MANCHESTER — Wilton High School senior cross country star Morgan McCormick completed her second championship trifecta in a row Friday, winning her second consecutive State Open crown to go along with the second straight Class L and second straight FCIAC titles she had already won this year.
McCormick covered the five-kilometer course at Wickham Park in 18:23, four seconds slower than her winning time in the Class L meet on Saturday, but still comfortably ahead. Pomperaug freshman phenom Katherine Wiser placed second (18:42) for the second race in a row behind McCormick. Wiser, of course, had taken second to McCormick at the Class L meet as well.
“I didn’t know it would happen, so I’m just really pleased with the outcome,” McCormick said during the awards ceremony at nearby East Catholic High School. “I was hoping for a better time, but it was really humid.”
The weather was certainly a factor in the girls race, with temperatures near 80 degrees along with a blazing sun. Several runners collapsed near the finish line and either crawled to the finish or were treated by medical personnel off to the side of the course.
Wiser hung with McCormick for the second straight week; Wiser had finished 16 seconds behind McCormick in the Class L race. Wiser’s teammates chanted “She’s a freshman!” as she walked on stage to receive her medal, and with good reason. She was the only freshman girl to finish in the top 25.
The top six teams and the top 25 runners qualified for the New England championships, which are scheduled for Nov. 11 in Belfast, Maine.
Glastonbury won the girls team title with 80 points, followed by Danbury with 128, Pomperaug with 136, Guilford with 153, Haddam-Killingworth with 219 and Trumbull with 236. All qualified for New Englands.
“I am really proud of how we did,” said Danbury High junior Lauren Moore, who placed sixth (19:41). “New Englands was something we weren’t sure we’d be able to get to, but as we got closer, we realized it could be possible.”
The local schools were well represented among the New England qualifiers. Immaculate’s Angela Saidman placed fifth (19:31), Danbury’s Alexandra Chakar finished ninth (19:54), Pomperaug’s Madison Villa came in 13th (20:00), Greenwich’s Emily Philippides took 14th (20:07), New Fairfield’s Kayla Cohen finished 15th (20:13), Trumbull’s Alessandra Zaffina placed 17th (20:15) and New Fairfield’s Hazel Hudson came in 24th (20:24).
“I haven’t run a race where anyone else has been leading, so I’m psyched to see how fast I can go, or if I can push the pace when there is someone in front of me,” McCormick said.
Among the leaders at New Englands last year, Saidman finished 16th, McCormick placed 26th and Villa came in 57th.
at Wickham Park, Manchester
Team scores: 1. Glastonbury 80; 2. Danbury 128; 3. Pomperaug 136; 4. Guilford 153; 5. Haddam-Killingworth 219; 6. Trumbull 236; 7. RHAM 240; 8. E.O. Smith 242; 9. Greenwich 246; 10. Immaculate 251; 11. Wilton 258; 12. Hall 295; 13. Avon 300; 14. Old Saybrook 301; 15. Ludlowe 317; 16. Cheshire 319; 17. East Lyme 378; 18. Shepaug Valley 395; 19. Berlin 434; 20. Nonnewaug 485.
Top 25 individual finishers: 1. Morgan McCormick (Wilton) 18:23; 2. Katherine Wiser (Pomperaug) 18:42; 3. Meredith Bloss (Guilford) 19:28; 4. Kate Hedlund (Manchester) 19:31; 5. Angela Saidman (Immaculate) 19:31; 6. Lauren Moore (Danbury) 19:41; 7. Bethany Ottowitz (Watertown) 19:50; 8. Celia Chacko (Aerospace) 19:52; 9. Alexandra Chakar (Danbury) 19:54; 10. Elizabeth Stockman (Rocky Hill) 19:55; 11. Angela Braga (Glastonbury) 19:56; 12. Kylie Raymond (Somers) 19:59; 13. Madison Villa (Pomperaug) 20:00; 14. Emily Philippides (Greenwich) 20:07; 15. Kayla Cohen (New Fairfield) 20:13; 16. Mady Whittaker (Montville) 20:13; 17. Alessandra Zaffina (Trumbull) 20:15; 18. Miranda Graves (E.O. Smith) 20:17; 19. Brittany Anderson (Glastonbury) 20:18; 20. Ariana Monarca (Middletown) 20:19; 21. Grace Sparrow (Glastonbury) 20:20; 22. Juliana Cancellieri (Berlin) 20:21; 23. Kelsey D’Amico (Haddam-Killingworth) 20:24; 24. Hazel Hudson (New Fairfield) 20:24; 25. Alexandra Ross (Glastonbury) 20:25.
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