By MICHAEL LETENDRE
MANCHESTER – When it came to the CCC cross country championship in 2013, the CCC South title was on the line for both the boys and girls squads.
With the Bristol Central boys undefeated going into the race on Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Rams were looking for a clean sweep to its season.
Central was 7-0 in CCC South action going into the event while the girls only had one loss and needed to win the race to at least get a share of the division championship.
Both squads from Central won their respective races – claiming CCC South championships in the process – as the boys won its event by eight points while the girls, needing to defeat Berlin, pulled out a huge 27-31 victory over Berlin and the rest of the division to share its top prize along with the Redcoats.
The boys tallied scored 41 points, which was eight better than second place Middletown (49).
Josh Signore was the big winner on the day for Central, seizing fourth place in 17:48 while teammate Josh Nelson was two places behind at 18:17 for sixth.
Central’s Matt Varnum (18:26) took seventh, Jean Rioux nabbed 11th (18:32) and Justin Zaino finished up in 13th place (18:35) as the Rams drew five of the top 13 spots in the event.
Jason Zaino (25th, 19:31) and Andrew Damon-Smith (29th, 19:44) mopped up for the championship.
“I am so proud of my boys today,” said Central coach Tamara Stafford-Kirk. “Middletown is a tough team and our boys stepped it up to win the CCC South outright!”
Five members of Central’s squad made the CCC South All-Conference Team as Signore, Varnum, Nelson, Rioux, and Justin Zaino were all honored.
Plainville’s Omar Abdelsame (17:18.79) won the race in the South and took 13th place overall at the meet.
The Lancers took fifth in the fray, netting 102 points.
For Bristol Eastern, Max Girouard (9th, 18:29), Ken Tenan (18th, 19:02), 20. Anthony Casasanta (20th, 19:04), Harrison Dayton (24th, 19:28), Rich Franklin (31st, 20:00), Mike Centoni (33rd, 20:12), and Justin Seamour (37th, 20:30) all ran well in the CCC jaunt.
And on the girls side of things, a second place finish in the race would have denied the Rams another championship tilt.
The Central girls were 6-1 going into meet after a tough loss to Berlin early in the season and had to best the Redcoats to tie for the championship.
By the end of the race, Central had its share of the CCC South championship in hand.
“We did it,” said Stafford-Kirk about the girls amazing finish.
The Rams had six runners take slots in the top ten spots in CCC South action and it was all the usual, outstanding runners who made those big finishes.
Nadia Kreciglowa (20:57) took second place in the affair, running well once again, while Hannah Jones (21:04) nabbed third.
Angela Barton (5th, 21:29), Natalia Kreciglowa (8th, 22:11), Danisha Craig (9th, 22:36), and Haley Knox (10th, 22:36) all made the top 10 while Amber Skinzera (24:18) also made a critical contribution and placed 20th in the South.
“(The) girls fought for a tough win against a strong Berlin team today,” said Stafford-Kirk. “I can’t say enough about the mental toughness and positive attitudes of my girls.”
All Conference nods were earned by Nadia Kreciglowa, Natalia Kreciglowa, Jones, Barton, Craig, and Knox.
The Bristol Eastern girls didn’t do too badly either, making a third place finish, and having its top three runners make a top 20 finish.
Emily Baranowski (15th, 23:20), Caroline Boyce (16th, 23:26), and Nahndi Ali (17th, 23:36.41) all placed in the top 20 for the Lancers.
Also running well for Eastern were Nina Pasqua (21st, 24:31), Ciera Thurston (27th, 25:45), and Tejal Monteiro (32nd, 26:42).
Off the two victories for Central, the boys won its seventh CCC South Championship in a row and for the fifth straight time, the girls were also the winners of the division.
CCC South Championships
from Wickham Park, Manchester
Boys Top Squad: Bristol Central 41 points; Other Finishers: 2. Middletown 49; 3. Berlin 75; 4. Plainville 87; 5. Bristol Eastern 102; 6. Maloney 163; 7. Platt 192.
Bristol Central Finishers: 4. Josh Signore 17:48; 6. Josh Nelson 18:17; 7. Matt Varnum 18:26; 11. Jean Rioux, 18:32; 13. Justin Zaino 18:35; 35. Jason Zaino 19:31; 29. Andrew Damon-Smith 19:44.
Bristol Eastern Finishers: 9. Max Girouard, 18:29; 18. Ken Tenan 19:02; 20. Anthony Casasanta 19:04; 24. Harrison Dayton 19:28; 31. Rich Franklin 20:00; 33. Mike Centoni 20:12; 37. Justin Seamour 20:30.
JV Finishers (Top 75): 38. David Ryskowski (Bristol Central), 19:56; Solomon Baldeo (Bristol Central), 19:52; 51. Hunter Damon-Smith (Bristol Central), 20:15; 54. Joe Franklin (Bristol Eastern), 20:19; 56. Jake Emery (Bristol Central), 20:23; 62. Eric Trahan (Bristol Eastern), 20:32; 67. Michael Lauretti (Bristol Central), 20:37; 72. Chris Cummings (Bristol Central), 20:45.
Records: Bristol Central – 13-0 CCC South.
Girls Top Squad: Bristol Central 27; Other Finishers: 2. Berlin 31; 3. Bristol Eastern 96; 4. Middletown 97; 5. Plainville 110.
Bristol Central Finishers: 2. Nadia Kreciglowa 20:57; 3. Hannah Jones 21:04; 5. Angela Barton 21:29; 8. Natalia Kreciglowa 22:11; 9. Danisha Craig 22:36; 10. Haley Knox 22:36; 20. Amber Skinzera 24:18.
Bristol Eastern Finishers: 15. Emily Baranowski, 23:20; 16. Caroline Boyce, 23:26; 17. Nahndi Ali, 23:36.41; 21. Nina Pasqua, 24:31; 27. Ciera Thurston, 25:45; 32. Tejal Monteiro, 26:42.
JV Finishers (Top 75): 58. Ashley Cummings (Bristol Central), 25:28; 62. Rylee Lease (Bristol Central), 25:47.
Records: Bristol Central, 10-1 CCC South