Cross country: Masuk splits tri-meet

The Masuk High boys cross country team opened the 2018 season at Southbury’s Pomperaug High School against the host Panthers and Stratford High on Tuesday.

The temperature was 75 degrees with high humidity, overcast skies, and wet grounds from rain earlier in the day.

Right from the start, as if on cue, Pomperaug led the way with the race’s first eleven runners out to a strong start. At the one-half mile mark it was Eric Rosenhein in the lead. Rosenhein led from start to finish and topped all with a commanding time  of 17:46.

He was followed teammates Trey Generali (18:03), Hayden Godfrey (18:26), Noah Johnson (18:50), Luke Bunosso (19:00), Daniel Collette (19:07), Sam Holst-Grubbe (19:10), Timothy Monahan (19:47) and Drew Rosenhein (20:05) in the ninth spot.  

As the race went up hill going into the one-mile mark, Stratford’s Elijah Brown slipped into the 10th spot. Brown and Pomperaug’s Mark Cristino battled the rest of the way, with Brown holding a slight edge.

The race entered the narrow muddy trails in the backwoods of the Pomperaug campus. This is an area where there is no room to pass and once you exit the woods you are into the final home stretch with one-half mile to go.

Brown was looking for a top ten finish and Cristino was looking to give Pomperaug a clean sweep of the first ten finishers. They remained even with twenty yards to go. It would be Cristino taking the 10th spot at the finish line with a time of 20:09.10. Brown was 11th at 20:10.

Just as close, in the 12th spot was Masuk’s Zaccheri Morra at 20:10.7.

With Pomperaug securing wins against both Masuk and Stratford, the race turned towards Stratford versus Masuk.

Paul Duncanson gave Stratford a boost by finishing ahead of Masuk’s Aiden Donnelly (21:53) with a time of 21:47.  

Masuk’s Jacob Lee (22:03) and Matt Mitola (22:38) gave the Panthers the slight advantage over Stratford with just a few runners to go.  

Stratford freshman Joshua Kydes, in his first career race, put Stratford back in the lead with a 22:46 finish.

Masuk’s Evan Smith sealed the victory over Stratford with a time of 24:04.

In a battle between teammates Stratford’s Tanner Mitchell edged Kevin Gabriel by inches with a time of 25:35.7 to Gabriel’s time of 25:35.10.  

Rounding out the Stratford lineup was Julian Pilla, who rolled an ankle at the two mile mark and gutted out a finish of 25:42.

Final scores, Pomperaug 15 Stratford 50, Masuk 25 Stratford 34, and Pomperaug 15 Masuk 50.

Stratford will next visit Newtown to run against the Nighthawks and the Joel Barlow Falcons next Tuesday.

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