Cross country schedule sets grueling pace

By KEVIN ROBERTS

STAFF WRITER

It was a busy week again for the Southington cross country program.

The Blue Knights began last week with a tough tri-meet against Hall and Simsbury on Oct. 1 at Hall High School in West Hartford. Southington hosted the rescheduled Sloper Relays in the rain on Oct. 3, then headed to Vermont this past Saturday for the Woods Trail Run Cross Country Invitational.

Here’s what happened last week:

Tri-meet at Hall

OCT. 1—The Knights took on a pair of strong CCC West opponents in a tri-meet in West Hartford, with mixed results.

The Southington boys picked up a 22-37 win over Simsbury. The Knights lost a close one to the hosts from Hall, 27-32. The Warriors beat the Trojans head-to-head, 23-36, to earn a sweep. Southington’s record in dual meets is 3-3.

The Southington girls lost both matchups, 24-37 to Simsbury and 17-41 to Hall. The Warriors defeated the Trojans, 17-41, to earn a sweep. Southington’s record in dual meets is 2-4.

Boys—Hall’s Jackson Grady was the winner in the boys race, coming in first in a time of 16:40.18. Southington was able to get three runners into the overall top five. Matt Penna was second in 16:58.11, followed by Lucca Riccio in third in 17:09.40 and Jake Nafis in fifth in 17:18.65. Ryan Asido was 15th in 18:08.46 and Jackson Landino was 18th in 18:20.87.

Southington took first, second, fourth, seventh and eighth in the win over Simsbury. The Trojans were third, fifth, sixth, 11th and 12th. CJ Pierce and Evan Kristopik didn’t count toward the team score, but they both finished ahead of the fourth and fifth runners for Simsbury. Pierce was ninth and Kristopik was 10th.

Southington took second, third, fourth, 11th and 12th in the loss to Hall. The Warriors claimed first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth.

Girls—Hall’s Jenna Zydanowicz was the winner in the girls race, coming in first in 19:04.28. Southington’s Jackie Izzo was second in 19:29.24 and Grace Michaud joined her in the overall Top 10, finishing sixth in 20:12.53. Diane Pillsbury was 17th in 22:59.84, Meghan Sheline was 20th in 23:48.50 and Megan Wadman was 22nd in 23:59.87.

Southington finished first, third, 10th, 11th and 12th against Simsbury. The Trojans took second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

Southington placed second, fifth, 10th, 11th and 12th against Hall. The Warriors claimed first, third, fourth, sixth and seventh.

Sloper Relays

OCT. 3—The Knights sat out the rainy Sloper Relays, which were rescheduled from Sept. 26 due to inclement weather. Southington had competed in the Hall tri-meet on Oct. 1, then had a tough invitational in Vermont on Oct. 5.

Thomaston’s Maegan Desmarais and Briana Grecco won the Two Girls Division in 35:39. Terryville’s CJ Hart and Conor Garrity won the Two Boys Division in 31:13. Terryville’s Kaitlyn Deforest and Chris Deforst won the One Boy/One Girl Division in 31:35. Bristol Eastern was first in the Four Co-Ed Division in 38:16 behind the team of Nataliya Cruz, Sabrina Orozco, Joshua Moore and Lewis Sinche. Eastern also won the Four Freshmen Boys Division (34:38) behind the team of Aidan Doyle, Daniel Morales, Aidan Tartarelli and Dominic Tartarelli.

Wethersfield won the Four Girls Division in 37:32 behind the team of Jessica Garcia, Meghan Gregorski, Adriana Mantilla and Pernile To. The Eagles also won the Four Boys Division (29:40) behind the team of Michael Dunn, Owen Gagne, Evan McNeice and Connor Pratt. Wethersfield took first in the Four Freshmen Girls Division in 41:16 behind the team of Grace Bradley, Emma Costello, Annis Fast and Yana Telnov. The Eagles also took the top spot in the Four Co-Ed Freshmen Division (41:50) behind the team of Alyssa Cote, Lauren Stout, Sam Alam and Andrew Strong.

In the middle school boys race, Braeden Saunders of Glastonbury’s Smith Middle School finished first in 8:48. Smith took the first eight spots in the boys race and were the top team with a score of 15. Smith Middle School also had the top middle school girls runner, Ania McMichael, who won in 8:41. Smith took eight of the first nine spots to finish as the top team with a score of 16.

Woods Trail Run invite

OCT. 5—The Knights made a three-hour trip north to Thetford, Vt., for the Woods Trail Run Cross Country Invitational. The meet was hosted by the Thetford Academy.

Southington competed in the Seed 1 race for both the boys and the girls. The boys finished third overall in the invitational out of 52 teams with a score of 174. U-32 High School was first with a score of 76, followed by Champlain Valley at 153. Both of those schools are from Vermont. Matt Penna was the top Knight runner, taking 12th overall in 17:20.13. Lucca Riccio was 19th in 17:39.82, followed by Jake Nafis in 22nd (17:46.14), Jackson Landino in 50th (18:17.29) and Ryan Asido in 80th (18:40.88). In terms of team points, Penna had 11, followed by Riccio with 18, Nafis with 21, Landino with 48 and Asido with 76.

The girls finished 15th overall in the invitational out of 44 teams with a score of 488. Champlain Valley finished first with a team score of 95. Jackie Izzo was the top Knight runner, taking 10th overall in 20:01.33. Grace Michaud was 24th in 20:52.31, followed by Megan Wadman in 163rd (23:38.97), Meghan Sheline in 172nd (23:46.71) and Emma Swindon in 228th (24:33.99). In terms of team points, Izzo had eight, followed by Michaud with 21, Wadman with 137, Sheline with 144 and Swindon with 177.

Up next: Southington hosted NW Catholic on Tuesday at Camp Sloper in the regular season dual meet finale.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com

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