Cross country faces final test before the postseason



Southington cross country had a strong day on Oct. 9 with both the girls and the boys winning against NW Catholic in West Hartford.

The Lady Knights defeated the Lions 15-50 while the boys claimed a 20-43 victory. The Southington girls finished the dual meet season at 4-2 while the boys ended at 5-3. The Lady Knights didn’t finish their race against Simsbury and Hall on Oct. 2.

Freshman Jackie Izzo broke Isabella Scalise’s 2016 Southington female record time for a 5K race by running 19:28. Scalise’s old mark was 19:56.25 at the Vineyard Invitational on Martha’s Vineyard. It was Izzo’s personal best time by 31 seconds over the one she ran at Camp Sloper when she claimed the Southington freshman record for that course.

“It was an impressive race,” coach Dan Dachelet said of Izzo’s effort.

That could be said for most of the Southington girls. The Lady Knights took advantage of NWC’s mostly asphalt course and put up some great times.

Senior Kate Kemnitz hung with Izzo for the first mile and went on to a personal best time of 20:22. Also among those setting personal records for Southington was senior Taylor Borla, who ran the course in 21:56, five seconds better than her previous best.

“Taylor ran a really good race from two miles on, she closed well,” Dachelet said.

Izzo was first for Southington, which claimed all of the Top 10 spots. She was followed by Kemnitz, Natalia Adamczyk, Kailey Schmarr, Borla, Emma Swindon, Diane Pillsbury, Meghan Sheline, Megan Wadman and Amanda Perkowski.

Swindon (22:19), Pillsbury (22:21), Sheline (22:24) and Wadman (22:44) also ran personal best times for a 5K race, and some of those times smashed their previous marks.

“The course is about 30 percent grass, and the rest is asphalt,” Dachelet said. “It was a good opportunity for kids to PR.”

The Southington boys claimed eight of the Top 10 spots in their way to the dual meet win. Matt Penna was the top Blue Knight runner, taking second place with a personal record time of 16:56.

“It’s been a long time since Penna had a PR 5K, so that was nice to see,” Dachelet said.

Penna’s second place began a run of eight straight spots (2-9) claimed by Southington runners. Penna was followed by Ryan Slesinski, Lucca Riccio, Grayson Borla, Ryan Asido, Kevin Le, Jared Rivera and Jackson Landino. NWC’s Michael Stamm won the race in 16:19.

Slesinski ran 17:22, just three seconds off of his personal record of 17:19. Riccio ran a personal record 17:30 while Borla shattered his own best time by finishing the race in 17:54 (his previous best was 18:36).

“Grayson Borla had another great race. He’s definitely a very mature freshman,” Dachelet said.

Also running personal record times were Le (18:16), Rivera (18:26) and Landino (18:27). Asido tied his personal record at 17:58.

Dachelet was hoping the strong efforts at NWC gave the boys some confidence heading into the postseason, which began with the CCC Championship meet on Tuesday at Wickham Park in Manchester. After the CCC meet is the Class LL meet, which takes place on Oct. 27, also at Wickham Park.

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