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Avon runners capture championship at Haddad Windham Invitational

The Avon High cross country team won the Varsity II title at the annual Haddad Windham Invitational Saturday in the season opening meet for the Falcons. (Photo courtesy Courtney Fusco)

WILLIMANTIC, September 7 – The Avon High boys cross country team had a great opening day effort at the 41st annual Haddad Windham Cross Country Invitational.

The Falcons put three runners in the top 10 to win the Varsity II championship with an 18-point victory over Cromwell, 52-74. Sophomore Jack Martin finished second in the race with a time of 16:35 to lead Avon. Only Wolcott High’s Nicholas Bendtsen ran the race faster with a winning time of 16:19 over the 3.1 mile course at Windham High School.

Senior Tyler Hinrichs was fourth with a time of 17:10 while senior Daniel Carvalhos was eighth in 17:44. Rounding out the top five for the Falcons was senior Anish Rajamanickam (20, 18:16) and sophomore Lucas Hester (22, 18:23). Junior David Parry (27, 18:30) and Liam O’Dwyer (33, 18:45) also ran for the Falcons.

It’s the best finish for the boys team at the meet since taking second in the Varsity II race in 2015. Andrew Suter was fifth for the Falcons on that September afternoon.

Avon’s Jevonte Evans won the Junior Varsity II race with a time of 18:34 as nine of the first 10 finishers in the race were from Avon.

The Avon High girls cross country finished third in the Varsity II race with 122 points, trailing E.O. Smith (75) and Thomaston (99).

Sophomores Gabrielle Richmond and Maureen Ek each finished in the top 10 with Richmond taking seventh with a time of 20:58 on the 3.1 mile course and Ek finishing ninth in 21:23.

Junior Sarah Lancaster (18, 22:02), sophomore Bryneth Chang (44, 23:40) and junior Hayley Luby (57, 24:18) rounded out the top five for the Falcons. Sophomore Autumn Wolfe (71, 25:11) and senior Ann Hayes (76, 25:28) finished in the top seven for Avon.

Senior Rhiannon Richmond did run but was among several runners leading the race that took a wrong turn on the course and didn’t finish.

The Avon girls had finished among the top two teams in their races at the Haddad Windham Cross Country Invitational for the last five seasons, dating back to 2014. The Falcons had finished second for the last three seasons after winning it in back-to-back efforts in 2014 and 2015.

Avon returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Stratton Brook Park in Simsbury to take on Simsbury and Northwest Catholic in CCC West action.

2019 Haddad Windham Invitational results


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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