Pictured: H-K’s top-to-bottom lineup was good enough to avenge an early-season defeat to Immaculate, the meet runner-up. (Photo by Charles Lynskey)
The Haddam-Killingworth girls cross country team is the best in Class SS after flipping the script on heavily favored Immaculate of Danbury and winning the championship race by three points at Wickham Park.
The Cougars won their third title in the last five years. They lost to Immaculate by a 60-point margin in the Somers Big Red Invitational in September.
Meanwhile, the H-K boys team also had an outstanding meet as the Cougars placed second overall in Class M behind champion Tolland, the No. 1-ranked team in the state.
Both H-K teams were fresh off capturing the Shoreline Conference championship the previous week.
In the girls race, leading the way for the Cougars were junior Meara Bodak and senior Julia Callis, who placed seventh and eighth with the same tie – 20 minutes, 49 seconds — to earn All-State recognition.
Next to cross the line was senior Lauren D’Amico, who placed 14th (21:13), sophomore Ava DiMatteo in 16th (21:21) and freshman Isabel Berardino, who rounded out the team scoring with a 21st-place finish in 21:56. Also contributing to the team win by displacing others teams runners were sophomores Ali Twachtman (31st, 22:46) and Brianna Minervino (47th, 23:24).
“The girls ran a phenomenal team race,” H-K coach Matt Diglio said.
The Cougars’ boys team were led by junior Matt Jennings. The Shoreline champion was fourth overall in a time of 16:37, earning All-State honors for the second consecutive season.
A pack of Cougars followed Jennings across the line, all within 10 seconds of each other: senior Chris Uzwiak in 14th (17:14), sophomore Caleb Freeman in 16th (17:24) and junior Sean Rutledge in 16th (17:25). Junior Fisher Harris (20th, 17:45), freshman Mason Gorham, who in his first varsity race ever ran an outstanding race (23rd, 17:48) and junior Julian Spector 55th (18:49) rounded out the team’s scoring.
The State Open Championship meet is scheduled for Friday, also at Wickham Park.