Cross country: Standout effort by THS boys team

The Trumbull High boys cross country team sent three programs to compete at the 27th Wilton Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 19.

The day kicked off for Trumbull with the freshman race, where 27 Eagles competed. They were led by Chris Alegi's second-place finish in 7:57 over the 1.5 miles. Alegi fought strongly right to the end, where he was overtaken by a Wilton runner in the last few meters of the race. His time was likely the fastest time ever run by a Trumbull freshman at this meet, according to coach Jeff Klein.

Next for the Trumbull freshman were Brian Hance in 21st,  Matt Collins in 22nd, Ben Micinilio in 27th with Josh Cappello rounding out the scoring in 28th place. Zach Ianucci (39th) and Kyle Zielinski (43rd) completed the top seven THS runners. The team placed fourth out of 10 teams, with 92 points behind winner Wilton, Amity-Woodbridge and Darien.

"We have a great group of freshman on the team this fall, and it was terrific to see them compete as a group for the first time" Klein said. "They are working very hard and Coach (Bill) Gadus and I are looking forward to seeing them improve over the course of the season.”

Next up was the JV race, where Junior Jack Stachura went out hard from the gun and hung on to place 20th overall on the 5K course in 19:55. Kyle Koury was next in 30th, followed by Evan Smith in 42nd, Matt Seuch in 53rd, and Hudson Fetzer in 59th. A total of 254 boys finished the JV race. THS placed seventh of 21 teams with 186 points, with Amity placing first.

The final race of the day, under a blazing sun, was the varsity race.

"Given the conditions, we  suggested that they go out a little slower than normal and they did a good job doing so and moving up nicely in the second half of the race,” Klein said.

“Senior captain Mitch Vecchione was the top Trumbull runner finishing in 21st pace with a time of 17:29 for the 5K course. Junior Charlie Taubl had a strong last mile to move up to 25th, and was followed by senior captain Taylor Auten, who also closed well in 37th, and senior Jack Tinker in 38th, who ran one of his best races of his cross country career.

“Our final scorer was junior captain Jake Cappello in 53rd ,while our other varsity runners were juniors Dylan Koury in 90th and Trevor Rochelle in 93rd.”

The varsity finished fifth out of 19 teams. The meet is further broken down into large and small schools. Among the large schools, Trumbull was third out of 10 teams. Amity High, currently ranked No. 1 in the state poll, took top honors with 24 points ahead of Fairfield Prep. THS totaled 166 points for the race.

Earlier in the week the Eagles kicked off the season at Waveny Park in New Canaan with wins over New Canaan (22-36), Brien McMahon (25-34), Stamford (20-43) and Trinity Catholic (15-50) to start the FCIAC season 4-0.

Top finishers for the team were Vechionne, Taubl and Alegi. Auten and Cappello rounded out the scoring for the team. This week the Eagles continue their league schedule with a home meet on against Staples, Greenwich and Bridgeport Central.

"We have a large contingent of boys on the team this year,” Klein said. “It is a very solid group and we are especially pleased that we have a large and enthusiastic group of freshman.

“With a great group of captains and senior leaders, we look forward to having them learn about what it takes to succeed at cross country and build a strong foundation for the future.”