After winning Class MM in the CIAC State Championship for the first time since 1994 and placing second in the state open meet, the undefeated Avon girls cross country team is on its way to New Englands in Maine.
"In my 17 years as coach this is our first trip," Avon High School girls cross country coach Al Dadario said. "I heard that it's the first NCCC to qualify as a team girls team.... The girls were inspired. I told them all year that they were one of the best teams in the state and they proved that [Sunday]."
The team went undefeated in the NCCC and won the conference title for the second consecutive year this season.
"The team had a great season," Dadario wrote in an email to Patch.
The team's record was 26-0 in the regular season. The girls won four invitationals and came in second for a fifth.
"It is our third undefeated season in the past four years and our third NCCC title in four years," Dadario said.
Avon won the State Championship in its Class MM division at Wickham Park in Manchester the weekend before Hurricane Sandy reached its peak in Avon. The victory happened almost a year since placing second the day the October snowstorm hit on Oct. 29, 2011.
Dadario said "the storm is a thing of the past" and the team focused on running hard going into State Opens Nov. 4 with "no excuses."
"The kids feel jinxed, but are in a better place this year," he said. "We only missed three days of school this year and the girls have been training hard despite the circumstances."
CIAC State Championship Highlights
Junior Rachael Rosow (19:38) took second at the State Championship, followed by junior Sara Stokesbury (20:09) in fourth, sophomore Molly Hamel (20:43) in 11th, sophomore Maddi McHugh (21:32) in 23rd, senior Katie McIntrye (21:34) in 24th, freshman Ryley Higgins (21:36) in 25th and junior Hannah Fusaro (22:04) in 42nd, according to the CIAC website.
The Class MM win earned the entire team a State Opens spot, Dadario said.
"The team did what it set out to do this season, win our conference and win states," Dadario said. "The girls proved that cross country is alive and well at Avon High School."
State Open Championship Highlights
On Sunday, Nov. 4, Rosow (19:27) placed second in the state open meet at Wickham Park, besting her state championship time, according to mysportsresults.com.
About 190 runners were registered for the meet.
Stokesbury (19:47) placed ninth, Hamel (20:18) finished in 19th, Higgins (21:18) took 59th and McHugh was right behind her (21:20). Fusaro (21:50) crossed the line in 84th.
"All girls ran better yesterday than at states," Dadario said Monday. "The girls worked hard for this and they are all very happy. Last year we finished 22. Who would of believed?"
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