Cross country: Bonnist leads Wilton girls to ninth win

Led by a first-place finish by senior Erika Bonnist, the Wilton High girls cross country team remained undefeated after Tuesday’s meet at Allen’s Meadow.

Bonnist ran the 4000-meter course in a time of 16:43.89 to lead a Wilton sweep of the top four spots. She was followed by Morgan McCormick (second, 16:45.56), Emily Welch (third, 17:15.18) and Elizabeth Healy (fourth, 16:49.78).

The Warriors defeated Darien, 16-45, to improve to 9-0 on the season.

McCormick, Wilton’s top runner, hung back with the pack and did not push the pace as she’s done in winning every race up to this point.

“Erika did push it. This was her first race in a while and it was a real good performance,” said coach Jeff Gee. “I’m happy for Erika, and it takes some pressure off Morgan. She doesn’t need the pressure of being undefeated.”

Also finishing in the top 15 for Wilton were Elizabeth Lynch (sixth, 17:15.18), Carly Sullivan (seventh, 17:22.4), Meaghan Downey (10th, 18:06.55), Margaret Fiesel (14th, 18:11.97) and Eliza Snyder (15th, 18:12.68).

Welch and Healy both dropped about 20 seconds off their times from the recent Wilton XC Invitational, Gee noted.

Three other Warriors also placed top 20: Hannah Bracken (16th, 18:13.34), Emma Westerholm (18th, 18:18.37) and Ashleigh Hawthorne (19th, 18:19.08).

The Warriors will run in the Brewster (N.Y.) Invitational on Saturday, and will host Ridgefield, Norwalk and Fairfield Ludlowe next Tuesday in their final regular-season meet. Because of the Brewster meet, Wilton doesn’t expect to be at peak form on Tuesday when it goes up against Ridgefield, the only other unbeaten team in the FCIAC.

“We’ll be a little tired for Tuesday’s meet. We’re just looking to get stronger,” said Gee.

The Wilton boys team split two races, beating Westhill, 25-34, but falling to Darien, 16-47. The Warriors are now 4-5 on the season.

Connor Drake placed fifth overall, completing the 5000-meter course in a time of 18:01.89. Luke Maloney finished 10th (18:23.9), followed by Tyler Zengo (18th, 19:15.2), Sean Cunningham (20th, 19:25.15), Carsten Langholm (22nd, 20:02.77), Flynn Crowther (26th, 20:17.74) and Seth Warren (28th, 20:41.05) to round out Wilton’s top seven.