Trumbull returns to cross country course with win

Junior Kali Holden led from start to finish in Trumbull's season opening dual meet victory against St. Joseph.

Junior Kali Holden led from start to finish in Trumbull's season opening dual meet victory against St. Joseph.

Trumbull Athletics / Contributed photo

Trumbull head girls’ cross country coach Jim McCaffrey was really looking forward to the Eagles’ season opening dual meet against FCIAC rival St. Joseph.

One year after the Eagles had one of its best seasons in school history (2nd place at FCIAC and Class LL; 3rd-place State Open, 5th place New England), McCaffrey and assistant coach Dennis McLaughlin had to replace a talented graduating senior class and deal with a pandemic that forced an uncertain, albeit later, start to the 2020 season.

“It was a good day to be back out on the course,” McCaffrey said. “It has been more than six months since these girls last competed, and the pre-race smiles told this story as they toed the line. Our fitness level was tested today - especially with the uncertainty and adaptations we have had to make. I was impressed with their stamina. These girls are tough.”

Twenty-four Trumbull runners ran the varsity race, according to the CIAC’s Return to Play guidelines. Trumbull picked up where it left off last season, cruising to a 15-49 victory. The Eagles placed the first seven runners and recorded the fifth-fastest team time on its 2.9-mile home course.

Junior Kali Holden led the way with a first-place finish, completing the race in 18:34 - the third fastest time by a THS runner. A two-time All-FCIAC honoree, Holden led the race from the beginning to the end, and is expected to fill the shoes of graduated Alessandra Zaffina, a three-time All-Stater who is now running at Quinnipiac.

Senior captain Calyn Carbone finished second (19:23) and junior Evelyn Marchand was third (19:36). Carbone, a first team All-FCIAC honoree two years ago, missed the entire 2019 season with an injury. Marchand was a second team All-FCIAC a year ago.

Senior Brenna Asaro finished fourth (20:17) and classmate and captain Keira Grant was fifth (20:24). Sophomore Abigail Poplawski finished sixth in 21:20. Junior Julietta Siciak was eighth (21:40) while sophomore Maggie Basbagill was ninth (21:49).

Following the meet, Trumbull held a Senior Night ceremony for its 11 seniors: Brenna Asaro, Calyn Carbone, Emily Gossman, Keira Grant, Julia Hull, Elisabeth Liggins, Hailey Paine, Ella Smith, Ashley Velloso, Alexa Yardis and Cailyn Zanesky.

Trumbull’s next two dual meets will be against Fairfield Warde. The Eagles will travel to Fairfield next Tuesday for a 4 p.m. start. Three days later, the Eagles will host the Mustangs.