Trumbull third at State Open, New England meet next
The Trumbull High girls; cross country made history on Friday, placing third at the State Open meet at Wickham Park in Manchester.
It was the Eagles’ best-ever finish at the State Open, and they earned their third consecutive berth to the New England Championships, something head coach Jim McCaffrey was very excited about.
“We made school history today,” McCaffrey said. “This team continues to amaze me and qualifying for New Englands for a third straight year is a significant accomplishment.”
On a blustery, sunny day, the Eagles performed well on the 5,000-meter course to earn third (155 points), behind champion Hall of West Hartford (110) and runner-up Simsbury (136). Trumbull finished ahead of FCIAC rivals New Canaan (173) and Danbury (191), who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Alessandra Zaffina continued her outstanding senior season with an overall ninth place finish. A three-time All-State honoree, Zaffina ran a solid race and finished in a season-best time of 19:18, an impressive 6:14 pace.
“Ally is leaving her mark as one of the best runners in THS history,” McCaffrey said. “At Wickham Park, she has run the two of the fastest times in school history, and she continues to be our team leader.”
Zaffina’s classmate Emily Alexandru, who did not run in last week’s Class LL meet, returned to action and finished 26th with a time of 20:00.
Sophomores Kali Holden and Evelyn Marchand were next for Trumbull, placing 53rd (20:43) and 55th (20:44), respectively.
Junior Keira Grant was Trumbull’s fifth runner, finishing 87th (21:20), which finalized the scoring for the Eagles.
Seniors Rebecca Margolnick (89th, 21:22) and Megan Becker (98th, 21:30) also ran well for the Eagles, who now set their sights on the New England championship race which will be at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the friendly confines of Wickham Park.
Last season, the Eagles finished seventh at the New Englands, which were held in Manchester, N.H.
“The advantage to running the New Englands at Wickham is rooted in our preparation,” McCaffrey added. “We know the Wickham course, but more importantly, we can get together the night before, have dinner, and then everyone gets to go home and sleep in their own beds. We are coming in determined to reach the podium.”