Trumbull girls run to East Regional championship
NEW CANAAN — Going into Wednesday’s FCIAC East Regional Championship race at New Canaan’s Waveny Park, Trumbull head coach Jim McCaffrey had a specific strategy to help the Eagles come out on top, especially after the team had suffered a dual-meet loss to Fairfield Ludlowe two weeks ago.
“This was our shortest run of the season,” McCaffrey said. “The plan was to go out fast, settle in after the first mile and then work the last 1000 meters, which is the most technical part of the course: the climb to the finish. We wanted to be positioned between Ludlowe’s number one runner and their two and three. Today, the girls executed that plan and thrived.”
The Eagles placed five runners in the top 10, and eight in the top 15 to earn the title, as Trumbull (30) outpaced runner-up Fairfield Ludlowe (47). Fairfield Warde (64) was third and St. Joseph (99) fourth. All eight of Trumbull’s runners that competed earned All-Division recognition.
Junior Kali Holden led the way for the Eagles, finishing the 4,000-meter course in 15:01, good for second place overall.
“Kali has really grown into her role as our top runner,” McCaffrey said. “She is tough, plain and simple, but she is also humble and smart.” Holden’s time was the fourth fastest among all FCIAC runners. Her time was also was the fourth fastest by a Trumbull runner at the Waveny Park course.”
Senior Calyn Carbone was next for Trumbull, placing fourth overall with a time of 15:49. Carbone’s time was the 13th best among all FCIAC runners. Junior Evelyn Marchand placed fifth overall (16:03). Holden, Carbone and Marchand finished ahead of Ludlowe’s two and three runners, thus executing McCaffrey’s pre-race plan.
Senior Keira Grant was ninth (16:52), while classmate Brenna Asaro was 10th (16:54) to solidify the Eagles’ scoring.
In addition, junior Julietta Siciak was 11th (16:57), while sophomores Abigail Poplawski (16:59) and Maggie Basbagill (17:19), placed 12th and 15th, respectively.
“These girls know how to execute a plan and work to achieve the goal, and pull out their best effort,” McCaffrey explained. “As I told them pre-race, ‘forget your limits today, be willing to outwork yourself, and you will win your matchups.’”
Trumbull’s season is not over.
The Eagles will run their final 5,000-meter race on Sunday afternoon for the Nike Virtual Cross Country Championship and will attempt to break into the top two in the Northeast Region. Trumbull is currently ranked third.
“I’m very proud of the girls,” McCaffrey said. “I appreciate my role as a planner and motivator, but these kids inspire me every day with their willingness to understand the power of working together.”