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Hamel wins NCCC cross country title as Avon girls and Canton boys finish 2nd

Molly Hamel became the sixth and final Avon High girl to win a NCCC cross country title.

Molly Hamel became the sixth and final Avon High girl to win a NCCC cross country title.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Oct. 18 – The reign of the Avon High girls cross country may have come to an end in the North Central Connecticut Conference. But the Falcons made Suffield High work for it.

Suffield placed five runners in the top nine to beat Avon, 28-47 and clinch its first NCCC cross country championship since 2009 Saturday at Windsor Locks.

On the boys side, Canton continued to grow as a team but it wasn’t enough to slow down Ellington which clinched its third straight NCCC championship with a 37-46 victory over Canton.

Avon High senior Molly Hamel has had a wonderful fall campaign. She has won four dual meets and a pair of invitational races at the Windham Invitational and the Winding Trails Invitational in Farmington. She added her first NCCC championship, beating Suffield’s Monique Labarre by 24 seconds with her time of 19:33. “I’m glad for Molly. She ran a great race,” Avon coach Al Dadario said.

Hamel becomes the third consecutive Avon girl to run to the league championship. Maddi McHugh won last year and Rachael Rosow won in 2012.

Christina Martin finished fifth for the Falcons with her sister, Rachael, taking 12th and Ryley Higgins in 13th place. Hamel, the Martin sisters and Higgins earned All-NCCC honors for finishing among the top 15. Gabriella Colletti was 16th.

“The girls ran well,” Dadario said. “Suffield was the better team all year. Our times were great. Our top six all ran under 21 minutes.”

Labarre was second for the Wildcats with Deana Pileika (2), Lauren Izabel (6), Katie Baker (8) and Nina Begley (9) all finishing within 27 seconds of each other. Suffield, which went undefeated during the dual meet portion of the schedule at 14-0, finished with 28 points. Teams earn one point for each team they beat in the dual meet portion of the season and another point for every team they beat at the league championship meet.

Avon had captured the last three NCCC championships, including a close race over Suffield a year ago. 

This year, Avon (13-1) finished with 26 points. “It’s been a very productive year considering what we lost from last year’s team.” Dadario said. “But the captains did a great job. Instead of relying on just a couple of girls, the whole team this year was productive.”

The Canton girls (8-6) finished sixth led by Emily Briggs and Jocelyn Rossitto, who finished 14th and 15th, respectively to earn All-NCCC honors. Rossitto beat Colletti by three seconds to get the final All-NCCC berth. Briggs and Rossitto finished strong. They were 17th and 20th with about a half mile remaining. “I was delighted to see where this team got to from where they started on day one,” Canton coach Tim O’Donnell said.

In the boys race, Ellington (14-0) had three runners among the top eight and five among the top 13 in under 17:21. Ellington’s Jordan Dixon won his first NCCC championship, outlasting Bolton’s Trevor Chambers by two seconds with a time of 16:24.

But Canton (13-1) ran well with Dean Yost beating his brother for the first time this fall by taking fourth in 16:43, two seconds ahead of James. Will Briggs was ninth in 17:11 and Jake Whittingslow was tenth in 17:14. All four earned All-NCCC honors. Ethan Porter rounded out the top five with a 18th place finish in 17:40.

“If I were to go back to practice on day 1 (August 23) and said we would run, I would be surprised and delighted,”O’Donnell said. “I really thought Ellington was going to be out of reach this year. However, as well as we progressed, we didn’t have that killer instinct to take advantage of an opportunity to nab Ellington either last week or here.”

Avon (12-2) finished third with a strong effort from Andrew Suter (11) and Collin Pritchard (14), who earned All-NCCC honors. Bryant St. Jean took 19th while Kurt Goldie was 21st.

NOTES: The top freshman of the day was Avon’s Jack Stokesbury, who was 40th in the varsity race with a time of 18:32. The top time by a freshman girl was by Avon’s Rachael Martin, who was 12thin the varsity race with a time of 20:45. … The Avon High boys never won a NCCC championship or NCCC championship meet. But they did have an individual champion in 1992 when Jeff Cavanaugh won the league title. …. The Avon girls captured the NCCC championship meet eight times and won the league title eight times. The Falcons, who joined the NCCC in 1985, had six girls win league championships including Hamel (2014), McHugh (2013), Rosow (2012), Claire Smith (2008-09), Hadley Fitzgerald (1994-95) and Lisa Kirwan (1985). Avon joins the Central Connecticut Conference next fall.

2014 NCCC championship
Boys varsity

Team results – 1. Ellington 37, 2. Canton 46, 3. Avon 99, 4. 4. Bolton 135, 5. Granby 136, 6. Suffield 136, 7. Somers 190, 8. Coventry 206, 9. Stafford 276, 10. Enfield 276, 11. East Granby 309, 12. East Windsor 315, 13. Hartford Classical 357, 14. Windsor Locks 415
Individual results – 1. Jordan Dixon, Ellington, 16:24 for 3.1 miles at Windsor Locks, 2. Trevor Chambers, Bolton, 16:26, 3. David Clavet, Ellington, 16:38, 4. Dean Yost, Canton 16:42, 5. James Yost, Canton 16:44, 6. Chris Cassello, Bolton, 17:02, 7. Justin Walch, Suffield, 17:03, 8. Thomas Arbeiter, Ellington, 17:08, 9. Will Briggs, Canton, 17:10, 10. Jake Whittingslow, Canton, 17:13, 11. Andrew Suter, Avon, 17:16, 12. Andrew Oliwa, Ellington, 17:19, 13. Albert Tebbetts, Ellington, 17:20, 14. Collin Pritchard, Avon, 17:20, 15. Cameron Scott, Somers, 17:24, 16. Connor Ratte, Coventry, 17:33, 17. Adam Grace, Coventry, 17:39.22, 18. Ethan Porter, Canton, 17:39.31, 19. Bryant St. Jean, Avon, 17:45, 20. Connor Shannahan, Enfield, 17:47
Final team standings: Ellington 14-0, 28 points, Canton 13-1, 26 points, Avon 12-2, 24 points, Bolton 11-3, 22 points, Granby 10-4, 20 points, Suffield 8-6, 17 points, Somers 8-6, 16 points, Coventry 8-6, 15 pts, Stafford 6-8, 12 pts., Enfield 4-10, 9 pts., East Windsor 5-9, 8 pts., East Granby 3-11, 7 pts., Hartford Classical 2-12, 4 pts., Windsor Locks 1-13, 2 pts., SMSA 0-14, 0 pts.

2014 NCCC championships
Girls varsity
Team results – 1. Suffield 28, 2. Avon 47, 3. Ellington 127, 4. Bolton 123, 5. Coventry 146, 6. Canton 178, 7. 7. Stafford 178, 8. Somers 188, 9. Granby 192, 10. East Granby 254
Individual results – 1. Molly Hamel, Avon, 19:33.54 over 3.1 miles at Windsor Locks, 2. Monique Labarre, Suffield, 19:57, 3. Deana Pileika, Suffield, 20:02, 4. Fariyo Aden, Enfield 20:03, 5. Rachel Gallison, Stafford, 20:13, 6. Christina Martin, Avon, 20:17, 7. Lauren Izabel, Suffield, 20:21, 8. Samantha Carpino, Coventry 20:25, 9. Katie Baker, Suffield, 20:28, 10. Nina Begley, Suffield, 20:29, 11. Ava Roche, Somers, 20:35, 12. Molly Caruso, Bolton 20:37, 13. Rachael Martin, 20:44, 14. Ryley Higgins, Avon 20:46, 15. Emily Briggs, Canton, 20:49, 16. Jocelyn Rossitto, Canton, 20:51, 17. Gabriella Colletti, Avon, 20:54, 18. Gillian Reyes, Avon, 20:58, 19. Anna Chamberland, Ellington, 21:01, 20. Emma Sheahan, Granby 21:22
Final league standings: 1. Suffield 14-0, 28 points, 2. Avon 13-1, 26 pts., 3. Ellington 10-4, 22 pts., Bolton 11-3, 22 pts., and Coventry 12-2, 22 pts., 6. Canton 8-6 17 pts., 7. Somers 9-5, 16 pts., 8. Stafford 7-7 15 pts., 9. Granby 6-8, 12 pts., 10. East Granby 5-9, 10 pts., 11. Windsor Locks 3-11, 3 pts., 12. Hartford Classical 2-12, 2 pts., and Enfield 2-11, 2 pts., 14. East Windsor 0-12 and SMSA 0-12 0 pts.

Online 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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