Staples claims Class LL cross country crown as FCIAC runners excel in States

Three seniors finished in places 5-7 to help Staples defend its CIAC Boys Class LL cross country championships in convincing fashion, Wilton senior Morgan McCormick defended her Class L individual title and Greenwich was runner-up in the girls Class LL race to highlight the accomplishments of FCIAC on Saturday at Wickham Park.

William Landowne placed fifth with a time of 16 minutes, 12 seconds on the 5-kilometer course (3.1 miles) to lead that tight three-pack of Staples Wreckers. Benjamin Seiple was seven seconds behind his teammate while Christian Myers placed seventh in 16:21.

Staples had its five scoring runners finish among the top 20 to accumulate 55 points and win by 48 points over runner-up Xavier (103).

The lowest score determines team places in cross country as each team’s top five runners have their place positions added up for team scores.

Staples sophomore Nicholas Taubenheim placed 17th with a clocking of 16:54 and junior Mayo Smith was 20th (16:57) as that fifth scoring Wrecker who sealed the team title.

It was the sixth overall state class championship for Staples veteran coach Laddie Lawrence since his 1987 Wreckers captured the first one (Class LL). Staples also won in Class LL championship in 1989, and copped the Class L crown in 1990 and the Class MM title in 1999.

Saturday’s championship was also the second team title this autumn for the Wreckers as they scored 33 points to win the FCIAC championship by just four points over Fairfield Warde, which placed third in the Class LL meet with 134 points.

Last year the Wreckers swept the Class LL and State Open championships and they will try to defend their Open crown at 2 p.m. this Friday on this same Wickham Park layout.

McCormick will also try to defend her Open individual championship in the girls race which is scheduled to begin at 2:45 p.m.

McCormick won this past Saturday’s 5K race in 18:19 to lead Wilton to third place in the 2017 CIAC Girls Class L cross country championships. She won by a comfortable 16 seconds over Pomperaug freshman Katherine Wiser, who led her team to the title with 37 points. Guilford placed second with 83.

McCormick ran 31 seconds faster this year as last year’s winning time of 18:50 was 51 seconds faster than runner-up Bridgid Selfors of Mercy.

Wilton junior Emily Welch placed 12th with a 20:49 on Saturday. Sophomore Paula Perez Pelaez placed 18th with a 21:17, junior Eliza Snyder was 34th (21:55) and freshman Claire Kedzierski was 38th (22:02) to help the Warriors place third as a team with 103 points.

Glastonbury won the CIAC Girls Class LL Championships with 67 points while Greenwich was just eight points behind as the five scoring Cardinals all placed among the top 26.

Greenwich, which won the conference crown by seven points over Danbury, was led by sophomore Zoe Harris placing fifth with a 19:55. Also for Greenwich, senior Emily Philippides placed 10th with a 20:17, freshman Catherine Harper was 12th (20:21), while juniors Verna Yin were 22nd (21:01) and Caroline Webb 26th (21:14), respectively.

Danbury had its top three runners place among the top 16 and finished third in the girls Class LL race with 89 points. Junior Lauren Moore led the Hatters by placing fourth with a 19:48. Junior Alexandra Chakar took seventh (19:59) and fellow junior Cassandra Sturdevant was 16th (20:37).

Also from the FCIAC in the girls Class LL race: Trumbull sophomore Alessandra Zaffina placed 11th (20:18), Fairfield Ludlowe senior Keegan Simonsen was 14th (20:29), Staples sophomore Tori Greenberg took 17th (20:41), Fairfield Warde sophomore Abigail Hart was 21st (20:59), Trumbull junior Margaret Loschiavo placed 23rd (21:09), Fairfield Ludlowe senior Paige Davis was 24th (21:11) and Ridgefield senior Julia Hergenrother took 25th (21:13) as the conference had 14 runners place among the top 25.

Senior James Maniscalco finished eighth with a time of 16:34 to lead Fairfield Warde to third place in the boys Class LL competition as he was the fourth fastest runner from the conference after that three-pack of Staples Wreckers.

Also for Warde, senior Alex Mocarski placed 19th (16:56), fellow senior Danny Jagoe took 24th (17:04) and sophomore Austin Hutchens was 29th (17:12).

Danbury seniors Matthew Burke (16:41) and Dan Nichols (16:48) placed ninth and 14th, respectively, to lead the Hatters to seventh place with 207 points.

Trumbull senior Tyler Rubush finished 27th in the boys Class LL race with a 17:06.

Pomperaug won the CIAC Boys Class L Cross Country Championships with 74 points. New Milford took second with 89 and FCIAC member New Canaan scored 100 points to finish third as the four top Rams placed among the top 24.

They were led by seniors Max Koschnitzke (17:22) and Alexander Urbahn (17:26), who placed ninth and 11th, respectively. New Canaan juniors Andrew Malling (17:38) and Cem Geray (17:47) were 16th and 24th, respectively.

The Staples boys, who won the FCIAC championship in October, won the Class LL title last Saturday in Wickham Park. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

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