The 2013 North Branford cross-country team is made up of four returning varsity runners from last year’s squad and seven new runners to be led by captains Sean O’Connor, Zach Augur and Marissa Bale.
Returning from last year’s team and expected to make a solid contribution to the boys' varsity team are Augur, O’Connor, Isaac Cammarata, Richard Hernandez and Pat Fisher. 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 Spencer Bryden, Austin Gibilisco, Bobby Querfeld and Keane Regan.
Bale and Rachel Sauro are returning from last year’s girls' varsity team and are expected to be among the top runners. Also, returning from last year’s team are Meghan McCarthy, Grace Carr, Alana Cotton, Jessica Munck and Megan Oakes. First-year runners competing for a varsity position are Winnie Chan, Kirsten Madoule and Victoria Pawlak..
"The team will need to put in the miles and be consistent about their workouts in order to be competitive in the Shoreline Conference," said Coach Floyd Parness. "There will be competition within the team to be included in varsity status with the addition of new members on the team. 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," he added. "The kids have been very positive at the onset which will hopefully carry forward to the remainder of the season."
Parness and the team wish members of the graduating class of 2013 – Ryan Proto, Chris Olsen, Jason Conforte and Chelsea Meagher – much success in their future endeavors.
West Beach Invitational
On Sept. 10, North Branford ran in the West Beach Invitational at Hammonasset State Park in Madison, which is sponsored by the Guilford High School girls' cross-country team.
"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 girls' varsity team came in 8th out of 9 teams. The top five finishers for the girls were Bale (16:17, 28th place), Chan (17:47, 46th), Sauro (18:40, 50th), Pawlak (18:47, 51st) and Cotton (20:42, 56th).
The boys' varsity team came in 8th out of 10 teams. The top finishers for the boys were O’Connor (17:38, 31st), Augur (18:00, 34th), Cammarata (18:34, 41st), Querfeld (18:50, 46th) and Hernandez (20:03, 58th).
Finishing for the boys in the JV race were Spencer at 19:55, Fisher at 21:52 and Gibilisco at 21:52. And in the girls JV race were Oakes at 20:46, Munck at 23:39, Carr at 24:11 and McCarthy at 24:38.
"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."
Going to the Sun Invitational
On Sept. 19, North Branford participated in the 26th Going to the Sun Invitational at Coginchaug Regional High School. Co-Captains O’Connor (18:02.96, 15th) and Augur (18:31.21, 23rd) were the top two finishers for the boys’ varsity team.
The boys team came in 5th of 11 teams. Also finishing for the boys were Regan at 19:10.48 (38th), Querfeld at 19:45.32 (46th), Cammarata at 20:10.47 (55th) and Hernandez at 20:36.55 (62nd). Regan received a trophy for being the top freshman finisher in the varsity race. Querfeld was the third top freshman to finish in the varsity race.
In the girls' varsity race, North Branford entered only four runners and therefore could not score as a team. Co-Captain Bale was the top finisher at 22:56.27 (26th). Also finishing for the girls were Chan (24:05.72) in 39th, Madoule at 24:50.67 (47th) and Sauro (25:37.12) in 55th.
Top finishers for the boys’ in the junior varsity race were Bryden at 21:54.95, Fisher at 22:37.23, and Gibilisco at 23:11.38. In the girls’ junior varsity race, the top finishers were Pawlak at 25:45.25, Cotton at 27:27.41, Oakes at 29:36.23, Munck at 31:32.61, Carr at 32:38.6 and McCarthy at 33:58.22.