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Avon girls, Canton boys looking for a share of a NCCC cross country title

Action from last year's NCCC championship race in Windsor Locks. The league championship meet is scheduled for Saturday.

Action from last year’s NCCC championship race in Windsor Locks. The league championship meet is scheduled for Saturday.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Oct. 16 – In its final appearance in NCCC competition on Saturday morning, the Avon High girls cross country team will try and bring home a league championship. The Canton High boys cross country team will try to pull off an upset and gain a share of a NCCC title. 

Both teams will be at the NCCC cross country championship meet beginning Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Windsor Locks High School. 

Avon will be moving to the Central Connecticut Conference next fall. The girls cross country team would like to add a fourth straight NCCC championship before they leave the conference. Avon, which was 13-1 in the league, would have to beat Suffield (14-0) to earn at least a share of the championship. 

Teams earn one point for each team they defeat during the regular season and one point for each team they beat at the league championship meet. 

The rivalry between the Avon and Suffield girls has been picking up some heat over the past year. Last October, Avon lost to Suffield at the Wickham Invitational the week prior to the league meet but the Falcons prevailed at the NCCC championships with a 41-49 decision to secure the league title. 

In September, Suffield snapped Avon’s 44-meet winning streak that dated back to 2010 with a 26-30 victory and the Wildcats finished the season undefeated. Senior Molly Hamel leads the Falcons and will be looking for her first NCCC championship. 

The favorite in the girls race is Coventry senior Elle Jean, who won the 2011 league championship. Jean is a national caliber women’s soccer player. 

On the boys side, Ellington is the favorite to win its third straight NCCC championship. The Purple Knights finished 14-0 on the season, including a 24-31 win over Canton last Wednesday at Stratton Brook Park in Simsbury. Ellington had four of the top six runners in the race and were led by Jordan Dixon and David Clavett. 

Canton (13-1) can win a share of its first league championship since 2010 if they beat Ellington. But they’ll need some help from the middle of their lineup. They’ll have to close the gap and pass Ellington’s third, fourth and fifth runners. Canton is led by senior twins James Yost and Dean Yost. 

Dixon is one of the favorites to win the individual title. He was second a year ago. 

NOTES: Both defending league champions have moved on to new schools. Suffield’s Patrick Begley graduated while the family of Avon’s Maddi McHugh moved to North Carolina over the summer. … The top 15 runners in the two varsity races earn All-NCCC honors. … The Suffield girls last won a NCCC championship in 2009 when they shared the title with Avon and Granby. … The last boys team to win three straight NCCC championship meets was Ellington from 2000 to 2002. … The Avon girls won four straight NCCC championship meets from 1985-88. The E.O. Smith girls own the league record with nine straight championship meet victories from 1990-98. 

2014 GIRLS standings
Suffield 14-0, Avon 13-1, Coventry 12-2, Bolton 11-3, Ellington 10-4, Somers 9-5, Canton 8-6, Stafford 7-7, Granby 6-8, East Granby 5-9, Windsor Locks 3-11, Hartford Classical 2-12, Enfield 2-11, East Windsor 0-12, SMSA 0-12 

2014 BOYS standings
Ellington 14-0, Canton 13-1, Avon 12-2, Bolton 11-3, Granby 10-4, Somers 8-6, Suffield 8-6, Coventry 8-6, Stafford 6-8, East Windsor 5-9, Enfield 4-10, East Granby 3-11, Hartford Classical 2-12, Windsor Locks 1-13, SMSA 0-14

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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