Trumbull ninth at Open, Holden advances to New England meet

After finishing fourth at last week’s Class LL meet, the Trumbull High girls’ cross country team finished ninth overall out of 20 teams at Friday’s CIAC Cross Country State Open at Wickham Park in Manchester.

While the Eagles’ team finish did not qualify them to next week’s New England Championship, senior captain Kali Holden will be continuing her senior campaign next weekend in Vermont.

Holden solidified her spot as one of the state’s top runners, finishing in sixth place with a 19:03 time, an impressive 6:09 mile pace.

Holden’s performance came just four days after she ran a 19:32 and placed fourth at the Class LL race at Wickham. As a result, Holden earned a spot at next week’s New England Championships, which will be held on the campus of Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vt.

“Kali’s race was great. She was one just second off the school record,” Trumbull head coach Jim McCaffrey said. “Kali works extremely hard and her mission all year has been to be All-New England, and she is in great shape to do it. Her teammates are excited to go and support her.”

Holden said: “After not really racing in the 2020 season, I liked being back at Wickham with this team,” she said. “I wish we could go together as a team, but we came a long way this fall, and I’m excited to run in Vermont.”

Senior captain Evelyn Marchand was the Eagles’ second finisher, placing 35th overall with a time of 20:02. Junior Abigail Poplawski was next in 81st place (21:06).

Sophomore Leela Kocinsky and Bridget Walsh finished 113th (21:42) and 122nd (21:46), respectively. Sophomore Isabel O’Brien was 130th (22:01) and junior Gabby Pavlov finished 153rd (22:44).

“It was a really competitive race,” McCaffrey said. “The girls really ran great. Thirty-two points separated fifth place through 11th place. his was one of the best female races I have seen.”