Girls cross country: Trumbull fifth at states, qualifies for Open

The Trumbull High girls cross country team finished fifth at the Class LL state championship meet held Saturday at Wickham Park in Manchester.

Glastonbury (67) won the Class LL team title, followed by FCIAC members Greenwich (75) and Danbury (89). Hall from West Hartford was fourth (97), followed by three more FCIAC schools: Trumbull (148), Fairfield Ludlowe (169) and Ridgefield (225).

Trumbull’s performance in the Class LL state meet followed its third-place finish at the FCIAC championship on Oct. 18.

“I told the girls before their race started, I was already proud of them, and now it was their turn to be proud of themselves. They really stepped up today,” head coach Jim McCaffrey said. “Class LL is the most competitive division in the state, and our consistency and ability to learn from each race has been impressive and led to our success today.”

Sophomore Ally Zaffina led Trumbull with an 11th place finish, completing the 3.1-mile race with a time of 20:18 — the fastest finish by a THS sophomore.  For her efforts, Zaffina earned Class LL All-State honors and an automatic berth in next week’s State Open for finishing in the top 12.

Zaffina joins Kate Romanchick, THS Class of ’16, as All-State honorees.

“Ally ran a gusty race,” McCaffrey said. “She timed her moves well, stayed in the race plan, and took over one spot when she knew she had too. She is a microcosm of our team — unselfish and focused on contributing.”

Junior Maggie LoSchiavo came in 23rd place with a time of 21:09.

Freshman Kiki Grant placed 36th (21:34), while senior Ashley Storino was 38th (21:36) and freshman Calyn Carbone finished 40th (21:39).

“Our team performance was solidified by our third, fourth, and fifth place runners. They all came in within five seconds of each other and that was significant to our performance,” McCaffrey said.

Freshman Brenna Asaro finished 56th (22:14) and senior Lianne Iassogna placed 70th (22:48).

Trumbull’s top five runners combined time (1:46.16) earned the team a spot in next Friday’s State Open, which will also be held at Wickham Park. The Eagles’ time of 1:46.16 was the second-fastest combined time in school history, trailing only the 2016 team, which also earned a spot in the State Open.

The Open Meet is made up of the top two teams from each division (there are six divisions) decided by points, plus eight additional teams decided by having the fastest team times.

“I couldn’t be more excited for the State Open,” McCaffrey said. “We are going to sit down and go over what we need to in order to be ready to break into the top six. Many schools will write us off (as the 12th-ranked school) coming in. The way I see it, we will calculate what each runner needs to do and work to execute. These young ladies can continue to surprise a lot of people.”