Cross country: Trumbull paced by first-year runners

Charlie Taubl looks to close in on a Joel Barlow runner at the Wilton Invitational.
Charlie Taubl looks to close in on a Joel Barlow runner at the Wilton Invitational.

Through the first two league meets of the season, the Trumbull High boys cross country team sports a 5- 0 FCIAC record.

In the first meet of the season, the boys defeated Fairfield Warde, Wilton and Brien McMahon.

Leading the way for the team was Charlie Taubl, who took the top overall spot with a time of 15:16 on the Eagles’ home course. His time was the second fastest ever by a Trumbull runner on the course, narrowly missing Julian Saad’s record by three seconds.

Other scorers for the team were Chris Alegi, who broke the sophomore all time record on the course to place second, and newcomers Tyler Rubush and Tyler Gleen, who were the third and fourth Eagles across the line. Rounding out the scorers was Trevor Rochelle.

In the second meet of the season, also on the home course, the Eagles swept the top fifteen places to defeat Greenwich and Norwalk by identical 15-50 scores.

The top five runners in order were Taubl, Alegi, Gleen, Rubush and Rochelle. Rounding out the top seven in the meet was another newcomer,  Bo DeMelo, and Jack Stachura.

In between the two home meets, the Eagles competed in the Wilton Invitational against 25 teams from around the state.

In the freshman race, the class of 2020 had a strong showing as they took six of the top 15 places to take first overall in a race with over 150 competitors.

Off his strong showing last fall as the top runner on the Hillcrest Middle School team, Kyle Marin placed third overall in the race to lead the team. Jackson Vicente was seventh, while Nicholai Ignatov was 10th, James Griffin 11th, Kai Wismar 14th and John Whitmeyer 15th.

“It was a great start for the freshman in their first competition as a team,” coach Jeff Klein said. “The addition of a cross country team at the two middle schools last fall helped introduce a number of these runners to the sport. It was great to see them continue this year in high school.”

Not to be outdone, the junior varsity team placed first as a team as well. In a race with about 250 runners, the team placed all five scorers in the top 20.

Leading the way was Tejas Kulkarni in 6th overall, followed closely by Kyle and Dylan Koury in 7th and 8th. Owen Werner was 19th and Matthew Collins 20th to complete the scoring for the Eagles.

In the varsity race, Trumbull placed third in the large school division. It was an impressive result as the two teams ahead of the Eagles were Amity and Fairfield Prep, who are ranked third and fourth in the current state cross country poll.

The top runner for Trumbull was Taubl, who placed third overall in a field of over 150 runners. Alegi placed 11th, Rochelle 27th, Stachura 31st, DeMelo 41st and Jake Cappello 45th.

“We were very pleased with the way the team competed against some of the top teams in the state,” coach Bill Gadus said. “We have some work to do to try to do even better when we get another chance later this season.”

Klein added: “It has been a very solid start to the season. We had more runners than ever run as a group this summer. That makes a big difference as they are better prepared for the season.  We weren’t sure how strong the team would be, as we had a number of athletes who have run track in the past but have not done cross country. So far it is working out very well, as three of our top six runners in the early meets are newcomers to the sport.”

Next up, the Eagles are in New Canaan for a meet against the host school, Danbury, Trinity Catholic and Ridgefield.