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Richmond has won two invitational races; Avon girls have finished second twice

Avon’s Rhiannon Richmond (1), shown last spring at the Class MM championship meet, has won two invitational titles in the past week.

CROMWELL, Sept. 15 – Avon junior Rhiannon Richmond has won two invitational championships in the 10 days of the girls cross country season.

Richmond won the Varsity II race at the 40th annual Haddad Windham Invitational a week ago and captured the eighth annual Connecticut River Valley Invitational on Saturday.

Her performance’s helped Avon, the defending Class MM state champions, finish second in both events. The Falcons were second to E.O. Smith at the Haddad Windham Invitational, 42-80 and were second to Old Saybrook, 67-87 at the Connecticut River Valley Invitational.

At the Haddad Windham Invitational, Richmond won the race by 29 seconds with a time of 19:54. Teammates Sarah Lancaster (16th, 22:02) and Rachel Nori (21, 22:15) finished in the top 25 of the Varsity II race.

At the Connecticut River Valley meet, Richmond won the 3.1 mile race with a time of 19:23, which was 14 seconds better than East Hampton’s Liv Destedano. Senior Emma Buth (16, 21:42), sophomore Sarah Lancaster (20, 21:54), freshman Gabrielle Richmond (27, 22:19) and senior Rachel Nori (29, 22:46) rounded out the top five for the Falcons.

The Avon High boys cross country team did not compete at the Connecticut River Valley meet.

The boys team did run at the Haddad Windham Invitational and took fifth in the Varsity II race. The Falcons were led by junior Anish Rajamanickham, who was 21st with a time of 18:09 and freshman Jack Martin, who was 22nd with a time of 18:10.

Avon did open the dual meet portion of their schedule last week against CCC West rivals Hall-West Hartford and Glastonbury.

Richmond was sixth in the field of 86 runners with a time of 19:54.65 in the meet at Hall with teammate Logan Jacobs taking 12th with a time of 21:28. Nori was 14th in 21:56. Buth (19, 22:13) also finished in the top 20 for Avon (0-2, 0-2 CCC West Patriot). Hall, led by race winner Jenna Zydanowicz (18:36.9) beat the Falcons, 17-40 while Glastonbury won, 18-42.

The boys race had a field of 168 runners with Hall putting the first six runners across the finish line and having seven of the first 10 runners in the race.

Avon (0-2, 0-2 CCC West Patriot) was led by Rajamanickham (14, 18:13.12), Martin (15, 18:19), Mark Nunziata (16, 18:31) and Daniel Carvalho (20, 19:07). Hall beat the Falcons, 15-40 and Glastonbury topped Avon, 15-48.

Both Falcon teams return to action on Monday when they travel to the West Hartford Reservoir to face Conard and Southington in another CCC West race. Next Saturday, they will be in Farmington at the Winding Trails Invitational.

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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