Division, conference and Class meets are all in the books, paving the way for the biggest race on the state calendar.
And just like the 12 class races last week, the State Open was moved up a day — from Friday to Thursday — due to incoming weather.
Who will prevail at Wickham Park in Manchester?
Time: 2 p.m.
Defending team champion: Xavier
2017 Winner: Drew Thompson, Fairfield Prep (15:44)
What to watch for: A tiebreaker is all that separated Xavier and Staples in the team standings in 2017, and a similarly close battle could be on hand again this year between several teams. The Falcons breezed to the Class L title by placing four in the top five while Staples finished just ahead of Hall. Class M champion Tolland edged Xavier at the Wickham Invite. The Eagles and Suffield dominated Class M, combining to earn seven of the top eight spots.
The Falcons quartet of Robbie Cozean, Peter Schulten, Will Curran and Dillon Selfors will ensure Xavier will score low while Staples’ Mayo Smith, Morgan Fierro and Nicholas Taubenheim finished in the top 10 at Class LL and will try to keep pace.
The individual race could be just as intense. Class L champion Eli Nahom will meet a field of runners from the Class LL event who are capable of stealing the show. Hall’s Miller Anderson and Conard’s Gavin Sherry also broke 16 minutes last weekend in a neck-and-neck battle to the finish line.
Class SS champion Eddie Nicholas of Nonnewaug ran a top-10 time last weekend and will be in the hunt on Thursday.
Top 10 times from Class meets
- Eli Nahom, New Milford (15:55)
- Miller Anderson, Hall (15:57)
- Gavin Sherry, Conard (15:59)
- Robert Dillon, Shelton (16:00)
- Trey Cormier, Hall (16:03)
- Robbie Cozean, Xavier (16:06)
- Eddie Nicholas, Nonnewaug (16:08)
- Peter Schulten, Xavier (16:14)
- Travis Martin, Wilbur Cross (16:16)
- Mayo Smith, Staples (16:18)
Time: 2:45 p.m.
Defending team champion: Glastonbury
2017 Winner: Morgan McCormick, Wilton (18:23)
What to watch: Pomperaug sophomore Kate Wiser coasted down the stretch and still posted a 18:32 to win the Class MM race, the lowest time of the Class meets by 13 seconds. The top four times came from four class champions as Greenwich sophomore Mari Noble earned a win in the Class LL race.
Class L winner Claire Daniels (New Milford) and Class SS champion Elizabeth Stockman also crossed the line in under 19 minutes to comfortably win their titles.
The team battle could also come down to several squads, including neighbors Danbury and Immaculate. The Class LL and Class SS champions will best tested by SWC and Class MM champion Pomperaug, while Class LL runner-up and defending champion Glastonbury will hope to bounce back from placing second to the Hatters.
Danbury is search for its first State Open title after claiming its third Class LL championship.
Top 10 times from Class meets
- Kate Wiser, Pomperaug (18:32)
- Elizabeth Stockman, Rocky Hill (18:45)
- Claire Daniels, New Milford (18:56)
- Mari Noble, Greenwich (18:57)
- Lauren Moore, Danbury (18:59)
- Kathryn Rodrigues, Wolcott (19:02)
- Alessandra Zaffina, Trumbull (19:02)
- Tess Pisanelli, Ridgefield (19:16)
- Gabriella Viggiano, Ridgefield (19:17)
- Kate Hedlund, Manchester (19:19)