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Great weekend of running for the Fenglers from Wallingford

Wallingford’s Stephen Fengler, left, and sister Elizabeth Fengler, each won their respective division Sunday at the Burlington to Collinsville 10K road race. (Photos courtesy Hartford Marathon Foundation)

It was a successful weekend of road racing for Wallingford’s Stephen Fengler and his older sister, Elizabeth.

On Saturday, Stephen won the 39th annual Sharon Classic road race with Elizabeth finishing second in the 5.3-mile race. On Sunday, the Fenglers again brought home two championship trophies at the ninth annual Burlington to Collinsville 10K road race.

Stephen Fengler pulled away in the final two miles to win the ninth annual 6.2-mile race while Elizabeth won the women’s division for the second straight year. She is the first woman since Burlington’s Mary Lynn Currier in 2016 and 2017 to win the race in consecutive years.

There were 637 runners in the race, sponsored by the Hartford Marathon Foundation, that began at Lake Garda school in Burlington and ended in downtown Collinsville outside of the Crown and Hammer restaurant on the Farmington River trail.

Running distance events on consecutive days is nothing new to the Fenglers, who would run distance events on back-to-back days during their college days at Southern Connecticut State University.

The Fenglers signed up for consecutive races this weekend as they continue on their quest to run a road race in all 169 Connecticut towns with the group Run 169 Towns Society. Elizabeth has run races in 135 towns while Stephen has run in 114 towns so far.

The Fenglers were the top two runners in Saturday’s Sharon Classic. It was a bit more competitive on Sunday.

New Hartford’s David Bridgewater took the early lead but by the second mile, Stephen Fengler was running with Bridgewater. They took turns sharing the lead before Stephen made a move with about two miles remaining.

“I pushed the pace and opened up a gap,” he said. “I went fast up that hill (leading) up to the bridge (spanning the Farmington River) in Collinsville.”

For the sixth time in eight races, more than 600 runners participated in the Burlington to Collinsville 10K road race. (Photo courtesy Hartford Marathon Foundation)

Stephen’s time of 32:54 beat Bridgewater by 10 seconds. Defending race champion Colby Brown of Terryville was third with a time of 35:13.

How close was Bridgewater in the final mile? Stephen wasn’t sure. He couldn’t hear if Bridgewater wasclosing on him and refused to turn around and look back.

“When it is that close, I am looking toward the finish line and I am pushing as hard as I can,” Stephen, 24, said. “You slow down when you do that (turn around).”

Elizabeth, 28, wasn’t pushed as hard as her brother was. She finished ninth overall and won the women’s division in 38:33, the second-fastest time in race history, just 30 seconds off her record-setting win of a year ago.

“I wasn’t really challenged by any women (in the race),” she said. “I went out with the other guys, chilled and went at my own pace. I will move if I have to.”

Avon’s Sarah Saindon was second in the women’s race with a time of 41:41. She finished 19th overall in the field.

“It was nice overall. There was a great crowd,” Elizabeth said. “Even though it was cloudy, I will take it.”

There were 637 runners that finished the race, the most since 2019.

The first runner from Avon was Saindon, who was second in the women’s division with a time of 41:41. George Mastrogiannis was the first runner from Canton with a time of 42:23 in 25th place.

Avon’s Christine Neski (women age 35-39, 45:28) and Nichol Nunziata (men 20-24, 44:59) each won their respective age groups.

UPDATE: On Thursday, four days after the race, the Hartford Marathon Foundation posted a note on social media updating results of the women’s race with Saindon finishing second and Brooklyn’s Brittany Sarza taking third.

HMF said in their post that to an illegal bib transfer skewing results on site, Saindon was incorrectly presented with third place in the women’s overall division and Brittany was not recognized on Sunday. Once this discrepancy was confirmed and all parties were contacted directly.

“Out of respect for fellow participants, please follow bib transfer policies to help prevent situations like this,” HMF said in their post.

2024 Burlington to Collinsville 10K Road Race
At Collinsville
Overall (top 15): Stephen Fengler, Wallingford, 32:54 for 6.2 miles, 2. David Bridgewater, New Hartford 33:05, 3. Colby Brown, Terryville, 35:13, 4. Marc Lennon, Southington, 35:13, 5. Joe Decker, Meriden, 37:16, 6. Eric Kociszewski, Burlington, 37:32, 7. Ryan Briscoe, Farmington, 37:35, 8. James Warren, Glastonbury, 37:45, 9. Elizabeth Fengler, Wallingford, 38:33, 10. Kendra Slack, Tolland, 39:19, 11. John Sudol, Harwinton, 39:18, 12. Michael Allegue, Middlebury, 39:44, 13. Ryan Goodine, Manchester, 39:55, 14. Dylan Lankford, Bethany, 40:28, 15. Ross Albert, West Simsbury, 40:31
Women (top 10): Elizabeth Fengler, Wallingford (9th overall) 38:34 for 6.2 miles, 2. Sarah Saindon (19), Avon, 41:41, 3. Brittany Sarza (23), Brooklyn CT 41:53, 4. Danielle King-Watkins (41), Colchester, 44:22, 5. Megan Vigue, Bristol (46) 44:40, 6. Alexandra Salinsky (48), Coventry 44:46, 7. Emma Wellspeak (49), New Haven, 44:55, 8. Christine Neskie (55), Avon, 45:37, 9. Jennifer Feda (57), Burlington, 45:40, 10. Michele Kulak (59), Canton, 45:56

2024 Burlington to Collinsville 10K Road Race


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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