North Branford Cross-Country Returns with Experience

Coach Floyd Parness expects the T-Birds to be competitive this season.


The North Branford cross-country team returns eight varsity runners to go with eight new runners. Chelsea Meagher, Sean O’Connor and Ryan Proto will captain the 2012 squad.

“With the loss of only one senior, Second Team All-Shoreline Kevin Walker, both the boys’ and girls’ teams will be more experienced going into the season than last year,” said longtime Coach Floyd Parness. “The team will need to put in the miles and be consistent about their workouts in order to be competitive in the Shoreline Conference.”

On the boys’ side, other key returnees expected to make a solid contribution, according to Parness, are Zach Augur, Ben Boatman, Jason Conforte, Matt Gagliardi, Jared Miket and Chris Olsen. In addition to those runners, there are a number of first-year runners who will be competing for a varsity position in some of the upcoming meets including Issac Cammarata, Patrick Fisher, Richard Hernandez, Chris Kruglik and Jackson Myers.

For the girls, Marissa Bale, Taylor Krista, Sydney Lane and Megan Rabuffo return from last year’s varsity team and are expected to be among the top runners. They are backed up by Meghan McCarthy and Grace Carr. Jen Berube, Alana Cotton and Jessica Munck are first-year runners who will compete for a varsity position as well.  

“There will be competition within the team to be included in varsity status with the addition of eight new members on the team,” said Parness. “As in every season, the goal is to stay healthy, put in the miles and remain consistent in bettering individual personal records. The team has a nice mix of members representing each class. The kids have been very positive at the onset which will hopefully carry forward to the remainder of the season.”


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T-Birds Compete at West Beach Invite

On Sept. 11, North Branford ran in the West Beach Invitational 2012 Meet, sponsored by Guilford High School’s girls’ team, at Hammonasset State Park in Madison. The girls’ team placed eighth of nine teams and the boys were sixth in a nine-team field.

“The team standings for both the boys and girls did not reflect the gains made individually as compared to the results from last year’s race,” said Parness. “It was a good experience because the results of the race measure where we stand both as individuals and as a team.”     

The top three finishers for the girls were Marissa Bale (28th, 15:51), Chelsea Meagher (43rd, 17:09) and Sydney Lane (50th, 17:48).

“The average decrease in time was more than minutes per runner–a vast improvement from the previous year,” said Parness.

The top finishers for the boys were Ryan Proto (18th, 16:41), Jason Conforte (23rd, 16:55), Sean O’Connor (26th, 17:06), Zach Augur (38th, 18:17), Chris Kruglik (47th, 18:51), Chris Olsen (61st, 21:32) and Ben Boatman (63rd, 21:58). As compared to last year’s results on the same course, Parness noted several athletes who made considerable improvement: Augur (1:54), O’Connor (1:32), Proto (1:18) and Conforte (:34).  

The results from the JV race included (boys): Issac Cammarata 21:43, Jared Miket 23:18, Richard Hernandez 24:06 and Jackson Myers 24:06; and (girls) Megan Oakes 20:27, Jessica Munck 21:17 and Grace Carr 23:21.

“The race served as a wakeup call to what this sport is all about to the new team members and the time and dedication required in order to achieve satisfactory results,” said Parness. “As a team we need to build on getting our times down and closing the gaps between places.”  


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