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Team effort lifts Avon girls to fourth Nonnewaug title in five years – The Collinsville Press
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Team effort lifts Avon girls to fourth Nonnewaug title in five years

The Avon High girls cross country team won the championship at the Nonnewaug Invitational for the fourth time in five years Friday.

The Avon High girls cross country team won the championship at the Nonnewaug Invitational for the fourth time in five years Friday. (Photo courtesy Bill Stokesbury)

WOODBURY, Oct. 2 – All seven varsity runners played a part in the Avon High girls cross country team capturing the Nonnewaug Invitational championship for the fourth time in the last five years.

Immaculate-Danbury swept the top three positions in the race led by freshman Angela Saidman, who beat teammate Jenna Gasparrini by three seconds to win the race. But Avon had their first five runners in the top 14 spots and Avon’s No. 6 (Caroline Luby) and No. 7 (Gabriella Colletti) runners each finished ahead of Immaculate’s fifth runner to help Avon earn a 45-49 decision on a wet, rainy afternoon.

The places for the top five runners on each team determine the team score but the sixth and seventh runners on a team can displace other runners.

And several Avon runners finished strong, beating competitors to the line. In a tight race, every point counts.

Sophomore Rachel Martin led the Falcons in fourth place with a time of 19:12.2, beating Cheshire’s Lauren Daddi to the line by a second.  Avon’s Christina Martin was 14th in 20:18, beating Cheshire’s Emily Longmore to the finish by a second. Luby (23rd place, 20:48) beat Watertown’s Sophia Guerrera by less than a second.

Avon’s Ryley Higgins was sixth in 19:30, Ashley Martin was 10th in 19:55 and Sara Leavens was 11th in 19:59. Colletti was 26th in 21:03. Immaculate’s fourth runner (Diana Kirman) was 16th in 20:20 and its fifth runner (Shannon Ducey) was 27th in 21:08.

Avon, which is ranked No. 8 in the latest state coaches poll, won the girls championship race here from 2011-13 before finishing second to Southington a year ago.

In the boys race, Avon senior Andrew Suter led the Falcons with a sixth place finish in 16:44.7. Jack Stokesbury (17, 17:20) and Zach Bortoff (19, 17:26) each finished in the top 20.

The Falcons finished fourth with 109 points behind No. 7 New Milford, Cheshire and Shepaug Valley. New Milford had three runners in the top 10 and five in the top 14 to outlast Cheshire, 42-55 and win the championship.

It was a wet day for running at the 57th Nonnewaug Invitational in Woodbury. The Avon boys finished fourth. (Photo courtesy Bill Stokesbury)

It was a wet day for running at the 57th Nonnewaug Invitational in Woodbury. The Avon boys finished fourth. (Photo courtesy Bill Stokesbury)

In the girls junior varsity race, Avon had three of the top four finishers. Gillian Reyes won the race in 21:36 followed by Alex Benedict (21:52) and Risa Lewis (22:22), who was fourth.

BOYS VARSITY
Team results – 1. New Milford 42, 2. Cheshire 55, 3. Shepaug 61, 4. Avon 109, 5. Litchfield 148, 6. Immaculate 189, 7. Lewis Mills 199, 8. East Hampton 240, 9. Watertown 246, 10. Nonnewaug 271, 11. Pomperaug 300, 12. Holy Cross 318, 13. Torrington 377
Individual results – 1. Brendan Murray, Cheshire, 15:59.3, 2. Jonathan Davis, New Milford 16:20.3, 3. Luke Simmonds, New Milford, 16:30.8, 4. Jordan Kolpak, Cheshire, 16:33.6, 5. Ed Wolfe, Shepaug, 16:41.5, 6. Andrew Suter, Avon, 16:44.4, 7. Erik Quist, Shepaug 16:46.9, 8. Sean Parker, Shepaug 16:47.8, 9. Connor McNerney, Immaculate 16:54.2, 10. Charles Osborne 17:02.7
Other Avon runners: 17. Jack Stokesbury 17:20.3, 19. Zach Bortoff 17:26.9, 33. Jon Hernandez 18:02.8, 34. Andrew Mascoli 18:03.4, 38. Matt Nyklicek 18:13.4, 57. Michael Thramann 19:04.

GIRLS VARSITY
Team results – 1. Avon 45, 2. Immaculate-Danbury 49, 3. Cheshire 63, 4. Nonnewaug 119, 5. East Hampton 153, 6. Watertown 183, 7. New Milford 207, 8. Pomperaug 216, 9. Shepaug 257, 10. Torrington 274, 11. Litchfield 292, 12. Lewis Mills 317, 13. Holy Cross 341
Individual results – 1. Angela Saidman, Immaculate 18:29.3, 2. Jenna Gasparrini, Immaculate 18:32.7, 3. Danielle Marcone, Immaculate 19:08.0, 4. Rachel Martin, Avon, 19:12.2, 5. Lauren Daddi, Cheshire, 19:13.3, 6. Ryley Higgins, Avon, 19:30.0, 7. Amanda Adesso, Cheshire 19:35.0, 8. Hanna Gregory, Nonnewaug 19:38.2, 9. Sarah Woodward, Nonnewaug 19:46.9, 10. Ashley Martin, Avon, 19:55.9
Other Avon runners: 11. Sara Leavens 19:59.5, 14. Christina Martin 20:18, 23. Caroline Luby 20:48, 26. Gabriella Colletti 21:03

Full results 57th annual Nonnewaug Invitational

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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