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

With six of the top 10 teams in the latest SoundRUNNER Connecticut High School Coaches Poll competing in Friday's Class LL state championship meet, Trumbull High girls cross country coach Jim McCaffrey knew his team would be facing a challenge to extend its season at Wickham Park in East Hartford.

“We run in the most competitive conference in the state (FCIAC) which gives us confidence and prepares us well for the state meets,” McCaffrey said.

Trumbull finished fifth at the Class LL meet, behind FCIAC champion Danbury (56), Glastonbury (97), Ridgefield (120) and Greenwich (124).

The Eagles’ combined team time of 1:41.52 was the eighth-best among the 115 teams competing in the six class races.

As result, Trumbull earned a spot in next week’s State Open for the second straight season.

The State Open meet, which consists of the top two teams from each class meet and the next eight best teams based on combined team time, will be held Friday, Nov. 3, at 2:45 p.m. at Wickham Park.

Junior Alessandra Zaffina led the way for Trumbull, finishing third with a time of 19:02, just five seconds off of the winner Greenwich’s Mari Noble.

Zaffina’s time — a blistering 6:09 pace — set a THS record for Wickham Park’s 3.1-mile course.

Her third-place finish earned her Class LL All-State honors for the second consecutive season.

Last season Zaffina finished 11th at the Class LL meet. Zaffina joins former THS standout Kate Romanchick, now running at the University of Connecticut, as a two-time All-State honoree.

“Great runners don’t shy away from a big race, and Ally put her toe on that line today ready to run,” McCaffrey said. “With each race, she believes more and more in her level of fitness and raw talent.”

Senior co-captain Maggie LoSchiavo was the Eagles’ second finisher, placing 18th with a time of 20:07.

Sophomore Calyn Carbone was 30th (20:37).

Freshman Kali Holden finished 40th (21:01).

Junior Emily Alexandru was 44th (21:05) to round out the scoring.

Juniors Sabrina Orazietti (45th – 21:05) and Megan Becker (95th – 22:29) were Trumbull’s sixth and seventh performers in the race, which featured 20 teams and 132 total runners.

McCaffrey is looking forward to the team’s next challenge.

“Our attitude remains one race at a time, and we have smart runners who are ready to get back in that groove,” he said. “The State Open looks to be one of the most competitive in recent years. We’ll be ready.”