By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington girls cross country had one meet last week, and made it count with wins over Conard and Avon in the home opener at Camp Sloper on Sept. 17.
The Lady Knights defeated the Chieftains, 17-40, and took down the Falcons, 23-34. Southington improved to 2-2 with the wins. Sophomore Jackie Izzo shattered the course record with a new best of 20:26.7 in her first place finish.
The previous record was 21:00 by Liz Lagoy in 2013.
“There’s been some very fast runners on this course over the years and to break the course record by that much is impressive,” coach Dan Dachelet said.
Grace Michaud was second in 21:12.9. Both Izzo and Michaud came flying out at the start of the race and ran strong races.
“The girls up front ran solid. Jackie and Grace hammered it as you can tell by the times,” Dachelet said.
Diane Pillsbury was the third Lady Knight to cross the line, finishing fifth in 23:26.3. Meghan Sheline took eighth place in 24:29.9 while Megan Wadman was ninth in 24:40.8, giving Southington five runners in the overall Top 10.
“Meghan Sheline stepped up with a solid effort that was much needed,” Dachelet said. “Megan Wadman, who’s been nursing an injury, showed that she may have what it takes to be a top five runner.”
In head-to-head against Conard, Southington finished first, second, third, fifth and sixth. The sixth and seventh runners for the Knights—Jasmine Hallett and Emma Swindon—would have finished ahead of the fourth and fifth runners for the Chieftains, but only the top five runners count toward the team scores. Conard finished fourth, sixth, seventh, 11th and 12th.
In head-to-head against Avon, Southington had the first, second and fifth place finishers, which proved to be the difference. The Knights finished first, second, fifth, seventh and eighth against the Falcons, who finished third, fourth, sixth, ninth and 12th. Mallett (10th), the sixth Southington runner, had a better time than Avon’s fifth place finisher.
“All in all a good day, but we have a long way to go if we want to be taking a trip to the state open,” Dachelet said.
Up next: Southington hosted the always-fun Sloper Relays on Thursday at Camp Sloper. Teams at the high school and middle school levels come to compete in the relays annually.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com