny Park, New Canaan.
1, Danbury 50 points; 2, Trumbull 57; 3, Ridgefield 77; 4, Greenwich 89; 5, New Canaan 160; 6, Darien 177; 7, Staples 185; 8, Warde 196; 9, Wilton 205; 10, Ludlowe 242; 11, Stamford 338; 12, St. Joseph 380.
Top 25 Individuals
1. Gabriella Viggiano (Ridgefield) 14:39.07; 2, Lauren Moore (Danbury) 14:39.53; 3, Mari Noble (Greenwich) 14:41.75; 4, Tess Pisanelli (Ridgefield) 14:46.32; 5, Alessandra Zaffina (Trumbull) 14:47.06; 6, Mairead Clas (Darien) 14:58.44; 7, Zoe Harris (Greenwich) 15:08.56; 8, Caroline Webb (Greenwich) 15:10.49; 9, Meilee Kry (Danbury) 15:13.22; 10, Emily Alexandru (Trumbull) 15:13.78. 11, Daniella Grullon (Danbury) 15:14.40; 12, Sarah Johnson (Danbury) 15:15.03; 13, Calyn Carbone (Trumbull) 15:15.47; 14, Kali Holden (Trumbull) 15:16.06; 15, Margaret LoSchiavo (Trumbull) 15:20.48; 16, Cassandra Sturdevant (Danbury) 15:22.25; 17, Sophie Curcio (New Canaan) 15:24.40; 18, Elaina Tiller (New Canaan) 15:26.70; 19, Tori Greenberg (Staples) 15:27.42; 20, Alexandra Chakar (Danbury) 15:28.27; 21, Elizabeth Jasminski (Ridgefield) 15:31.80; 22, Emily Welch (Wilton) 15:36.60; 23, Valerie Fox (Danbury) 15:37; 24, Vivian Mendez (Danbury) 15:44.06; 25, Katherine Langis (Ridgefield) 15:44.96.