By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – When it comes to cross country action in the Mum City, both the boys and girls programs at Bristol Central are heads and shoulders above the competition.
And in the annual Bristol Cross Country City Series Championship between the three high schools in town, the Rams were victorious once again.
The Central boys won its race 23-38 against a scrappy Eastern squad while the Rams downed St. Paul 15-50 on Thursday, Oct. 3 from Page Park in Bristol.
On the girls end of things, Central won its fifth straight city championship by downing Eastern 15-47 and St. Paul 15-48.
“We’re happy to be city champions” again said Bristol Central coach Tamara Stafford-Kirk. “That’s something we’re really proud of and take seriously.”
The Lancers picked up victories over St. Paul in both boys (15-48) and girls (24-35) action.
In the boys event, a familiar runner took the event as Central’s Josh Signore is having one heck of a season for the Rams.
In this one, Signore won the race in 18:44 at a very hilly course at Page Park that offered very little flat land to cruise upon.
It didn’t matter to Signore as he cruised to victory.
“Josh is only a junior (and) juniors generally don’t win this race,” said Stafford-Kirk of Signore.
On the girls end of things, the Rams took the top six slots in the race.
But in that top slot, Nadia Kreciglowa was the winner in a stout 21:46, beating her sister Natalia (2nd, 22:40) by just under a minute and establishing a new course record for the girls at Page Park.
“Nadia’s been one of my top runners for three years,” said Stafford-Kirk of Kreciglowa.
For Eastern and St. Paul, it was a solid event but another long day as the Rams have made the Bristol Cross Country City Series a race Central has ruled for the past 10 years.
“You have to tip your hats to Bristol Central,” Fuller said. “They’re phenomenal. She (Tamara Stafford) runs a great program. It’s a machine. That’s the best way to describe it.”
But Eastern’s boys hardly gave in as the duo of Anthony Cassanta and Max Girouard were nearly neck-and-neck for second place.
Girouard (19:05) snuck ahead of Cassanta (19:22) for that second slot and Eastern overall, took points away from the Rams.
That’s not an easy feat to accomplish against powerful Central.
“We had a goal in mind and we talked about it in depth,” Fuller said. “We wanted to push Central above 20 points. (The final score) was 23-38…closer than I thought we would be.”
“Anthony and Max have been running great for us this year…they’ve flip-flopped in a few races.”
Central’s Justin Zaino (4th, 19:28), Jean Rioux (5th, 19:28), Andrew Damon-Smith (6th, 19:38), Josh Nelson (7th, 19:39), Matt Varnum (8th, 19:44), and Jason Zaino (9th, 20:11) all ran well for the Rams.
Eastern took the next four slots with Ken Tenan (10th, 20:18), Harrison Dayton (11th, 20:35), Richard Franklin (12th, 20:46), and Michael Centoni (13th, 20:50) all placing for the Lancers.
St. Paul’s Jon Hylan took 14th at the event (20:53) and was St. Paul’s top finisher.
Off the exploits of the Kreciglowa twins, the Rams nabbed the next four finishes in the girls’ challenge.
Hannah Jones (3rd, 22:40) ran extremely well while teammates Angela Barton (4th, 23:15), Hailey Knox (5th, 23:37), and Danisha Craig (6th, 23:47) made big finishes.
Caroline Boyce was Eastern’s top finisher in the girl’s challenge, running well in 24:04 for the seventh fastest time.
Fuller enjoyed the battle for eighth place as St. Paul’s duo of Kara Lipka and Emily Lindsley – both runners for the Eastern coach during the indoor track season – were neck and neck with Eastern’s Emily Deloge in tow.
The St. Paul duo were tit-for-tat as “they raced past the tennis courts” said Fuller, on their way to the finish line.
In the end, Lipka just snuck by Lindsley (both finished at 24:21) for eighth and ninth place, respectively.
“They’re great,” said St. Paul coach Meaghan Lynch of her top running duo. “Kara’s only a sophomore and Emily’s our senior leader.”
Deloge (10th, 24:24) also ran well for the Lancers and just finished behind the speedsters from St. Paul.
Bristol City Series Cross Country Champions
from Page Park, Bristol, Thursday, Oct. 3
Bristol Central 23, Bristol Eastern 38
Bristol Central 15, St. Paul 50
Bristol Eastern 15, St. Paul 50
Bristol Central 15, Bristol Eastern 47
Bristol Central 15, St. Paul 48
Bristol Eastern 24, St. Paul 35
Records: Boys – Bristol Central 8-0 overall, 7-0 CCC South; Bristol Eastern 4-5 overall, 3-4 CCC South; St. Paul 4-6 overall.
Girls – Bristol Central 7-2 overall, 6-1 CCC South; Bristol Eastern 4-5 overall, 3-4 CCC South.
Boys Champion: Josh Signore, Bristol Central,18:44
Top 20 Finishers:
Max Girouard, Bristol Eastern, 19:05
Anthony Cassanta, Bristol Eastern, 19:09
Justin Zaino, Bristol Central, 19:22
Jean Rioux, Bristol Central, 19:28
Andrew Damon-Smith, Bristol Central, 19:38
Josh Nelson, Bristol Central, 19:39
Matt Varnum, Bristol Central, 19:44
Jason Zaino, Bristol Central, 20:11
Ken Tenan, Bristol Eastern, 20:18
Harrison Dayton, Bristol Eastern, 20:35
Richard Franklin, Bristol Eastern, 20:46
Michael Centoni. Bristol Eastern, 20:50
Jon Hylan, St. Paul, 20:53
Hunter Damon-Smith, Bristol Central, 20:59
Jake Emery, Bristol Central, 21:03
David Ryskowski, Bristol Central, 21:08
Ryan Mills, St. Paul, 21:13
Joey Franklin, Bristol Eastern, 21:15
Mike Lauretti, Bristol Central, 21:21
Notes: Bristol Central won the city series for the 10th straight season.
Girls Champion: Nadia Kreciglowa, Bristol Central, 21:46
Top 25 Finishers:
Natalia Kreciglowa, Bristol Central, 22:40
Hannah Jones, Bristol Central, 22:40
Angela Barton, Bristol Central, 23:15
Hailey Knox, Bristol Central, 23:37
Danisha Craig, Bristol Central, 23:47
Caroline Boyce, Bristol Eastern, 24:04
Kara Lipka, St. Paul, 24:21
Emily Lindsley, St. Paul, 24:21
Emily Deloge, Bristol Eastern, 24:24
Emily Baranowski, Bristol Eastern, 25:06
Amber Skinzera, Bristol Central, 25:25
Nahndi Ali, Bristol Eastern, 26:07
Stephanie Speaker, St. Paul, 26:21
Nina Pasqua, Bristol Eastern, 27:11
Ciera Thurston, Bristol Eastern, 27:22
Rylee Lease, Bristol Central, 27:51
Ashley Cummings, 28:33
Skylar Wright, Bristol Central, 28:53
Christina Bouvier, Bristol Central, 29:02
Tejal Monteiro, Bristol Eastern, 29:07
Emma Bartley, St. Paul, 29:25
Natalia Jesionkia, Bristol Central, 29:25
Abby Cyr, Bristol Central, 30:08
Arlene Flannery, St. Paul, 32:02