Boys cross country: Eagles fifth, Lepore third at FCIACs

The Trumbull High boys cross country team had a successful day on Thursday at the FCIAC Championship meet at Waveny Park in New Canaan.

The varsity placed fifth among 16 teams competing, led by an impressive effort by senior captain Chris Lepore who placed third overall.

The freshmen team had a very successful day as well.

Varujan Edwards won the frosh competition and the top 5 all finished near the front of the race. 

The junior varsity squad was paced by Tim Seymour, who took 19th overall.

The freshmen kicked things off in the first race of the day.

Edwards and classmate Chris Scalise took the lead early in the race against 119 fellow runners. Edwards maintained the lead throughout, finishing strongly to earn the win. His 3K time was 10:35.

Bronson Vo ran just behind the leaders most of the way and earned a seventh-place finish, while Scalise placed 10th.

Also in the Eagle’s top 5 were Matthew Christie in 15th and Ryan Hass in 17th.

The race is not officially scored for team purposes, but if it had been Eagles would have placed second just behind Staples.

“It was a great effort by our freshman and I look forward to more in the future” said assistant coach Chris Sages.

Next up was the varsity race.

The course had been modified from the usual course at Waveny because of the conditions (mud) and then needed to be modified again at the last minute. With the changes the course was actually in fair good condition, and with the favorable weather, it was a very fast race.

“Chris executed his pre-race plan exceptionally well, stayed with the lead pack of seven or eight boys for most of the race,” Trumbull head coach Jeff Klein said. “A New Canaan runner broke away early in the race and maintained a lead throughout with Chris’ group chasing.

“The boys come out of the woods with about 600 meters to go and a long uphill to the finish. Chris worked the hill very well to pull into second place and battled a Warde runner to the finish. He was just behind at the end as both runners nearly caught the leader.”

With his third-place finish to earn first-team All-FCIAC honors, Lepore had the highest placing in the meet of any Trumbull runner in over 20 years. His time of 15:51 broke the team's all-time course record (post 1997) by over 25 seconds.

“Chris has worked exceptionally hard all year and been a great leader for our team,” Klein said. “We are very proud of his accomplishments at the meet and his team leadership throughout the season.”

Next up for the Eagles were Owen Hopwood and Joe Gregory.

Hopwood ended up 27th, improving on his 2017 finish by 12 places and 41 seconds.

Gregory placed 30th, as he was 47 seconds faster than last year and moved up 13 places.

The two earned second-team All FCIAC with their results.

Tejas Kulkarni replicated his prior year place, placing 38th while improving by 23 seconds.

James Dubreil placed 41st, a couple of seconds ahead of his 2017 time at Waveny.

The other varsity racers were Cyrus Asgari in 55th (17:38) and Matthew Collins in 66th (17:52).

Lepore, Hopwood, Gregory, Kulkarni, Dubreuil, and Asgari all had 5K personal bests (PB).

The team time of 1 hour, 23 minutes and 49 seconds (for the top 5) was an all-time THS record for the meet, surpassing the team record set at last year's meet by 35 seconds.

“It was a  very fast race today and the team did well,” Klein said. “Hopefully there is more to come so we can have a shot to make the State Open if we perform well at next week’s State LL meet.”

The final race of the day was the JV race with 277 competitors from around the league racing.

“Tim Seymour ended his four-year career on the cross country team in fine fashion, placing 19th with a PB time of 18:10,” Klein said. “Nick Klaiber was next in 30th (18:34), while Nikolai Ignatov improved by over three minutes from 2017 to nab 32nd in 18:41. Others in the top 50 were Devin Feirreira (34th) and Elliott Bello (39th).”

Next up for the varsity is the State LL meet at Wickham Park in Manchester next Saturday.

The freshmen run their final race of the season this Thursday at the Hatter Freshman Invitational in Danbury.