Half Marathon brings out vets and newcomers

Trumbull’s Matt Ferraro and Shane Romanchick turned a day-of-race decision to run into a pair of standout performances, as they placed 20th and 35th overall among nearly 3,000 competitors in the Faxon Law Group Fairfield Half Marathon, which took place on June 28, starting and finishing at Fairfield’s Jennings Beach.

“I decided spur of the moment, instead of running my long run today I’d do the half,” said Ferraro, adding that Romanchick convinced him to run the 13.1 mile race. “This is my first half – I’ve never run a half before.”

Ferraro, who finished in a time of 1:18.25, averaging a six-minute mile, added that he’s hoping to walk onto the University of Connecticut cross country team next year.

“I’m just trying to train and get into good shape to do that in early September,” said the college junior.

Ferraro said his hard work is paying dividends. “I wasn’t too good, to be honest with you,” he said, reflecting on his high school days.

“Then I really started to train,” said Ferraro, adding that he’s cut his time significantly

Romanchick is a recent Trumbull High school graduate and will run on the cross country team at Regis College in Weston, Mass. He finished the race in a time of 1:22.58, running a 6:20 mile. He was first in the male 19 and under age category.

“It was a great mental challenge for me,” said Romanchick, adding that the toughest part of the run was the hills in the latter stages of the course.

Pacing was important for getting through the long race. “You can’t go full speed because you’re just going to hit a wall,” Romanchick added.

Trumbull’s Alex Marino and Jake Cohen both had run only as many as seven miles in a stretch before competing in the 13.1-mile half marathon, and they fed off each other’s drive to succeed in the race.

“He encouraged me to sign up,” Marino said.

Cohen credits Marino for getting him to step it up in the race. “He encouraged me to run,” Cohen said.

Trumbull was well-represented by strong runners, including John Scinto, who placed 46th and finished in 1:25.34; John Sullivan, who came in 129th in 1:32.25; and Jaimie Kurtz, who was the top female from Trumbull, completing the race in a time of 1:40.40 to place 299th.

Scinto was third among males in the 40-44 year old age category.

The race was won by Ethiopia’s Gosa Girma Tefera, who completed the course in 1:04.05.

Faxon 5K

Trumbull had solid representation in the Faxon Law Group’s 5K race on Saturday.

Leading the way was Kate Romanchick, 16, who finished second in the women’s division in a time of 19:26. Trumbull’s top male finisher was James McCaffrey, 34, who placed 18th in 18:52.

Nick Blanchard, 20, from Portand was first overall with a time of 15:58. Tim Milenkevich, 33, of Ansonia, was second (16:18) followed by Luke McCambley, 25, of Westport (16:31).

Liz Campbell, 24, of Stamford, placed first in the women’s division with a time of 17:53. Julie McElroy, 48, of Sleepy Hollow N.Y. was third (19:34).