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Strong start to the season for Canton sophomore Julia Caputo

Julia Caputo, shown last June with the track program, finished second at the Stratton Brook Invitational Saturday in Simsbury.

SIMSBURY, September 15 – It’s been a nice start to the cross country season for Canton High sophomore Julia Caputo.

Caputo was second in the Girls Large Division race at the 38th annual Stratton Brook Invitational at Stratton Brook Park on Saturday. Caputo finished 12 seconds behind Simsbury junior Dagney Edward, who won the 3.1 mile race in 20:17 with Caputo turning a school-record time of 20:29.

It’s the best finish ever by a Canton girl at the race.

Caputo won her first race of the year just two days earlier on Thursday when she won a dual meet with Windsor Locks and Stafford in 20:52 in Stafford.

The Warriors didn’t score as a team at the Stratton Brook Invitational because they entered only four runners in the Large School varsity race. Two other freshmen ran in junior varsity races. Senior Helena Winkler was 18th with a time of 23:35 with junior Maeve Balavender (36, 26:05) and senior Lila Hunt (38, 26:33) running in the varsity race.

Canton freshman Jenna Cuniowski was third in the junior varsity race with a time of 25:17.

The Canton boys competed in the Small Division race at the Stratton Brook Invitational, finishing seventh. Keith Thomas led the Warriors by finishing 33rd with a time of 20:26 followed by senior Andrew Obruzut (37, 20:40) and junior Matthew Barton (38, 20:43). Northwestern Regional easily won the Small Division race by outlasting Shepaug Valley 33-88.

In the first dual meet of the season on Thursday in Stafford, Caputo was one of five Canton girls in the top 10 as the Canton girls beat Windsor Locks, 21-40 and Stafford, 15-50. Winkler was third with a time of 24:43 with Balavender taking sixth in 25:32. The defending NCCC champion Warriors (2-0, 2-0 NCCC) have won 21 consecutive dual meets since the 2016 season.

In the boys race, Canton swept a pair of tight bouts with a 28-31 win over Windsor Locks and a 21-40 decision over Stafford to improve to 2-0. Andrew Obrzut led the Warriors by finishing third in 20:24 with Barton finishing fourth in 20:40.

Canton 28, Windsor Locks 31
Canton 21, Stafford 40
Windsor Locks 24, Stafford 31
At Stafford
Individual results – J. Kitterdge (WL) 18:36, 2. R. Kitteredge (WL) 18:39, 3. Andrew Obrzut (Ca) 20:24, 4. Matt Barton (Ca) 20:40; 5. J. Dillard (WL) 20:50, 6. B. Gutierez (ST) 20:55, 7. J. Starkey (St) 21:18, 8. J. Holoweski (Ca) 21:40, 9. Keith Thomas (Ca) 21:48, 10. S. Miscikoski (Ca) 22:42
Records: Canton 2-0, 2-0 NCCC

Canton 21, Windsor Locks 40
Canton 15, Stafford 50
Windsor Locks 15, Stafford 50
At Stafford
Individual results – Julia Caputo (Ca) 20:52 over 3.1 miles at Windsor Locks, 2. A. Sprague (St) 23:19, 3. Helena Winkler (Ca) 24:43, 4. Ar. Taylor (WL) 25:19, 5. Al Taylor (WL) 25:22, 6. Maeve Balavender (Ca) 25:32, 7. Jenna Cuniowski (Ca)  25:27, 8. Lila Hunt (Ca) 27:01, 9. E. Yarrows (St) 27:37, 10. H. Sevigny (Ca) 28:32
Records: Canton 2-0, 2-0 NCCC


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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