Track: Trumbull's Golden Eagle 5K draws top runners

Trumbull High School hosted a the Golden Eagle 5K Twilight Race on Friday, May 6.

This is the only time the state’s high school runners have a chance to compete in the event. What was once a standard event is no longer run as a regular part of track meets. In recent years, there has been event held in early May at Guilford High School, which focused on the 3.1 mile race.

“We found out about three weeks ago that the race was not being held this year. Trumbull High athletes enjoyed competing last year so we decided to try to host the event,” said coach Jeff Klein. “We didn’t have a lot of time to attract teams. But we were pleased with the reception, as we had competitors from Bridgeport Central, Stamford, Wilton, North Haven, Newtown, Darien and Fairfield Prep join the event. Five kilometers is the usual distance in cross country races. so it was fun for the runners to see how the track times compared to their fall races on the trails.”

Conditions Friday night during the races ranged from difficult to nearly impossible.

“It was rainy and windy most of the time we were running the races,” said Jim McCaffrey, Trumbull’s girls coach. “It was especially difficult during the girls race as the rain came down hard. Running twelve-and-a-half laps on the track is a challenge in itself, so we’re really proud of the way all of the athletes handled the conditions and how impressive they were  continuing to compete despite the extra challenge mother nature threw at them.”

In the first boys heat, Trumbull’s Charlie Taubl, Wilton’s Justine Hoezl and Darien’s Jimmy Johnson ran together in synch for the first 10-plus laps. Hoezl, who was third in the 3200 meters at the Class L meet in indoor track, pulled away to win the heat with a time of 15:55. Johnson was next in 16:03 while Taubl was third in 16:10.

In the second heat of the night, one of the state’s top distance runners, Fairfield Prep’s Drew Thompson (from Trumbull) ran together with Ryan Brennan of North Haven. The two had the best times of the night, as Thompson pulled ahead in the last couple of laps to take the heat with a time of 15:39. Brennan was second in the heat and overall as he clocked in with a time of 15:46. Thompson averaged an impressive 5:02 a mile for the event.

Other top finishers for the Golden Eagles included Chris Alegi in 12th place overall with a time of 16:53, an impressive finish for the top freshman in the race. Jack Tinker was 14th overall with a time of 17:05, while Mitch Vecchione was 15th in 17:10. Also cracking the top 20 for Trumbull was Jack Stachura, who placed 18th.

On the girls side, Trumbull’s Kate Romanchick took the title.

She and teammate Ashley Storino went out fast, leading the race early on. After a few laps, Romanchick took the lead for good and pushed the pace. She ran remarkably steady splits given the conditions and the difficulty of running alone, as she was 9 minutes and 15 seconds halfway through the race, and closed the second half in 9 minutes and 14 seconds to finish first with an overall time of 18:29 (5:57 a mile for the five kilometers).

Taking trophies for second and third were two runners from Newtown, Sarah Mawdsley and Erin Tressler. Mawsdley was second with a time of 18:56. Tressler was third with a time of 19:22. Trumbull freshman Maggie Loschiavo was fourth overall with a great time of 19:45. Storino was next with a time of 20:15.