Cross country challenged by competitive schedule

track-shsBy BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

Southington’s cross country program stumbled over a bump in the road this past week when they ran into their toughest competition in the CCC and fell short of their expected times at an out-of-state meet. Southington coach Dan Dachelet said he’s still looking for runners to step up and fill gaps but his teams are in good shape.

“To race across the board, you really have to be mentally ready to hammer,” he said. “We certainly have to address this because this is exactly what we’ll face in the near future.”

Glastonbury, Simsbury

SEPT. 27—Southington began the week with their first multiple dual meet of the season when they traveled to JB Williams Park to run against Glastonbury and Simsbury.

The boys team defeated Simsbury, 26-33, but fell to Glastonbury by three points, 27-30, to pick up their second loss of the season. The girls team suffered their first losses of the season to both Glastonbury, 18-45, and Simsbury, 25-30.

“It basically came down to a couple one-on-one matchups,” said Dachelet. “But we still manned it pretty good. A lot of people take it out pretty hard on that course and fall back, but we hung in there. We just didn’t have it in the end.”

Mark Murdy paced the Blue Knights with a time of 14:46, finishing third overall. Conner Leone (14:53), Shane Leone (15:19), Tom Murdy (15:25), and Jordan McMeans (15:53) contributed as well.

Isabella Scalise paced the Lady Knights with a time of 18:00.98, finishing fourth overall. Marisa Matthews (18:34.37), Kate Kemnitz (19:02.96), Catherine Myers (19:48.18), and Sarah Minkiewicz (19:51.32) contributed as well.

“The losses were by a margin, and we all know that they can be overcome on a different day,” said the coach. “We’ll face these guys again at Wickham at the conference meet.”

Woods Trail Run

OCT. 1—Southington wrapped up the week with the second round of their out-of-state meets when they traveled to Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vt. to compete in the 26th annual Woods Trail Run on Saturday. The boys team placed 13th overall out of 55 teams.

Unlike a dual meet, the Woods Trail Run asked coaches to separate their runners, based on time, and there are 10 different races featuring five boys and five girls.

“The race was kind of the equivalent of the state open,” said Dachelet. “Everyone was within about a minute and 15 seconds of each other. That’s not the case in most varsity races, even in the postseason. There’s going to be a four to six-minute gap between the lead pack and the back of the pack.”

In the absence of Mark Murdy, Conner Leone picked up the slack and marshaled the Blue Knights with a time of 18:05.21, finishing 52nd out of 829 runners. Tom Murdy (18:08.67), Jeffrey Hannigan (18:39.81), Ryan Slesinski (18:52.22), and Shane Leone (19:02.37) scored.

Without Matthews, the girls team placed 19th overall out of 48 teams. Scalise led the Lady Knights with a time of 21:23.29, finishing 44th out of 589 runners. Natalia Adamczyk (22:45.08), Kemnitz (22:51.24), Myers (23:11.46), and Minkiewicz (23:36.25) scored.

“Based on expectations and where we think we are at, that was probably the farthest from our capabilities since I’ve been at Southington,” the coach said. “In this race, there’s no room for error or having doubts in your head. If you fall off the pace a little bit, they’re going to pass you and never look back. If you’re not fully prepared for that mentally, it’s daunting. Across the board, we weren’t ready for that.”

The Knights are scheduled to travel to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, NY on Saturday, Oct. 8 for their final out-of-state meet of the regular season when they compete in the Manhattan Invitational.

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