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DeMarco, Stephan win Canton’s Lobster Loop road race for the first time

Canton’s Matt DeMarco won his first Lobster Loop road race Sunday. He is the seventh Canton man to win the race.

CANTON, August 19 – Matt DeMarco wants to set a good example when he begins his first season as the girls cross country coach at Canton High. He wants to be in shape to run.

His summer workouts have paid off. DeMarco, 23, won his first Lobster Loop road race Sunday beating 17-year-old Elliott Via of Collinsville by 14 seconds to finish the 3.1-mile race in 17:44.

Avon’s Ashley Stephan also won her first Lobster Loop road race, beating Avon’s Christine Neskie to capture the women’s race by eight seconds with a time of 21:02. It was the 27th annual running of the race that benefits the Canton Middle School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

DeMarco said he benefited by the absence of 2017 Lobster Loop champion Max Sparks, the All-State runner from Canton, and Aidan O’Donnell, who was third a year ago. Both runners will be freshmen in college this fall and are attending early season workouts at their respective schools.

“It was fun,” DeMarco said. “It was a nice race and it was smooth.”

2018 Lobster Loop Road Race photos

It was his first race back after fainting in the 19th mile of last October’s Hartford Marathon. He only began running again about three months ago. “I had to get my body back into shape and make sure I practice what I preach,” he said.

Avon’s Ashleigh Stephan won her first Lobster Loop road race Sunday in Canton.

Stephan, 25, spent her high school career playing lacrosse at Ethel Walker in Simsbury and played lacrosse in college at Hamilton University in Clinton, New York. “I never thought I would win the full women’s race,” she said. “I was hoping to win my age group.”

Stephan spent much of the race running with Avon’s Christine Neskie, 33, and Rachel Nori, 17. Sephan pulled away in the final half mile to capture the race. It’s the third straight year that an Avon woman has won the race.

Stephan ran the race with her boyfriend Joe Wells of White Plains, N.Y., and her father, Chris Stephan. All three brought home some hardware. Wells won his age group (19-29) with a winning time of 20:18. Chris Stephan, owner of Sartorius Sports in Avon, was third in his age group (ages 50-59). “I have to give a shout out to my Dad. He supplied me with the running shoes to win this race,” Ashleigh Stephan said with a grin.

There were 364 runners in the race – one of the lower turnouts in the past 18 years. The smallest turnout in the last 18 years was 303 runners in 2006.

DeMarco was the first Canton runner to cross the finish line and seventh Canton winner in race history. Kasey Charron was the first Canton woman to cross the finish line and she was also first in her age group (19-29).

Both winning times were the slowest in race history. The previous records were 20:32 for the women’s race just two years ago in 2015 and 16:47 for the men’s race by Canton’s Jeff Niedeck in 2006.

Canton’s Ross Via comes down the stretch toward the finish of Sunday’s Lobster Loop road race.

Top 10 results – 1. Matt DeMarco, Canton, 17:44 for 3.1 miles, 2. Elliott Via, Collinsville, 17:58, 3. Anish Rajamanickham, Avon, 18:35; 4. Mark Nunziala, Avon, 18:39; 5. Liam O’Dwyer, Avon, 18:51; 6. Ross Via, Collinsville, 19:21; 7. C.J. Fusco, Morris, 19:30, 8. Mario Samjento, Torrington, 19:45; 9. Eric Gamari, Torrington, 19:50, 10. Daniel Carvallo, Avon, 20:07

Top 10 women – 1. Ashleigh Stephan, Avon (20th overall), 21:02 for 3.1 miles, 2. Christine Neskie (23), Avon, 21:10; 3. Rachel Nori (28), Avon, 21:19; 4. Kasey Charron (37), Canton, 22:10; 5. Ella Szczpanski (43), Farmington, 22:39; 6. Marla Schilling (44), Canton, 22:49; 7. Cara Riley (48), Manchester, 23:10; 8. Marla Rycerz (60), Windsor, 23:52; 9. Morgan Babbit (61), 23:52; 10. Michelle Wiscox (66), Canton, 24:10

2018 Lobster Loop Road Race results

PHOTOS from the Lobster Loop road race

AGE GROUP results
Canton PTO Lobster Loop 5K Road Race
Sunday August 19, 2018 – Town Gazebo – Dowd St – Canton CT
Platt Systems Timing & Scoring – Overcast – 72 degrees – Humid

GIRLS 8 and under
1  Lillian Fisher                    7F  Canton CT                30:54
2  Elle Thomas                    4F  Middlebury CT         38:56
3  Finley Lazarek                 8F  Collinsville CT         39:03

GIRLS 19-12
1  Morgan Babbit                   12F  Canton CT               23:52
2  Cara Szczepanski              12F  Farmington CT      25:37
3  Catherine Graves              12F  CANTON CT           27:14

GIRLS 13-14
1  Ella Szczepanski              14F  Farmington CT           22:39
2  Sara Chute                       14F  AVON CT                     25:26
3  Ashelyn Cebollero          13F  COLLINSVILLE CT   30:21

GIRLS 15-18
1  Rachel Nori                   17F  Avon CT                 21:19
2  Sarah Lancaster          15F  Avon CT                 23:51
3  May Alamar                 15F  Avon CT                 25:23

WOMEN 19-29
1  Kasey Charron             19F  Canton CT               22:10
2  Marla Schilling           28F  Canton CT               22:49
3  Cara Riley                    29F  Manchester CT       23:10

WOMEN 30-39
1  Christine Neskie          33F  Avon CT                 21:10
2  Archana Karanki         39F  UNIONVILLE CT    25:24
3  Erin Sodhi                    39F  Marlborough CT       26:51

WOMEN 40-49
1  Marla Rycerz                  49F  Windsor CT              23:52
2  Michelle Hiscox            40F  Canton CT               24:10
3  Kelly McPherson          40F  Avon CT                 25:22

WOMEN 50-59
1  Stephanie Einsiedel       50F  Andover CT         26:59
2  Kim Treadwell               51F  Canton CT              27:44
3  Tracey Keefe                  55F  Avon CT                  28:25

WOMEN 60-69
1  Maureen Gillis                62F  East Haddam CT   27:37
2  Jeanne Thomas             63F  Wolcott CT              30:44
3  Stacey Fulton                 60F  Storrs CT               31:35

*********************************  MALE AGE GROUPS *********************************

BOYS 8 and under
1  Thomas Hagymasi           8M  Torrington CT        24:19
2  Aidan Glassey                  7M  Canton CT               33:57
3  Shane Leadbetter               8M  Canton CT           38:46

BOYS 9-12
1  Will Lancaster                11M  Avon CT                 22:09
2  David Grabowski           11M  Canton CT             22:58
3  Ethan Lindquist             11M  Canton CT             23:49

BOYS 13-14
1  Luke Davis                    13M  Simsbury CT             20:30
2  Ryan Weller                   13M  Canton CT               20:43
3  Daniel Cuyler                 14M  AVON CT                 21:36

BOYS 15-18
1  Elliott Via                   17M  Collinsville CT         17:58
2  Anish Rajamanickam     16M  Avon CT            18:35
3  Mark Nunziata                 17M  AVON CT          18:39

MEN 19-29
1  Joe Wells                     26M  White Plains NY     20:18
2  Alden Piper                 21M  Avon CT                   22:07
3  Daniel Grosso             26M  Bellingham MA     23:23

MEN 30-39
1  CJ Fusco                      37M  Morris CT            19:30
2  Fran Amara                39M  Unionville CT      20:10
3  Christopher Davies    32M  Denver CO          20:18

MEN 40-49
1  Marco Sarmiento          40M  Torrington CT           19:45
2  Eric Gamari                   40M  Torrington CT           19:50
3  Richard Malcolm          41M  Northampton MA     20:38

MEN 50-59
1  Cornelius Boswell           51M  New York NY        21:03
2  Andrew Fallon                50M  Canaan CT            22:36
3  Chris Stephan                 57M  Avon CT                 23:32

MEN 60-69
1  Robert Deming            62M  New Hartford CT   21:16
2  Bruce Bussiere            64M  Canton CT               23:04
3  John Riley                    62M  Berlin CT                23:12

MEN 70-79
1  Fred Gohringer                76M  Milldale CT             25:52
2  Jay Keiser                    70M  Middletown CT           28:37
3  Richard Zbrozek               71M  Berlin CT                35:08

MEN 80 and Over
1  Tom Butterfield                       82M  Windsor CT               30:42
2  Jerry Shimoda-Peterson        86M  West Hartford CT   44:11

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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