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Avon runners end dual meet seasons with wins over Farmington, Innovation

FARMINGTON, Oct. 11 – It’s been a challenging season for the Avon High boys cross country team. Thanks to some injuries, it hasn’t turned out the way that the Falcons had hoped it would.

But Avon finished the dual meet portion of the season on a strong note Wednesday beating Farmington and the Academy of Science and Innovation of New Britain at Winding Trails. Avon had three runners in the top five including Anish Rajamanickam, who won his first dual meet of the season with a time of 17:46 over the 3.1 mile course.

Dan Carvalho of Avon took second with a time of 18:31 while Johnny Ross was fifth in 18:39. Avon beat Farmington, 18-41 and topped Innovation, 19-42. Under head coach Courtney Fusco, the Falcons finished the dual meet portion of the schedule with a record of 3-6 overall and 2-5 in the CCC West Patriot Division.

The Avon High girls cross country team earned their sixth dual meet win in the last seven meets with a 18-43 win over Farmington and a 15-50 shutout win over Innovation with four runners among the top five.

Avon (6-3, 4-3 CCC West Patriot) was led by Emily Foley, who won her first dual meet of the season with a season-best time of 19:53 at Winding Trails. Rhiannon Richmond was third in 21:40 while Rachel Martin finished fourth in 21:41. Sara Leavens was fifth, also with a time of 21:41.

The Falcons, under long-time head coach Al Dadario, began the dual meet portion of their season with tough losses to No. 1 Glastonbury, 22-38, and No. 6 Hall, 27-29. But they’ve won six of their last seven dual meets and two invitational titles – Connecticut River Invitational and Winding Trails Invitational – since that September meet against Hall and Glastonbury.

Avon is ranked No. 12 in the latest state high school coaches poll.

Both Avon teams will be competing at the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) championship meet on Tuesday at Wickham Park in Manchester. The girls varsity race is at 3:30 p.m. with the boys varsity race at 4 p.m.

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.

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