Athletics News – News – 2023 CT XC Girls Team Preview - News - 2023 CT XC Girls Team Preview

By Senior Correspondent Marty Ogden, Editing and Graphics by Ron Knapp

There are about two weeks until the competition is officially allowed to start in CT for the 2023 XC season and just under ten weeks until the CIAC Division meets take place. Teams finishing top two in their division meet, plus the next eight fastest teams will qualify for the State Open and the top six at the Open will earn a trip to New Englands in Belfast, ME on November 11thย  A great deal can happen between now and then but has done our best to preview the top teams in the state based upon last yearโ€™s results and a little insight. We have also added the divisions where they will compete.

Glastonbury Guardians (LL)

You can almost never go wrong to select Glastonbury as one of the top teams in the state in the preseason preview. The Guardians are the defending New England and State Open champions and have finished first or second in the State Open ten of the past 19 years. Even the famous Tully Runnersโ€™ website has ranked them in the Northeast region in their preseason projections. They will be going for a three peat at the Class LLs this year and return four of their top five, including defending State Open champion Brooke Strauss and All Staters Lila Garbett, Jacqueline Dudus and Ava Gattinella. But wait, cross country takes five to score. By the end of freshman year, Abigail Mathew ran a 5:20 1600 and Ramajana Skopic has experience as their #6 runner at CCCs to add depth to their line up. Plus coach Brian Collins always seems to develop talent out of thin air so expect a newcomer to be added to their line up.ย 

New Fairfield Rebels (SS)

New Fairfield wasnโ€™t on anyoneโ€™s radar at the beginning of last year, but they announced their presence with a sledgehammer by winning the Class M championship and taking third at the State Open earning their schoolโ€™s first trip to New Englands. They never backed down against much larger teams and finished 6th at the regional meet with sophomore Ripley Penney becoming the second girl from New Fairfield to earn All-New England, taking 24th place. They return their entire top five who have improved a great deal since last fall. Katie McMorrow and Penney both cracked the top 10 at the Open last fall and dropped their 1600m times to 5:11 and 5:07 respectively. Ripleyโ€™s sister Rose came within a step of winning the Class M title running 11:04 and Hannah Greco qualified for New Balance Nationals Indoor in the 3200m….

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