Wilton Running Club wins conference title, has both individual champs

The Wilton Running Club girls team won its second Western Connecticut Conference middle school cross country championship in the last three years (2016 and 2014), beating out eight other teams in the Girls A race on Oct. 24 at Ridgefield High School.

It was also the third straight year that a WRC runner won the girls championship, with eighth grader Nicole Holmes finishing in the top spot with a time of 12:42.05 for the 1.7-mile course.

Holmes led a Wilton sweep of the top three places, as she was followed by fellow eighth graders Kira Howard taking (second place, 13:00:87) and Elena Tan (third place, 13:03:95).

The girls victory came after an undefeated regular season, during which it was a common sight to see the trio finish in the top spots.

“I am very proud of the girls and especially the 1-2-3 finish,” said coach Mary Zengo. “Nicole led the entire way and Kira and Elena worked their way up after being boxed in for most of the race.”

Other top finishers for the WRC girls were sixth grader Georgia Keller (19th, 13:40:06) and seventh grader Ashley Nicoletti (20th, 13:41:24). All five girls were named all-conference for their performances at the meet.

The Girls A race had 96 finishers. The Wilton girls’ effort was rounded out by Hailey Looney (44th, 14:35.54), Cailin Goetz (46th, 14:37.8), Tara Slovinski (47th, 14:42.47), Maya Mhatre (56th, 15:14.91) and Olivia Flatt (62nd, 15:27.91).

Ryan Rupprecht led the WRC boys to a second-place finish by winning his second WCC championship in as many years. The eighth grader completed the course in a time of 10:48.33 to win by more than 10 seconds.

The boys finish is the best since the league was founded in 2010.

Wilton also had a top-10 finish from eighth grader Luca Madariaga (sixth place, 11:22:48), followed by seventh graders Eric Hoerdemann (16th, 11:59:89) and Aidan Slovinksi (24th, 12:17:57) and eighth grader Sam Rosen (28th, 12:23:96).

The Boys A race had a field of 121 finishers, with 13 teams scoring.

“The boys all ran very smart races and most finished the course in under 13 minutes, which was fantastic. They worked hard to finish second and I could not be more proud of their effort today,” said coach Zengo.

Rupprecht, Madariaga, Hoerdemann and Slovinski were named WCC all-conference for their performances.

Rounding out the Wilton effort were Jack Rosen (32nd, 12:28.96), Bobby Tuner (34th, 12:36.99), Edward Miller Rowley (39th, 12:50.14), Quinn Wiseman (61st, 13:18.78) and Gabe Smock (66th, 13:26.11).  

Next up for the WRC is the USATF Connecticut Association championship, to be held in Litchfield on Nov.13. This is the first step in the path to competing in the Region 1 and national championships.