25 CIAC cross country runners to watch in 2018
The following are 25 high school cross country runners to watch in the CIAC this season. The list includes athletes representing CIAC schools and is in alphabetical order.
Helene Berger, Nonnewaug., Jr.: Finished second at last season’s Berkshire meet and is the top returner in that event. Also helped the Chiefs win the Class M title by placing fifth: the top 11 runners from the Class M race return this fall.
Meredith Bloss, Guilford, Sr.: The defending SCC champion also placed third at the Class L meet. Is also coming off a SCC championship in the 3,200 during the outdoor season.
Angela Braga, Glastonbury, Sr.: Finished seventh at last year’s CCC meet and 11th at the State Open. Helped the Tomahawks win the Class LL championship.
Elizabeth Brown, Sheehan, So.: The fastest freshman in the state not named Kate Wiser, Brown took second at the SCC and fourth at Class M.
Juliet Bussell, Brookfield, Sr.: The top returning runner from the Class MM meet, Bussell finished third in the race. Finished 11th at last season’s SWC championships.
Julia Caputo, Canton, So.: One of the top freshman in the state last year, Caputo finished fourth in the NCCC meet last season. Her 30th at the State Open was the third among freshmen. Closed her first season with a strong sixth at the State Open in the 3,220 before finishing 10th at New Englands.
Kayla Cohen, New Fairfield, Sr.: Helped the Rebels to fourth at the SWC championships and third at Class M; Cohen finished fourth and second in those races respectively. A first team All-SWC selection.
Liv DiStefano, East Hampton, Jr.: The top returning runner from last season’s Shoreline championships, Distefano finished 37th at the State Open. Coming off an impressive fifth-place finish at the State Open in the 1,600 (5:13.71).
Miranda Graves,EO Smith, Sr.: Took fifth at the CCC championships, sixth at the Class L championships and 18th at the State Open. Graves helped the Panthers finish fourth in Class L.
Kate Hedlund, Manchester, Jr.: One of the top returners from last year’s State Open (fourth), Hedlund also placed second at last year’s CCC championships. Finished third at New England championships in the 1,600 outdoors.
Rose Kitz, Hall, Jr.: Forms a dynamic No. 1-2 punch with Zydanowicz in hopes of wrestling the CCC championship from Glastonbury, and break into the top 10 at the State Open.
Ariana Monarca, Middletown, Jr: Finished 10th at last season’s CCC meet and 20th at the State Open. Took 13th at the Class L meet outdoors in the 3,200.
Lauren Moore, Danbury, Sr.: Cracked the five-minute barrier en route to winning the Class LL and New England championships in the 1,600 during the outdoor season. Is the top returner from last year’s FCIAC race.
Kylie Raymond, Somers, Jr: The defending champion from the NCCC, Raymond is coming off a strong outdoor season that included a third place at the New England championships in the 3,200.
Rhiannon Richmond, Avon, Jr.: Placed 29th at the State Open last season after taking fifth in the Class MM meet. Took home a gold during the outdoor season when she won the 1,600 at the Class MM championships.
Angela Saidman, Immaculate, Sr.: A two-time SWC champion, Saidman’s win helped the Mustangs win the Class S title last fall. Finished fifth in the State Open in 2016 and 2017.
Gianna Siciliano, Guilford, So.: Shined as a freshman last season, placing fifth in the SCC championships. The fourth-fastest returning sophomore from a year ago, Siciliano finished 11th in Class L.
Grace Sparrow, Glastonbury, Sr.: Will be a key contributor as the Tomahawks lost ever key contributors from last year’s State Open title. Finished 13th at the Class LL and 21st at the State Open last year.
Elizabeth Stockman, Rocky Hill, Jr.: A top-10 finisher at last year’s State Open, Stockman finished third at the CCC championships. Won the 3,200 at the New England championships during the outdoor season before finishing 13th at nationals in the 2-mile.
Gabriella Viggiano, Ridgefield, Sr: Will duke it out with Moore for the FCIAC championship at Waveny Park; the two finished less than a second apart last season.
Madison Villa, Pomperaug, Jr. Helped the Panthers to a third-place finish at the State Open, and will help challenge for their first ever Open title. Pomperaug has won the last two Class L title.
Mady Whittaker, Montville, Sr. Out do defend her ECC championship last fall; placed in the top 20 at last year’s State Open.
Kate Wiser, Pomperaug, So.: Burst onto the scene as a freshman a year ago, winning the SWC championship in 18:38 before back-to-back runner up finishes at the state meets. Panthers are the defending Class L champions.
Jenna Zydanowicz, Hall, Jr. A contender for the State Open title, Zydanowicz won the CCC and Class LL championships before finishing 15th at the Northeast Regional -- the top 10 finishers qualify for nationals.
Alessandra Zaffina, Trumbull, Jr.: Finished 17 at last year’s State Open before taking 15th in the State Open at the 3,200 last outdoor season.