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Avon girls earn a share of the NCCC championship

Avon’s Smith wins 2nd straight NCCC championship

Avon earned a share of the NCCC championship with its third place finish at the NCCC meet in Windsor Locks.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Oct. 23 — Don’t tell Avon High girls cross country coach Al Daddario that the regular season doesn’t mean anything. Thanks to an undefeated dual meet season of 12-0, the Falcons won their second NCCC championship Friday and their first since 2005.

Avon finished third in the NCCC championship meet and earned 10 points. Teams earn one point for each dual meet win and a point for each team they beat at the league championship meet. Suffield won the meet with 51 points while Granby nudged out Avon for second place, 65-66.

Suffield, which came into the meet with 10 points, and Granby, which came into the meet with 11 points, each finished tied with Avon with 22 points each to earn a piece of the title.

“What a great bunch of kids. It’s been a pleasure to work with them this year,” Daddario said.

Senior Claire Smith set a new course record in winning the NCCC title for the second straight year with her time of 18:53 on the 3.1 mile course at Windsor Locks High. She beat Granby’s Desiree Piette by 14 seconds. Smith never lost a NCCC event in her two years on the team. “She’s the real deal,” Daddario said.

Senior Titi Vanriel finished fifth while senior Kalli Veldman was 14th and junior Emily Kelly took 15th. The top 15 finishers earned All-NCCC honors.

Avon beat Granby and Suffield by scores of 25-30 during the dual meet portion of the season but couldn’t quite get it done in the championship meet.

Without a key 26-29 win over Coventry in the regular season, the Falcons wouldn’t have been in a position to win a championship. In that meet, Vanriel surged at the end to finish in third place by four seconds and sophomore Emily Hebb got a key 10th place finish to lift the Falcons to the win.

Canton junior Kendra Asklof earned All-NCCC honors by finishing 13th for the Warriors in 21:01. Canton finished seventh in the meet with 171 points.

2009 NCCC championship meet results

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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