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Avon cross country teams sweep Lewis Mills to remain undefeated – The Collinsville Press
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Cross Country

Avon cross country teams sweep Lewis Mills to remain undefeated

From left, Avon’s Carver Morgan, Jevonte Eaves and Rodrigo Portal run together in the final mile of Friday’s CCC Region B cross country race at Fisher Meadows. Avon remained undefeated with a victory.  

AVON, Oct. 23, 2020 – The Avon High boys cross country team had nine of the first 10 spots to beat Lewis Mills, 22-43, on Friday at Fisher Meadows park and remain undefeated this fall at 5-0.

The Avon High girls cross country team had five of the top eight finishers to beat Lewis Mills, 23-40 and remain undefeated at 4-0.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the cross country season has been modified to a series of regional dual meets to minimize the potential to spread the contagious coronavirus. Avon has run five dual meets and has two remaining before an end-of-the-season meet with the seven other teams in CCC Region B.

Despite missing four runners, the Falcons remained undefeated with their win over Lewis Mills. Lewis Mills junior Justin Cascio easily won his fifth race of the season with a winning time of 15:58.9 over the 3.1-mile course at Fisher Meadows.

But the Falcons put the next 12 runners across the finish line led by Jevonte Eaves with a personal-best 16:56 in second place and senior Nick Alphonso with a personal-best 16:59 to finish third. Carver Morgan (17:02) was fourth and Rodrigo Portal (17:03) took fifth place.

“Part of what keeps them motivated is the fact they didn’t have a spring (track and field) season,” Avon High boys coach Courtney Fusco said. “So pretty much from the beginning of the summer, they were motivated and energized to have a great summer of training.

“This year, no matter (who) the competition is, they are just happy to have a season and be out there and run,” Fusco said.

Avon won despite four runners missing the race due to COVID-19 concerns. Avon High went back to the hybrid model of teaching on Friday with one cohort (group) of students attending classes in the building and the second cohort attending virtually because two students tested positive for COVID-19.

The school does contact tracing and identifies students who have close contact with a student who tests positive. Students who are identified with close contact are required to quarantine, taking classes online and staying off school property.

“It’s a precaution to prevent any further spread (of COVID-19),” Avon Athletic Director Tim Filon said on Friday. “These strategies and guidelines are put into place not just for the school but for the community at large.”

Filon said each athletic program at the high school has had an athlete miss a game or practice due to COVID-19 concerns.

Avon’s Marren Ek leads Sarah Lancaster during Friday’s CCC cross country meet at Fisher Meadows. Ek won her second dual meet of the season.

Fusco said he took his team that the absence of their teammates was an opportunity for other runners to step up and make a difference.

On Wednesday, the Falcons needed some exceptional running to beat Southington, 27-28 at Camp Sloper in Southington.

Portal beat Southington’s Luke Penna by 0.4 of a second to finish sixth to help the Falcons earn the win. If Penna had beaten out Portal for sixth place, it would have been Southington with the one-point victory.

Carver Morgan won the race for the Falcons with a winning time of 17:10.6 seconds but just as important was Nick Alphonso’s third place finish and Jerome Eaves and Mason Bussiere finishing in eighth and ninth place, respectively. If Alphonso, Eaves or Bussiere had finished one spot lower, it could have swung the meet to Southington.

Alphonso started strong but faded to seventh place midway through the race before coming back to finish third.

The Avon High girls are also undefeated (4-0) thanks to their 24-40 victory over the visiting Spartans. Junior Marren Ek earned her second dual meet win in four races with a tinning time of 20:56.6. Teammate Sarah Lancaster was second with a time of 21:42, finishing ahead of Lewis Mills’ Gabriella Zeller (21:56) and Ginny Mueller (21:57).

Finishes from Carolyn McKeown (22:33), Hayley Luby (22:44) and Autumn Wolf (22:44) in sixth, seventh and eighth place, respectively, secured the victory for the Falcons.

Avon’s meet on Wednesday against Southington was postponed and will be scored at the season-ending group race.

Both Avon teams return to action on Wednesday when they host Plainville at Fisher Meadow beginning at 4 p.m.

Avon’s Caroline McKeown leads Lewis Mills’ Gabriellaa Zeller in Friday’s CCC cross county meet in Avon. The Falcons beat Mills, 23-40.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Avon 22, Lewis Mills 43
At Avon
Results – 1. Justin Cascio (LM) 15:59.9 for 3.1 miles at Fisher Meadows; 2. Jevonte Eaves (A) 16:56, 3. Nick Alphonso (A) 16:59, 4. Carver Morgan (A) 17:02, 5. Rodrigo Portlan (A) 17:03, 6. Daniel Cuyler (A) 17:14, 7. Mason Bussiere (A) 17:31, 8. Tej Raman (A) 17:43, 9. Nick Bailey (A) 17:48, 10. David Parry (A) 17:58
Records: Avon 5-0, Lewis Mills 2-3

Avon 27, Southington 28
At Southington
Results – 1. Carver Morgan (A) 17:10.6 for 3.1 miles at Camp Sloper, 2. Jake Nafis (S) 17:21, 3. Nick Alphonso (A) 17:34, 4. Jared Rivera (S) 17;43, 5. Drew Nafis (S) 17:47, 6. Rodrigo Portal (A) 17:49.4, 7. Luke Penna (S) 17:49.8, 8. Jerome Eaves (A) 17:50, 9. Mason Bussiere (A) 17:56, 10. Braeden Lafram (S) 18:08
Records: Avon 4-0

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Avon 23, Lewis Mills 40
At Avon
Results –
1. Marren Ek (A) 20:56.6 for 3.1 miles at Fisher Meadows, 2. Sarah Lancaster (A) 21:42, 3. Gabriella Zeller (LM) 21:56, 4. Ginny Mueller (LM) 21:57, 5. Caroline McKeown (A) 22:33, 6. Haley Luby (A) 22:42, 7. Autumn Wolf (A) 22:44, 8. Trinity Moulton (LM) 23:57, 9. Bella Harding (LM) 23:51, 10. Annabelle Alphonso (A) 24:25
Records: Avon 4-0

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

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