Cross country: McCormick crushes the field to win FCIAC title

Turning in one of the greatest performances ever at the FCIAC cross-country championships, Wilton High senior Morgan McCormick won the girls title for the second year in a row on Wednesday at Waveny Park in New Canaan.

McCormick’s time of 13:44 for the 4K course was fourth fastest all-time for the championship meet at Waveny Park, behind Hannah DelBalsi of Staples in 2013 (13:29) and 2014 (13:37) and Claire Howlett of Westhill in 2013 (13:41).

Her time broke her own school record for the FCIAC meet, set last year with a time of 14:36.

As she’s done all season, McCormick crushed the competition, finishing one minute and seven seconds ahead of runner-up Lauren Moore of Danbury.

It’s unknown if that’s the biggest margin of victory ever at the FCIAC meet, but it is the biggest margin in the last 19 years. Since 1999 only one runner has won the girls race by more than a minute — DeBalsi, who had a margin of victory of 1:02 in 2014.

“I was surprised by my time because I didn’t feel like I pushed that hard,” said McCormick after the race. “It’s a good way to finish out my senior year. It’s such a great group of girls on the team. I’ll be sad to leave them.”

In seven races this fall, McCormick’s closest margin of victory has been 33 seconds. And like all those earlier races, she went out fast on Wednesday, running her first mile in about 5:23.

“I went out pretty fast like I practiced during the dual meets. Everyone stuck with me in this race. I just tried to maintain that pace through that first mile,” said McCormick, who slowed a bit after that as she built a commanding lead. “I felt great during the race. I think I definitely could have pushed it, so that makes me really excited for states because I know if I have people in front of me then I’ll be able to go even faster. I haven’t had anyone in front of me in a race yet, so I’m excited about that.”

Next up is the Class L championships on Oct. 28 at Wickham Park, where McCormick be vying for her second state title in a row.

Wilton girls sixth

The Wilton girls finished sixth in the FCIAC team standings. Greenwich won the title, followed by Danbury, Trumbull, Fairfield Ludlowe and Ridgefield in the top five.

Emily Welch was Wilton’s second finisher in a time of 16:03.46, good for 26th place. Not far behind her were Eliza Snyder (19th,16:08.64) and Paula Perez Pelaez (32nd, 16:12.46).

Rounding out the Wilton effort were Carly Sullivan (68th, 17:28.74), Erin Sweeney (69th, 17:29.74), Elizabeth Lynch (73rd, 17:40.51) and Caleigh McMorris (75th, 17:49.85.

Zengo leads Wilton boys

Wilton finished 10th in the boys race, which was won by Staples.

Tyler Zengo continued to set the pace for the Warriors, as he was 48th overall in a time of 17:49.35. Davis Cote was the team’s second finisher in 17:59.95, followed by Flynn Crowther (66th, 18:21.98), Nicholas Ivanov (67th,18:23.60), Ryan Healey (71st, 18:31.61), Benjamin Leung (82nd,18:57.89), Jack Rosen (83rd, 19:04.08), Sam Rosen (19:11.25).