Thousands run in Hartford races, one couple gets engaged at the finish

Essex’s Chris Zablocki ran hard to win the Eversource Hartford Marathon Saturday.

HARTFORD, Oct. 14 – Every October, runners flock to Bushnell Park for the annual Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. More than 7,500 runners competed in three races on Saturday – the 26.2-mile marathon, the 13.1 mile half-marathon and the 3.1 mile 5K road race. All three races finished at Bushnell Park.

In the main event, Essex’s Chris Zablocki won his first Eversource Hartford Marathon in 2:17.59, surviving a fast start – running the first mile of the race in under five minutes. By the time the 2006 Xavier High graduate crossed the finish line, he had a lead of over a minute

Zablocki beat last year’s winner Brian Harvey of Cambridge, Mass., by 1:14 but he was clearly pushed throughout the race. After the race, he spent time recovering from the run even before accepting the first place check of $6,000.Continue Reading

Under Vaudreuil, Tulsa Roughnecks earn first-ever playoff berth in USL

Canton native David Vaudreuil has led the Tulsa Roughnecks into the United Soccer League playoffs for the first time. (Photo courtesy Lori Scholl / Tulsa Roughnecks FC)

TULSA, Oklahoma – A year ago, the Tulsa Roughnecks soccer team had the worst record in the Western Conference of the United Soccer League (5-21-4), scoring a league-low 25 goals.

Twelve months later, the Roughnecks (14-14-4) have finished in the top eight of the USL’s Western Conference and secured the franchise’s first-ever playoff berth under first-year coach David Vaudreuil, the former All-American soccer player at Canton High and Canton native.

Two weeks ago, Tulsa clinched its playoff spot with a 1-0 win over Seattle, playing with just 10 men. They’ll begin play in the USL playoffs next weekend.

Vaudreuil has been able to bring some talented players to Tulsa. He helped convince Argentina forward Juan Pablo Caffa to join the squad. He has nine goals and a team-leading eight assists. “We were going to play the type of style that he could fit into and be the featured point of,” Vaudreuil told USL “To have someone of that caliber and experience and technical ability on dead balls and passing the ball, shooting the ball, delivering the ball, it’s been exciting for us, exciting for our fans.”Continue Reading

Canton girls finish undefeated for second time; seek first NCCC crown

WINDSOR LOCKS, Oct. 11 – The Canton High girls cross country team put four runners in the top seven to beat Somers, 24-31 and outlast Suffield, 20-35 on Wednesday and finish the dual meet portion of the North Central Connecticut Conference (NCCC) season undefeated with a 13-0 record. It’s the second undefeated season in school history. The Warriors went 13-0 in 2006.

Canton (13-0, 13-0 NCCC) also beat Windsor Locks, 15-50. The Warriors will be looking for their first-ever NCCC pennant at the NCCC championship meet on Saturday, Oct. 21, at Windsor Locks.

Teams earn one point for each dual meet victory against NCCC competition and one point for each team they beat the league championship meet. The Warriors will be challenged by Ellington (12-1) and Granby (11-2) for the title.Continue Reading

Avon runners end dual meet seasons with wins over Farmington, Innovation

FARMINGTON, Oct. 11 – It’s been a challenging season for the Avon High boys cross country team. Thanks to some injuries, it hasn’t turned out the way that the Falcons had hoped it would.

But Avon finished the dual meet portion of the season on a strong note Wednesday beating Farmington and the Academy of Science and Innovation of New Britain at Winding Trails. Avon had three runners in the top five including Anish Rajamanickam, who won his first dual meet of the season with a time of 17:46 over the 3.1 mile course.

Dan Carvalho of Avon took second with a time of 18:31 while Johnny Ross was fifth in 18:39. Avon beat Farmington, 18-41 and topped Innovation, 19-42. Under head coach Courtney Fusco, the Falcons finished the dual meet portion of the schedule with a record of 3-6 overall and 2-5 in the CCC West Patriot Division.Continue Reading

Young Canton soccer team continuing to learn, blanked by Ellington

Canton’s Jackson Miner (15) tries to control the ball in Friday’s NCCC loss to Ellington on the road, 2-0. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

CANTON, Oct. 9 – It’s a young team on the field this fall for the Canton High boys soccer team. The Warriors (3-5-1) are learning as they progress through the campaign.

The team has just five seniors and a host of juniors and underclassmen who are gaining varsity experience on the field. Canton dropped a 3-1 decision to Coventry in early September only to come back three weeks later and beat the Patriots, 3-1.

Junior James Mattson is the leading scorer after nine games with four goals. Senior Axel Tanner and junior Jeremy Welcome have each scored a pair of goals.Continue Reading

Canton spikers push their opponents to the limit in five-game decisions

Canton’s Sarah Bowman (32) leaps to make a block in last week’s loss to Bolton. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

CANTON, Oct. 6 – The Canton High girls volleyball is still a young program – now playing in their sixth varsity season. A year ago, the Warriors had their first-ever winning record, going 11-9 and earning a spot in the Class S tournament for the second year in a row.

The Warriors are getting more competitive. In the first five seasons as a team, Canton has played in just two five-game matches – beating Ellington a year ago, 3-2 and losing to Enfield, 3-2 in 2015.

This fall, Canton has played in five-game matches five times in the first nine matches of the season. They won just once – beating Ellington, 15-12 in the decisive fifth game. But it shows that the Warriors can play with their competition.Continue Reading

Defense helps Avon outlast Northwest Catholic and earn second win of season

Avon QB Dylan Burgos is taken to the ground by Northwest Catholic’s Cooper Lorenz and Teyshawn Jackson in Saturday’s game in West Hartford. (Photo courtesy Northwest Catholic HS)

WEST HARTFORD, Oct. 7 – Avon’s Jadon Folkwein had the big game-winning touchdown run on Saturday against Northwest Catholic – a 53-yard scamper in the fourth quarter that put the Falcons ahead for good as Avon snapped a three-game losing streak with a 10-7 victory over the Lions in CCC Division III play.

But this was a game won in the trenches by the offensive and defensive lines. The host Lions were able to move the ball but could only manage to put up seven points on the board. The Avon defense came up with their first safety of the year, tackling NW Catholic QB Connor Rich in the end zone to take a 2-0 lead.

“The defensive played extremely well and kept Northwest Catholic out of the end zone,” Avon High coach Sal Cintorino said. “They bottled up (NWC) on their side of the field for the entire day with the exception of one big play.”Continue Reading

Fast start propels Ellington past Canton ’11’ for first victory of the season

Canton’s Carson Humphrey (85) is surrounded by Ellington defenders in Saturday’s Pequot Uncas Division loss. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

ELLINGTON, Oct. 7 – The Ellington High football scored 27 unanswered points to open Saturday’s Pequot Conference Uncas Division contest and rolled to a 41-8 victory over a young Canton team.

Nick Abbuzzese and Robert Martinez-Ecker each ran for two touchdowns as the Purple Knights (1-4, 1-3 Pequot Uncas) earned their first victory of the season. Carson Humprey scored the lone touchdown for the Warriors (0-5, 0-4 Pequot Uncas) while Carter Gavin ran in the two point conversion.

“A lot of young guys are getting a lot of valuable playing time that will serve this team and this program well in the years to come,” Canton head coach Dante Boffi said. “Unfortunately, these growing pains are a tough storm to weather as we move through the season.”Continue Reading

Avon girls take third at Wickham Park Invitational; Sparks 2nd at Brewster Bear

MANCHESTER, Oct. 7 – Avon’s Sara Leavens finished 11th as the Avon High girls cross country team finished third in the seeded race at the 34th Wickham Park Invitational on Saturday. The Falcons had three girls in the top 25 in the race, led by Leavens, who finished with a time of 20:33.

Emily Foley was 13th in 20:36 over the 3.1 mile course with Rhiannon Richmond taking 23rd with a time of 21:07. Hall won the seeded race with a score of 112, followed by North Kingston, R.I. with 133 and Avon with 152.

The Avon boys cross country team finished eighth in the unseeded race led by sophomores Anish Rajamanickam (18:35) and Daniel Carvalho (18:51), who finished 39th and 56th, respectively.Continue Reading

Pair of Halloween weekend road races set in Canton and Avon

The first Collinsville Trick or Trot will be held Saturday morning, October 28, on the Farmington Valley River Trail in Collinsville and Burlington.

It will be a busy weekend of running in the area on Halloween weekend. Runners will have the option of two races.

They can participate in the first Collinsville Trick or Trot 5K road race on Saturday, October 28, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The race will begin and end in downtown Collinsville and will be on the Farmington Valley River Trail. The 24th annual Collinsville Halloween parade will be later that night in Collinsville.

On Sunday morning, the Avon Booster Club will hold the fourth Falcon 5K that will begin at 8:15 a.m. The 3.1 mile race will begin and end at Avon High School.

Both races will be awarding special prizes to runners in costume.Continue Reading

Canton girls win three to improve to 10-0; Canton boys take three and are 9-1

Canton’s Julia Caputo, center, and Jane Frawley. far right, have been the top two runners this year for the undefeated Warriors. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

STAFFORD, Oct. 4 – Led by Jane Frawley, who won her third dual meet race of the season, the Canton High girls cross country team remained the only undefeated team in the North Central Connecticut Conference (NCCC) with victories over Stafford, East Granby and Hartford Classical on Tuesday.

Canton (10-0, 10-0 NCCC) had three of the top four finishers and five of the top eight finishers, led by Frawley, who won the race with a time of 22:02. Canton teammate Julia Caputo finished second, just three seconds off the pace, while Belle Magna (22:26) finished fourth. Helena Winkler (23:40) and Lila Hunt (24:08) finished seventh and eighth, respectively.

Canton beat Stafford, 20-46, topped East Granby, 17-41 and shutout Hartford Classical, 15-50.Continue Reading

Canton field hockey team splits a pair of NCCC contests

Canton’s Katrina Giotsas brings the ball upfield in last week’s win over Somers. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

CANTON, Oct. 2 – The Canton High field hockey team split a pair of North Central Connecticut Conference contests last week. The Warriors blanked Somers, 5-0, for their fourth shutout victory of the season.

But two days later, Granby, ranked No. 7 in the state coaches poll, handed Canton a 2-1 defeat on the turf at the high school.

Canton (4-2-1, 2-1-1 NCCC) beat Somers for the ninth straight time with a dominating performance on the road. Ashley Huff scored two goals and now has a team-leading six goals in seven games. Julianna Iovine scored a pair of goals – her first of the season.Continue Reading

Simsbury snaps No. 10 Avon’s five-game winning streak with 1-0 decision

AVON, Oct. 3 – A day after the Avon High field hockey team made their debut in the state coaches top 10 poll, the No. 10 Falcons suffered their first loss of the season.

Simsbury goalie Sarah Ackels made 16 saves to help the visiting Trojans to a 1-0 win over Avon on Tuesday. Cora Nagles had the game-winning goal for Simsbury. Avon goalie Mollie Morrison made seven saves. The Falcons slip to 5-1-0-1 for the year and 3-1-0-1 in the CCC South.

Avon actually dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to Glastonbury on opening day when Lindsay Janeczek scored with 3:10 left in overtime. But that decision is counted as a tie by the CIAC to determine which teams qualify for the state tournament. The Tomahawks won 18 straight games a year ago before getting beat in the Class L semifinals.Continue Reading

Despite season-high four goals, Canton girls fall to undefeated Coventry

Canton’s leading scorer Chelsea Mitchell had two goals in Monday’s 6-4 loss to Coventry. (Photo courtesy Bill Brewster)

COVENTRY, Oct. 2 – The Canton High girls soccer team scored the most goals they’ve scored in a single game this season with four goals against host Coventry on Monday.

But the undefeated Patriots (6-0-1) scored five second-half goals to beat Canton, 6-4 in NCCC action. It was the fourth road game in the last five contests for the Warriors (2-5-1, 2-5-1 NCCC) who have lost three of their last four games.

Canton’s leading scorer Chelsea Mitchell had two goals for Canton while Paige Brown and Lauren Almeida also tallied for the Warriors. For Coventry, Shannon McKeon and Reagan DeRosa had two goals each for the Patriots, who snapped a 4-4 tie with two goals in the final eight minutes.Continue Reading

Newest edition of state football record book is released

The Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance is pleased to release the 2017 Connecticut high school football record book. 

This is the 18th edition of the record book, a compilation of records and historical information from newspapers, team statisticians, coach’s records and individual research. Some of the new information in this year’s record book includes:

The leading scorer in the state dating back 20 years.

An update of year-end state coaches and sportswriters polls with voting for each season.

Additional history for some of the state’s co-op football programs.

Several athletes established or tied new state records in 2016.Continue Reading