Athletics News – News – 34th Wilton XC Invite Recap and More Invites - News - 34th Wilton XC Invite Recap and More Invites

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

34th Wilton XC Invite

There are three classic conflicts in literature: man vs self, man vs man and man vs nature and all three were on display on the opening weekend of Connecticut cross country at the 34th Wilton Invitational. Under brutally hot and humid conditions, runners from over 20 schools traveled the 4000m course for girls and 5000m boys course to take home team and individual honors in an early season competition. 

The girls race featured seven of the top ten teams in the Marathon Sports CT HS Coaches 2023 XC Pre-Season Poll at the start line, but unfortunately not every team was at full strength. Coming out on top was New Canaan, the third ranked team. They defeated Cheshire, the 6th ranked team by a score of 98-114. The Wilton Invitational, FCIAC and Class L runner-up team in 2022 was led by Charlotte Moor who took third place in 15:25.4 a second faster than last year even with the extreme heat. All five of their scoring runners finished in the top 40 of the 155 finishers. Defending champions Glastonbury, was missing several key runners, but still put three runners in the top 16 and came away with a third place finish. 

There was high anticipation of the individual race but defending champion Brooke Strauss made quick work of the field as she went on to win by 33 seconds in time of 14:51.9. The Glastonbury junior who won her third straight invitational title and is the defending State Open champion led the pack from the gun and quickly separated herself around the 3/4 mile mark. 

Strauss recalled her race by saying the “first part was just looking around a little bit and really I was out in front for most of it. I was just trying to stay focused throughout and I think toward the end I wasn’t quite as strong but I think the last finishing bit was stronger for me. It wasn’t really the race I was expecting it to be, but it was a good start.”

There was a deep race for second place as five runners finished within six seconds of each other. Lily Lyons, who is a goalie on Greenwich Academy’s lacrosse team, held off Moor to grab second place in a time of 15:24.4. Just a couple of seconds behind in 6th place was Cheshire Alexa Ciccone who was 5th at New England’s last fall and definitely noticed the heat. 

“I was standing on the line and I was already hot and sweating but I feel like we adapted well to the conditions,” Ciccone said after the race. The senior won…

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