MANCHESTER – It has been a perfect 3-for-3 for Ridgefield junior Steven Hergenrother when it comes to winning races to become the individual champion in three championship cross country meets.
Hergenrother won the boys race by six seconds at last Friday’s Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Boys State Open Cross Country Championships at Wickham Park to add that onto the Class LL state championship and FCIAC championship races he previously won.
Hergenrother covered the 3.1-mile course in 15 minutes, 42 seconds to lead his Ridgefield Tigers to second place in the team scoring.
Hall won the team title with 86 points. Ridgefield was runner-up with 113 and one of four FCIAC teams which finished among the top eight. Danbury placed third with 120 points. Staples (162) was sixth and Fairfield Warde (265) took eighth.
Suffield junior Griffin Mandirola (15:48) placed second behind Hergenrother. Trumbull junior David Carillo was the second fastest FCIAC runner as he placed eighth with a 16:18.
Trumbull junior Kathyrn Marchand was runner-up by six seconds to Glastonbury sophomore Brooke Strauss in the girls State Open race. Strauss had a 19:05 over that same 5K course and Marchand, who previously won the girls state Class LL championship, had a 19:11 while leading Trumbull to fifth place as the highest-placing FCIAC team.
Strauss led Glastonbury to the team title with 65 points. New Milford placed second with 131.
Trumbull’s fifth-place Eagles had 184 points to lead a group of five FCIAC teams in the top 10. Ridgefield placed sixth with 206 points, New Canaan (220) was seventh with just three points less than eighth-place Wilton (223), and Greenwich (243) took 10th.
The top 25 runners in both the girls and boys State Open races all earned all-state status.
Ridgefield senior Georgia Keller finished seventh with a 19:26 as the second highest finisher from the FCIAC in the girls State Open race. New Canaan sophomore Charlotte Moor placed 18th with a 19:58.
The other FCIAC runners who earned all-state status in the boys State Open were Staples junior Ben Lorenz (12th place, 16:30), Fairfield Warde junior Parker Broderick (14th, 16:31), Danbury junior Devon Rosemark (20th, 16:38), Greenwich junior Christian Zawislack (23rd, 16:42), Ridgefield senior Liam Edson (24th, 16:42), and Danbury senior Joshua Roos (25th, 16:47).
Hergenrother won the State Open race on Nov. 4 after he won his state Class LL race on Oct. 29.
In addition to Hergenrother and Marchand winning their respective state Class LL races, Wilton senior Michael Byrnes also was a state individual champion, and many FCIAC runners and teams placed very high at the Oct. 29 state class championship meets at Wickham Park.
The Ridgefield and New Canaan girls’ teams, and Danbury’s boys’ team all placed second in their respective classes.
Hergenrother beat Lorenz by one second with his winning time of 15:53 in the boys Class LL championship race.
Hall won the team championship by 10 points over Danbury as the FCIAC had five teams place 2-6. Hall had all five of its scoring runners finish among the top 18 and won with 59 points. Danbury, which had its top six runners place within the range of 6-21, was runner-up with 69 points.
Lorenz led Staples to third place with 95 points, Hergenrother led Ridgefield to fourth with 140, Fairfield Warde took fifth place with 165, and Trumbull was sixth with 175 as that fifth FCIAC team among the top six.
All five of those FCIAC teams each had their fastest runner place in the top six and all five of those runners are juniors.
After Hergenrother (15:53) and Lorenz (15:54) were the first two to the finish line, Trumbull’s Carillo placed third with a 16:03.
Fairfield Warde’s Broderick and Danbury’s Rosemark placed fifth and sixth, respectively, with identical times of 16:20.
There were 17 FCIAC runners who finished among the top 25 in the Class LL boys’ race.
Those 12 conference runners who placed somewhere in the range of 9-24 included Danbury’s Roos (ninth place, 16:32), Greenwich’s Zawislack (10th, 16:32), Ridgefield’s Edson (11th, 16:32), Greenwich freshman Matteo Chiesara (12th, 16:33), Staples’ Zachary Allen (14th, 16:43), Danbury’s Michael Komisky (15th, 16:45), Fairfield Warde’s James Cunningham IV (17th, 16:46), Danbury’s trio of Kyle Jeffers (19th, 16:49), Elias Alvarado (20th, 16:54) and Christopher Bishop (21st, 16:57), Staples’ Matthew Fleming (22nd, 17:03), and Stamford’s Denis Proskuryakov (24th, 17:07).
Marchand was runner-up in the Oct. 19 girls conference championship race to Ridgefield senior Elizabeth Buonocore, who led the Tigers to their third consecutive FCIAC team title.
Ten days later at the Class LL race those two again placed 1-2, but this time having flip-flopped positions. Marchand won with a 19:00 while Buonocore (19:25) and teammate, Keller (19:32), placed second and third, respectively, to lead Ridgefield to second place.
Glastonbury won with 44 points while Ridgefield was runner-up with 82 as the first of three FCIAC teams among the top five.
Marchand led Trumbull to third place with 141 points. Southington placed fourth with 154, just one point less than fifth-place Greenwich.
There were 10 FCIAC runners who finished among the top 25 in the Class LL girls’ race.
In addition to Marchand, Buonocore and Keller taking the top three places, the seven conference runners who placed in the 9-24 range were Darien’s Cam Meyer (ninth, 20:05), Greenwich’s Kate Friedman (10th, 20:07), Fairfield Ludlowe’s Claire Fuchs (12th, 20:22), Stamford’s Eleanor Fox (14th, 20:27), Ridgefield’s Grace Hooker (18th, 20:44), Trumbull’s Abigail Poplawski (19th, 20:46), and Greenwich’s Elizabeth Anderson (24th, 21:03).
The Class MM boys’ race was expected to be wide open with about a half dozen runners considered contenders to win it and Wilton’s Byrnes was one of them. Byrnes seized his opportunity and toughed it out with a strong finishing surge up the lengthy incline to the finishing chute and he won by three seconds with his clocking of 16:31.
Alex Cohen of Wilton placed 11th with a 16:58.
New Canaan was runner-up at the CIAC Girls Class L Cross Country Championships behind New Milford, which won with 50 points. New Canaan tallied 68 as the five scoring Rams – consisting of two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior – finished among the top 21 places.
New Milford senior Sydney Kelleher won the girls Class L race with a 19:07.
Radea Raleva (19:40), a sophomore, placed fifth to lead New Canaan. Also for the Rams: freshman Eliana Savelli took 10th (20:18), Moor was 13th (20:19), freshman Delia Bakal placed 19th (20:44), and junior Elizabeth McLaughlin was 21st (21:11).
Wilton placed fifth in the girls Class L meet with 98 points as the five fastest Warriors, none of them seniors, placed among the top 29. Sophomores Lia Lombardi (20:33), Mya Salvino (20:37) and Grace Gulielmo (20:39) placed 15-17, respectively, and their next two teammates were juniors Sasha Longholm (22nd, 21:16) and Lucienne Prior (29th, 21:43).
There were three FCIAC teams in the CIAC Boys Class L Cross Country Championships and Darien’s Thomas Skelton was the first conference runner as he placed 15th with a 17:18.
William Hanington of Fairfield Ludlowe took 20th (17:40). Ryan Boulanger (22nd, 17:46) led New Canaan.