WINDSOR LOCKS, October 21 – It’s been an adjustment for senior Jon Cahill on the Canton High boys cross country team this fall. It hasn’t been the same as it was his first three years on the team.
Canton’s Jon Cahill races during Friday’s NCCC championship meet in Windsor Locks. Cahill finished third in the race.
And that isn’t surprising. In the past two years, Canton won a pair of NCCC titles, 38 straight dual meets, a Class SS state championship, finished fourth at the 2009 State Open and qualified to run in the New England championships.
Those are huge footsteps to follow. But the Warriors are finishing strong. They took third at the NCCC championship meet on Friday with Cahill taking a strong third place finish.
The Warriors are aiming to defend its Class SS championship on Saturday at Wickham Park in Manchester. Northwest Catholic, Coventry and Haddam-Killingworth loom as the competitors that Canton will have to look for.
Undefeated Suffield (13-0) was dominant in winning the NCCC championship meet for the first time since 1998 and clinching the league title. The Wildcats had four runners among the top eight and their first five runners in the top 15, earning All-NCCC honors. Suffield finished with 31 points with Ellington (12-1) second with 77 and Canton (11-2) third at 96 points. Avon (9-4) was seventh with 134 points.
“It’s been a totally different dynamic,” Cahill said. “With those (previous) teams, the upperclassmen led everyone. Those were close-knit teams. We’re trying to hold it together but it doesn’t feel as close as it was before.”
It may not feel as close because there are some gaps between runners this year. The 2009 team had five runners in the top 10 at the NCCC meet, each finishing within a minute of each other. Last year, Canton had five runners in the top 15, with all five finishing the race in a span of less than a minute.
Cahill finished third in 16:32 over the 3.1 mile course while teammate Tyler Fitzpatrick came in 16th place, about 1:14 behind Cahill. Peter LeDuc came in19th while Jarrett Chouinard (24) and Brian Fitzpatrick (34) rounded out Canton’s top five, nearly two minutes behind Cahill.
Cahill was hoping to become the first Canton boy to win a league championship in cross country. He hung with the leaders Daniel Moroney and D.J. Labarre of Suffield for the first half of the race before Moroney began to create some distance from the field. Labarre caught Cahill in the final 400 meters to finish second. Moroney
“I was going for the win but you can’t complain about a top three finish,” he said.
Canton coach Bill Sarmuk was pleased with his team’s performance. “This was good for us,” he said. “(Suffield, Ellington) pushed our kids a lot today.”
The top 15 earned All-NCCC honors and Tyler Fitzpatrick missed by seven seconds, taking 16th place.
Avon was led by Jeff Demers, who finished 14th in 17:31. The Falcons, who went 9-4 in the dual meet portion of the schedule, finished seventh in the meet. A few key injuries sapped the strength from the Avon lineup.
“We had a strong pack of runners but they were off the pace a bit. It was a strong race,” Avon coach Gene Macy said. Justin Alessio (26th place), Sean Deneen (30), Matt Mascoli (32) and Michael Oberhausen (33) each finished in a span of 17 seconds.
Granby finished fourth in the meet, led by an All-NCCC performance from John Stingle, who took seventh in 17:03. Dylan Chiccoine (14th) also earned All-NCCC honors, finishing in 17:35.5. Ethan Lang just missed in 17th place, falling short by 13 seconds.
Collinsville Press, Oct. 21: Avon girls outrun Suffield for NCCC championship
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
At Windsor Locks
Team results – 1. Suffield 31, 2. Ellington 77, 3. Canton 96, 4. Granby 109, 5. Coventry 110, 6. Bolton 118, 7. Avon 134, 8. Somers 227, 9. East Windsor 269, 10. East Granby 271, 11. Stafford 329, 12. Enfield 353, 13. Windsor Locks 425, 14. Sport Medicine and Science Academy 443.
1. Daniel Moroney, Suffield, 16:23; 2. DJ Labarre, Suffield, 16:27; 3. Jon Cahill, Canton, 16:33, 4. Alex Smith, Ellington, 16:41, 5. Jimmy Clark, Suffield, 16:42, 6. Thomas Cassello, Bolton, 16:57, 7. John Stingle, Granby, 17:04, 8. Connor Gates, Suffield 17:21, 9. Brendan Callahan, Bolton 17:21, 10. Neal Hulstein, Ellington, 17:26; 11. Jake Downham, Coventry 17:27, 12. Alex Norstrom, Coventry, 17:28, 13. Jeff Demers, Avon 17:32, 14. Dylan Chicoine, Granby, 17:34, 15. Patrick Begley, Suffield, 17:40
Other Canton runners: 16. Tyler Fitzpatrick 17:46, 19. Peter LeDuc 17:53, 24. Jarrett Chouinard, 34. Brian Fitzpatrick 18:29, 42. David Benedetti 18:42, 44. Nathan Chekas 18:50
Other Avon runners: 26. Justin Alessio 18:07, 30. Sean Deneen 18:17, 32. Matt Mascoli 18:24, 33. Michael Oberhausen 18:26, 46. Tyler McCutcheon 19:04, 47. Dan Innes 19:12
Final league standings
Teams earn 1 point for each dual meet win and 1 point for each team they beat at the league championship meet.
1. Suffield 26, 2. Ellington 24, 3. Canton 22, 4. Bolton 18, 5. Granby and Coventry 17, 7. Avon 16, 8. Somers 12, 9. East Granby 9, 10. East Windsor 8, 11. Stafford 6, 12. Enfield 5, 13. SMSA and Windsor Locks 1