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Focused on running, Hinrichs wins Lobster Loop; Caputo wins women’s race

Runners take off at the start of the 2019 Lobster Loop 5K road race Sunday in Canton. Avon’s Tyler Hinrichs (86) won the race. More photos from the Lobster Loop.

CANTON, August 18 – Growing up in Avon, Tyler Hinrichs has enjoyed playing soccer. He earned a spot on the Avon High varsity team last fall that went to the Class L semifinals, scoring two goals earlier in the season.

But he enjoys running more. And he hopes to compete as a runner in college.

So, Hinrichs has made the switch. He is joining the cross country team in September for his final season at Avon High. He already participated in indoor track and field and outdoor track and field, earning All-State honors as a member of Avon’s 4×400 meter relay team that finished second in Class MM last May.

Hinrichs’ preparations are going well. He has run nearly 300 miles this summer to prepare for the cross country season. On Sunday, he pulled away from a pack of his peers to win the 28th annual Lobster Loop Road Race in Canton.

The top three finishers in the race were from Avon and will run for the Falcons this fall in cross country. Seven of the top 10 runners in the race were either current or former Avon High cross country runners.

Avon’s Tyler Hinrichs will be a senior this fall at Avon High. He won Sunday’s Lobster Loop road race. More photos from the Lobster Loop.

Hinrichs became just the second Avon runner to win the Lobster Loop and the first since Marc Robaczynski won his eighth Lobster Loop road race in 2014. Hinrichs won with a winning time of 17:13 over 3.1 miles. Future teammates Daniel Varvalho (17:39) was second with Liam O’Dwyer (18:23) finishing third.

The woman’s race was won by Canton’s Julia Caputo, 16, who will be a junior at Canton High this fall. A fast start helped Caputo lead from the start. She finished with a time of 19:50 with defending race champion Ashleigh Stephan of Avon finishing second with a time of 21:38.

Caputo is just the second Canton woman to win the race. Mary-Lynn Currier was living in Canton when she won the 2011 race – her eighth Lobster Loop victory.

Hinrichs went out with the leaders and pulled away after about a mile in the 3.1 mile race. “I just kept running at my own pace and pulled away,” he said.

Avon High graduate Mark Nunziata was fourth in 18:30 while three-time race champion Chris Chisholm was fifth in 18:35. Chisholm, who will be an assistant coach with Tim O’Donnell with the Canton High cross country program in a few weeks, won the race in 2001, 2002 and 2013.

Ryan Weller, 14, was the first runner from Canton to cross the line. He was tenth with a time of 19:11.

Julia Caputo (223), who will be a junior this fall at Canton High, won the Lobster Loop road race Sunday. More photos from the Lobster Loop.

Caputo got off to a quick start in the race. “I was tough,” she said. “I went out with the boys and they started really fast. I didn’t see any other women. I was just trying to keep my pace.

She finished 18th overall with a time of 19:50, a personal best in this race. “Even though I knew I was going to go out too fast, I knew I would slow down and I wanted to (run) consistent,” Caputo said.

Avon’s Ashleigh Stephan was second among the women and 33rd overall. Unionville’s Rebecca Stephensen was 37th overall and third among the women with a time of 22:25. Collinsville’s Jennifer Rottkamp (40, 22:49) and Canton’s Emma Charron (46, 23:21) rounded out the top five for the women.

The race proceeds benefit the Canton Middle School (grades 7-8) Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

There were 284 runners that finished the race – one of the lowest turnouts in race history. The previous low finishers was 317 in 2005. The number of finishers isn’t available for three of the first four years of the race. Two years ago in 2017, there were 467 runners that finished – one of the top 10 largest turnouts in race history.

Runners stream toward the finish of Sunday’s Lobster Loop road race in Canton. More photos from the Lobster Loop.

2019 Canton Lobster Loop Road Race
At Canton
Overall: Tyler Hinrichs, Avon, 17:13 for 3.1 miles, 2. Daniel Carvalho, Avon, 17:39, 3. Liam O’Dwyer, Avon, 18:23, 4. Mark Nunziata, Avon, 18:30, 5. Chris Chisholm, Farmington, 18:35, 6. Mason Bussiere, Avon, 18:35, 7. Luke Hester, 18:37, 8. David Perry, Avon, 18:44, 9. Carver Morgan, Avon, 18:55, 10. Ryan Weller, Canton, 19:11.
Top women: Julia Caputo (18th place overall), Canton, 19:50, 2. Ashleigh Stephan (33), Avon, 21:38, 3. Rebecca Stephensen (37), Unionville, 22:25, 4. Jennifer Rottkamp (40), Collinsville, 22:49, 5. Emma Charron (46), Canton, 23:21, 6. Morgan Babbitt (47), Canton, 23:21; 7. Kasey Charron (51), Canton, 23:37; 8. Lani Ralston (53), Farmington, 23:39; 9. Robin Beauregard (58), Hebron 24:03; 10. Michelle Hiscox (60), Canton, 24:12.

2019 Lobster Loop race results

Photos from 2019 Lobster Loop road race

Kyle Mullins ran the Lobster Loop in firefighters gear Sunday. He ran in full gear to show appreciation for the Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Dept., to raise awareness about volunteering. He also raised $1,081 in donations which will be directed to the department’s Active Shooter Response initiative. More photos from the Lobster Loop.

Recent Lobster Loop champions

Year: Overall winner Time Women’s winner (Overall place) Time
2019: Tyler Hinrichs, Avon 17:13 Julia Caputo, Canton (18) 19:50
2018: Matt DeMarco, Canton 17:44 Ashleigh Stephan, Avon (20) 21:02
2017: Max Sparks, Canton 16:26 Sara Leavens, Avon (13) 19:50
2016: Solomon Davis, Simsbury 16:35 Sara Leavens, Avon (18) 20:32
2015: Dean Yost, Canton 16:34 Jillian Sullivan, W. Hartford (19) 19:13
2014: Marc Robaczynski, Avon 16:03 Sammi Glass, Goshen (6) 17:44
2013: Chris Chisholm, Farmington 16:38 Sammi Glass, Goshen (8) 17:33
2012: Mike LeDuc, Canton 16:20 Anne Marie Tuxbury, N. Hartford (14) 18:42
2011: Mike LeDuc, Canton 15:36y Mary-Lynn Currier, Canton (25) 18:19y
2010: Marc Robacyznski, N. Hartford 15:41 Mary-Lynn Currier, Canton (14) 18:26

y-modified course due to construction on Dyer Avenue. Does not count toward race records.
Race records: Marc Robacyznski, 15:27, 1997; Kate Patten, New Hartford, 17:29, 2002

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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