Marchand leads Trumbull girls cross country at Wilton Invitational

The Trumbull girls cross country program, under the direction of head coach Jim McCaffrey, had a productive day at the 33th Annual Wilton Invitational on Saturday.

Competing in her first season of cross country after a highly-successful outdoor track season in the spring, junior Katie Marchand showed why she is capable of becoming Trumbull’s next standout following in the footsteps of recent All Staters Ally Zaffina ’20 (now running at Quinnipiac University) and recently graduated Kali Holden ’22 (now running at Auburn University).

Competing against a talented field of 166 runners from schools across the state and New York, Marchand finished second overall in the 2.5 mile varsity race with a time of 14:44.

Marchand has the ability to be pretty special according to McCaffrey. “Katie is still learning and needs experience as she runs cross country and employs the strategies that go into each race,” he said. “She has tremendous talent and will be better each time she races.”

Seniors Abigail Poplawski, who finished 44th (16:50) and Gabby Pavlov (74th, 17:42) along with sophomore Gwen Leonard (75th, 17:42) and senior Molly Cousins (93rd, 18:11) provided depth for the Eagles in the varsity race. Junior Leela Kocinsky, who didn’t run in the Wilton Invitational, will be another experienced runner for McCaffrey.

In the 2.5 mile Junior Varsity race that saw a very large field of runners (221), four Trumbull runners placed in among the top quartile. Junior Isabel O’Brien ran a great race, finishing sixth overall with a time of 17:44. Senior Corinne Howell also ran a fine race, placing 13th with a time of 18:26. Junior Elizabeth Tinker finished 47th (19:32) and sophomore Aarushi Sharma was 51st (19:42).

“I am looking forward to this season,” McCaffrey added. “All of our runners are committed to improving each race, and we need to stay healthy, train hard and believe in ourselves.”

Trumbull returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 20 when it travels to New Canaan to face the Rams, Danbury and Bridgeport Central in a FCIAC quad-meet at 4 p.m.