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Avon runners find competition, challenges on the weekends – The Collinsville Press
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Avon runners find competition, challenges on the weekends

The Avon High boys and girls cross country teams each finished second in the Large Division at Saturday's Winding Trails Invitational in Farmington. (Photo courtesy Bill Stokesbury)

The Avon High boys and girls cross country teams each finished second in the Large Division at Saturday’s Winding Trails Invitational in Farmington. (Photo courtesy Bill Stokesbury)

AVON, Sept. 29 – Through the first three weeks of the scholastic cross country season, Avon hasn’t found much competition in its new Central Connecticut Conference home.

The Avon boys and girls teams have yet to be challenged in three CCC Central Division White contests with Windsor, Bulkeley and Weaver. Both Falcon teams are 3-0 thanks to a pair of Senior Day victories over Weaver on Tuesday at Fisher Meadow.

Avon looks to be challenged by Northwest Catholic next Tuesday in West Hartford.

So, the Falcons are toughening the schedule on the weekend. They’ve already competed at the Haddam Windham Invitational and the Connecticut River Valley Invitational in Cromwell. On Saturday, both Avon teams ran in the Large Division of the fourth annual Winding Trails Invitational in Farmington and both finished second behind strong teams from Newtown.

In the boys race, Newtown placed six runners among the top 11 finishers, taking fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth and 11th place to beat the Falcons, 31-83. New Milford was third with 85 points.

Avon’s Andrew Suter won the race with a personal best time of 16:47.1 seconds on the 3.1-mile course, beating Windsor’s Ryan Harrington by five seconds. Suter was followed by senior Jon Herdnandez, who was fourth in 17:27, and Zach Bortoff, who took 17th place in 17:49. Jack Stokesbury (24, 18:39) and Andrew Mascoli (29, 19:00) rounded out the top five for Avon.

In the girls race, Avon lost to Newtown by a 28-42 decision in a battle of two teams ranked in the top 10 of the state coaches poll. Hand-Madison was a distant third with 110 points. No. 7 Newtown had four runners in the top six (1, 2, 3, 6) to roll to the victory.

The No. 8 Falcons were led by sophomore Rachel Martin, who was fourth in 19:49.3 seconds over the 3.1 mile course. Sara Leavens (8, 20:23), Ryley Higgins (8, 20:26) and Ashley Martin (10, 20:50) each earned top 10 finishes. Christina Martin (13, 21:12) rounded out the top five for the Falcons.

In the junior varsity race, Alex Benedict won the girls Large Division race in 22:29 while Jack Schmittlein was fourth in the boys Large Division race.

The Falcons hit the road again Friday to race in the Nonnewaug Invitational in Woodbury while the Avon girls will also race Saturday at the Hale Ray Invitational in Moodus.

Winding Trails Invitational results

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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