AP NEWS

Cross country

September 26, 2018

The secret is out about several talented freshmen across the state who have already made some noise this fall.

Conard’s Gavin Sherry scored his first big high school race win of many, capturing the Manchester (New Hampshire) Invitational on Saturday. Sherry clocked in at 15:49 to beat a field of talented runners from accross New England.

His Twin brother Callum Sherry finished 27th in the race (16:42). Another standout freshman, Manchester’s Aidan Puffer, finished fifth in 16:05.

Gavin also won freshman race at the Windham Invitational to start the season. He captured the Middle School state championship last November. Puffer owns several age-group world records, setting the stage for stellar battles between the two in the coming weeks.

AND THEN THERE WERE THREE

Most schools in the FCIAC have participated in a pair of quad-meets so far this fall in addition to the weekend invitationals. On the girls side, Greenwich, Ridgefield and Trumbull all have 6-0 records after two weeks. The Cardinals captured their first conference championship in almost 40 years last fall and are out for back-to-back titles.

Mari Noble has made an immediate impact for the Cardinals, winning a pair of races. Alessandra Zaffina claimed her first race win for the Eagles in a meet last week while Tess Pisanelli owns a race win for the Tigers. Greenwich and Ridgefield will square off in an intriguing meet next week at Greenwich Point.

Three schools remain undefeated on the boys side, too. Conference favorite Staples has shown off its depth in going 6-0 while Danbury and Ridgefield also have yet to lose. All three will be at the meet at Greenwich next week.

FAST PERFORMANCES

Gavin Sherry, Conard: Freshman won the Manchester Invite by seven seconds.

Aidan Puffer, Manchester: Freshnan ran a 16:05 in finishing fifth in the same race, 16 seconds off the top spot.

Azaan Dawson, Fairfield Prep: Won a highly-competitive race at the Winding Trails Invitational, crossing the line in a meetrecord 15:47.42. New Canaan’s Andrew Malling finished half a second behind.

Mayo Smith, Staples: His 16:48 in taking seventh at the Bowdoin Classic was the fastest among Connecticut runners.

Kate Wiser, Pomperaug: Won the Manchester (NH) Invite by 10 seconds; the second closest competitor from Connecticut was over a minute behind.

Lauren Moore, Danbury: Finished sixth in the Manchester Invite with a time of 19:02.

Kylie Raymond, Somers: Was the top finisher from the state in the Ocean State Invite (18:38.12). National phenom Katelyn Tuohy ran the fastest time any female has run in a cross country race to win the event (16:06.87), which would have finished second in the boys race.

Alessandra Zaffina, Trumbull: Finished in seventh at the Bowdoin Classic.

READY, SET AND GO

Nonnewaug Invitational, Friday 4 p.m. at Nonnewaug High School: The event in Woodbury draws many schools from around the area, including New Milford.

Danbury, Staples, Ridgefield and Greenwich, Tuesday 4 p.m. at Greenwich High School: Great FCIAC battle between most of the top contenders on both the boys and girls sides.

Sheehan Invitational, Wednesday 4 p.m.: SCC and Shoreline teams will be in attendance.

soundRUNNER Connecticut High School Coaches XC Poll (First place votes)

Boys

1. Xavier (6)

2. Hall (2)

3. Staples

4. Danbury

5. Tolland

6. Conard

7. Suffield

8. Glastonbury

9. Shelton

10. Haddam-Killingworth

Coaches voting: Rich Andreozzi, ND-West Haven; Brandon Elliott, Tolland; Connor Green, Southington; Brian Hayes, Immaculate; Laddie Lawrence, Staples; Rob Murray, Danbury; Erik Petersen, Simsbury; Christopher Stonier, Xavier; Adam Zylberman, Ellington, Nick Fraticelli, New Fairfield.

Girls

1. Hall (5)

2. Glastonbury (3)

3. Immaculate (3)

4. Danbury

5. Greenwich

6. Trumbull

7. Pomperaug

8. Ridgefield

9. New Milford

10. Guilford

Coaches voting: Brian Collins, Glastobury; Mike Flynn, East Lyme; Ellis Gill, Lauralton Hall; John Goetz, Ridgefield; Connor Green, Southington; Jorge Guerra, E.O. Smith; Brian Hayes, Immaculate; Steve Norris, Darien; Giles Vaughan, New Milford; Adam Zylberman, Ellington, Bill Mongovan, Greenwich.

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