Last fall, the Trumbull High girls cross country team surprised many with a third-place finish at the FCIAC Championship Meet.

After an impressive 14-1 dual-meet record during the 2018 regular season, the state’s third-ranked team entered Thursday’s FCIAC meet at New Canaan’s Waveny Park with high expectations.

The Eagles did not disappoint, placing five runners among the top 15 finishers to earn the runner-up trophy (57 points) behind champion Danbury (50).

It was the Eagles’ best finish at the FCIAC meet since 1999.

“We demonstrated our strength today,” Trumbull head coach Jim McCaffrey said. “Our top five earned them first team All-FCIAC honors.”

It was the first time in school history that five Trumbull runners earned All-League recognition.

Junior Alessandra Zaffina continued her fine season, leading the Eagles with a fifth-place finish, completing the 2.4 mile race in 14:47. Just eight seconds separated the meet’s top five runners, and Zaffina’s time was the fastest ever by a Trumbull runner at Waveny Park.

“Ally really stepped up today,” McCaffrey said. “She challenged the top runners in the league, and was right in the mix. This should be a confidence builder for her.”

Junior Emily Alexandru finished 10th (15:13), followed by a trio of Eagles — sophomore Calyn Carbone (13th, 15:15), freshman Kali Holden (14th, 15:16) and senior co-captain Maggie LoSchiavo (15th, 15:20).

Those times propelled Trumbull past third-place Ridgefield (77) and fourth-place Greenwich (89).

Zaffina, Alexandru, Carbone, Holden and LoSchiavo were all recognized as first team All-FCIAC at the post-meet awards ceremony.

Zaffina and LoSchiavo earned first team honors for the second straight season.

Juniors Sabrina Orazietti (38th, 16:06), Carolyn Cardell (44th, 16:16) and Rebecca Margolnick (62nd, 16:36) rounded out the Eagles’ entries in the 93-girl varsity race.

Trumbull now set its sights on the Class LL state meet next Saturday, Oct. 27, (10:50 race time) at Wickham Park in East Hartford.

Last season, Trumbull finished sixth at states to earn a trip to the State Open.

“The FCIAC is one of the most competitive conferences in the state, and Class LL has the top ranked teams in the state right now,” McCaffrey said. “We are on the doorstep. We will get back to work and prepare one race at a time. I am excited for this team, and they are too.”

Trumbull High head coach Jim McCaffrey with his FCIAC runner-up squad of Carolyn Cardell, Emily Alexandru, Kali Holden, Maggie LoSchiavo, Alessandra Zaffina, Calyn Carbone, Sabrina Orazietti and Rebecca Margolnick.