Both Shepaug High cross country teams performed well at the CIAC Class S Championship meet as the girls team took second place and qualified for the State Open while the boys finished third and will send a pair of runners to the Open.
The girls team ran an outstanding race to finish second to Immaculate of Danbury. The Spartans finished with 82 points while the Mustangs won with 39. Defending Class S champion Derby was third with 102 points.
“On the girls side, we knew since last June that Derby was going to be tough to beat as they were the defending champs and returned most of their team,” Shepaug cross country coach John Spear said. “We found out in July that Immaculate was moving down from SS and no one in S could compete with their depth.”
The second-place finish qualified the girls team for the State Open.
Leading the way were Emma Krebs and Elisa Afouni, who finished third and fourth respectively. Aileen Rosa was in 14th place and Autumn Collette right behind in 15th. Erin McGrath rounded out the scoring in 46th.
“The girls never lost focus on getting to State Opens. Emma (Krebs) and Aileen Rosa set the tone in practice that everyday was building to October 28,” Spear said. “Both Elisa and Emma were soccer players until recently. Autumn Collette had a great last two weeks and Erin McGrath passed four runners in the last half mile to seal the deal. This is our first trip to opens as a team since 2000 and these girls really earned it over the summer with everyone putting in the mileage.”
The boys finished third with 80 points, behind champion Lyman Memorial (57) and runner-up Bolton (61). Chandler Wetherbee led the Spartans with a third place finish while Jack McCarron finished 11th. Both qualified for the State Open.
James Kennedy also had a strong run for Shepaug and placed 13th.
“Chandler ran a smart race to place well and Jack McCarron was not feeling well but still finished in the top 12,” Spear said. “The boys were in position to also finish second as a team but gave up too many points over the last mile to Bolton.”