By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – How does the defending CCC South girls cross country team start its season?
How about by winning its 2012 season opener in grand fashion.
That’s exactly what Bristol Central did against both Berlin and Bulkeley of Hartford on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
The Rams defeated both the Redcoats (29-30) and Bulldogs (15-50) in a meet from Rockwell Park in Bristol.
It was an important early season set of victories for Central as the defending champs have already set its tone for its upcoming slate of meets.
“Today was an important opener especially against a Berlin team that we tied for the CCC South Conference Championship last season,” said Central coach Tamara Stafford-Kirk.
Central captain Melissa Cummings was the top finisher at the event with a stellar time of 22:59 while a couple of Bristol sisters came through with excellent times as well.
Junior Nadia Kreciglowa (22:59) took second place while Natalia Kreciglowa (23:01) finished only two seconds behind.
Taking the first three spots in the race put Berlin’s collective backs against the wall even as the squad saw its top seven runners take spots four through ten to finish strongly.
But, it was too late to win the meet.
“For the second year in a row, we went one-two-three on Berlin to solidify the victory but it was a tough one and Berlin is a team that we will have to contend with all season long,” said Stafford-Kirk. “Melissa Cummings and Nadia Kreciglowa are strong up front with Nadia’s twin Natalia right behind them.”
Two sophomores also finished strongly for the Rams as Angela Barton took 11th place with a time of 25:17 and Haley Knox was 12th at 25:58.
It was a great test for the Central girls to start the season while other meets certainly will challenge the Ram in future weeks.
“Once they get a few more races under their belts I know the other girls on the team will be moving up as well,” said Stafford-Kirk.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE