Ridgefield leads FCIAC runners at New England XC championships

THETFORD, Vt. – The Ridgefield High School boys cross country team wrapped up its fantastic season by placing third in the New England High School Cross Country Championships on Nov. 13 at Thetford Academy.

Steven Hergenrother placed 15th overall with a time of 16 minutes, 55.47 seconds and was the fastest sophomore in the race to lead Ridgefield’s Tigers.

The U-32 team from Vermont won with a low score of 139 points while La Salle Academy (RI) and Ridgefield both had 162 points. La Salle Academy got second place via the tiebreaker in which points were accumulated by where each team’s top five runners placed among the teams which had full teams involved in team scoring. In that format, La Salle’s 89 points was just one less than Ridgefield’s 90.

Ridgefield had previously won the FCIAC and State Open championship meets and placed second at the CIAC Class LL Championships.

Gavin Sherry of Conard won the race by nearly 12 seconds with his time of 15:54.79 as runners from Connecticut took the top five positions and Hergenrother was the sixth fastest runner from Connecticut.

After Hergenrother, Ridgefield had four seniors among the five scoring Tigers. Matthew McDonough finished 29th with a 17:16.82 as the second fastest FCIAC runner while the other three scoring Tigers were Jack Dovaras (56th place, 17:39.06), Benjamin Mickool (81stt, 17:57.2) and Henri Vieltojarvi (92nd, 18:03.42).

Also from the FCIAC, Fairfield Ludlowe senior and FCIAC individual champion Nathan Cramer placed 50th with a 17:32.8 and Staples senior Zachary Taubman (17:34.66) was just behind him in 51st place. Taubman placed second to Cramer in the FCIAC Championships. Taubman’s sophomore teammate, Ben Lorenz (17:50.24), finished 54th.

There were 263 finishers in the boys race and 259 finishers in the girls race.

Ridgefield’s girls team, which won the FCIAC championship meet, placed 14th in the New England Championships with 350 points as the only FCIAC team which had a full scoring team.

Darien’s Julianne Teitler was the top finisher from the FCIAC, placing 31st with a time of 20:45.7.

The next three top finishers from the FCIAC placed 35-37. Danbury’s Stephanie Queiroz was 35th (20:52.8) and closely followed by Wilton’s Emily Mrakovcic (20:53.3) and Ridgefield’s Georgia Keller (20:53.5).

Ridgefield’s Deirdre Flanagan (20:58.1) and Katherine Rector (21:09.7) finished 41st and 55th, respectively.

Ruth White, a sophomore from Orono (Maine), won the race by nearly 13 seconds with her time of 18:44.8.

New Milford’s Sydney Kelleher placed 11th (19:57.6) as the third fastest runner from Connecticut to lead the Green Wave to the team title with a score of 140. Bonny Eagle (Maine) was second with 208.

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