Tolland, Glastonbury girls take cross country crowns

MANCHESTER — The CIAC Boys and Girls Division cross country meets held Saturday at Wickham Park had some surprises but also showed some things never seem to change, as Glastonbury and Tolland took the Class LL and M girls titles respectively.

In Class M, Tolland put on an almost perfect performance as Eagle runners finished fist through fourth with its fifth runner coming in seventh for an insane score of 17. That total beat runner-up Suffield by 53 points.

Courtney Akerley was the individual champion followed by teammates Caitlin Swanson, Megan Steinhilber, Katherine Deloreto and Hayley Collins in second through fourth and seventh.

Suffield was led by Monique Labarre in eighth place while Nina Begley was 10th, Katie Baker 12th, Laura Sweeney 15th and Erin Kost 25th

Ellington finished fourth led by the pack of Leah Cawthorn, Anna Chamberland, Katherine Lee, Jenni Giacalone and Erin Magnuson.

In Class LL, Glastonbury repeated as champion and with a very young team doesn’t look to be willing to let go of that title.

The Tomahawks had a tightly grouped bunch which performed well enough to beat runner-up Ridgefield. Allison McCardle was sixth followed by Gaelyn Kattman in seventh, Kaitlyn Hebert in ninth, Kristen Arborio in 13th and Kaylee Stebbins in 16th.

“We have a good team and they love to run,” Glastonbury coach Brian Collins said. “We knew this would be a tough meet and it seems like every year we have to battle Ridgefield, Simsbury and Conard so it’s never easy.

“A lot of our success come from the girls hearing about our tradition and wanted to carry that on. That may not always mean we are going to win but we will work hard and give our best effort. Today we had sophomore, freshman, junior, senior, sophomore so this is a very young team.”

Simsbury ran well in the LL meet finishing fourth.

Sarah Mattison was fifth and Caroline Smith was 12th while Abigail Hotaling, Sarah Soja and Haley Denninger finished 22nd through 24th for the Trojans.

South Windsor finished 10th in Class L but got a surprise to-12 from sophomore Kaitlin Bakas.

“I’m so happy,” Bakas said. “It was very windy and tough going up the hills but I’m really happy with my finish. I’m only a sophomore so I hope to keep improving each race.”

Avon had high hopes in Class MM but was disappointed in its fourth place finish. The Falcons were led by Molly Hamel in fifth place and Sara Stokesbury in 11th followed by Rachael Rosow in 29th, Kristen Goldie in 47th and Christina Martin in 66th.

Canton came in fourth in Class S. Eliza Chekas, Emily Briggs, Jocelyn Rossitto, Emma Frawley, Emily

The top boys teams from the area were Ellington and Suffield, coming in second and third in Class MM and South Windsor, who finished third in Class L. Canton and Somers also added third and fourth place finishes in their divisions.

Ellington ran a solid race but could not catch champion Brookfield. Jordan Dixon was third, Spencer Lebel eighth while David Clavet was 18th, Drew Brennan 24th and Jonathan Wing 34th.

Suffield was right behind as Patrick Begley came in second and Kevin Powell ninth. Justin Walch was 25th, Ryan Jones 35th and Michael Allan 27th.

Tolland came in seventh led by the pack of Connor Lafontaine, Josh Bedard, Jared Bedard, Mike Johnson and Alex Medina.

South Windsor finished third in Class L led by Michael Stoker, who finished 12th. Ethan Gasta was 20th, Cooper Goslin was 29th followed by Ken Erikson in 30th and Garrett Brown in 40th. With their time, the Bobcats earned a wildcard berth into the State Open Friday right back at Wickham.

Farmington hoped to make a charge with a sixth place finish by Palmer Weimann and seventh by Matt Chisholm but the rest of the pack fell behind on the blustery day.

“I can’t really complain about the conditions,” Chisholm said. “It’s always something when you are running. It was 99 degrees and it wasn’t snowing or raining so the wind was not that bad. I wish I ran a little better. I have had better times so I’m a little disappointed.”

Weimann was not as critical. “I’m happy with what I did, he said. “I ran well and finished well. We would have liked to finish a little higher as a team but everybody went out and put in their best effort and that’s all you can ask. Everyone tried as hard as they could.”

Canton and Somers were third and fourth in Class SS. James Yost, Dean Yost, Jacob Whittingslow, William Briggs, Ethan Porter finished fifth, 12th, 18th, 25th and 41st respectively.

Glastonbury and Simsbury finished eighth and 10th in Class LL on the boys side.

Randall Neish was eighth to lead Glastonbury followed by Thomas Chamberlin in 30th, Gabriel Julien 41st, Roberto Piotto 54th and Justin Damone in 80th.

Simsbury saw Conall Hughes finish 37th, Daniel Schmetterling 43rd, David Kratzer 71st, Andrew Gutierrez 76th and Joseph Adorno 78th.

Story and Photos by Robert Mayer

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