Titan freshman Lizzie Brown surged in front of the field and paced her way, essentially on her own, to the Wallingford girls individual championship. She ran a 19:47 on Wharton’s 3.0-mile course.
Boys champion Brian Oliveira ran the bulk of his race one step behind Sheehan’s top runner, Stephen Fengler. Like the previous meeting at the Neubauer, Oliveira kept something in reserve for the homestretch. Oliveira went on a full sprint down the final hill to claim the crown in 16:23.
“Steve and I ran a great race last week and again today. I wasn’t sure if was going to catch him going into that last mile. It was a tough pace,” Oliveira said. “Right after the hill, I just kicked it as hard as I could. We do a lot of speed work on the track, even during cross country season. That really helps.”
Fengler clocked in four seconds after Oliveira at 16:27.
“I ran my own race and tried to run a good time, and I knew he was there the whole time,” Fengler said. “I tried to kick it up a little bit in the second mile, and then going up the second hill he passed me and had that better kick in the end. I knew it was coming just so I could try to stay close enough to try to get him in the downhill, but I couldn’t.”
Lyman Hall took third and fourth in the boys race. Alex Fishbein-Ouimette, who led the first mile or so of the race, finished third in 16:46. R.J. Ottens charged in fourth at 17:25.
Sheehan notched the next two spots with Ben Gardiner (5th, 17:49) and Tyler Carmen (6th, 17:56) to keep it close.
But Lyman Hall clinched the meet by taking the next three spots behind Jack Murphy (7th, 18:04), Andrew Horobin (8th, 18:23) and Luke Horobin (9th, 18:25).
Sheehan’s Evan Wilkinson (10th, 18:26) and Derrick Arnold (11th, 18:28) rounded out Sheehan’s scoring.
In the girls race, three LH runners came in behind Brown. Rachael Ruggiero was the first Trojan to cross the finish line and she did so in 21:04. Kailey Lipka (3rd, 21:26) was followed by Emily Ottens (4th, 21:31).
“This win means a lot,” said Ruggiero, also a lacrosse standout. “The last Sheehan meet (at the Neubauer) we lost by one point. It’s nice just to get the win. We are all working really hard and everyone wants to work hard.”
Sheehan’s Sydney Carim broke up the Lyman Hall train with a fifth-place finish in 21:38. Also scoring for Lyman Hall were Lindsay Navickis (6th, 22:03) and Savannah Mangini (9th, 23:19).
Julia Mansfield (7th, 22:29) finished a second ahead of her sister Amelia (8th, 22:30) for the Titans.
“A lot of my runners had great races today,” Sheehan coach Carrie Palange said. “Some beat their PR by a minute. That was great to hear. Lizzie and Sydney both were strong. Stephen, Ben and Tyler were all strong as well. I was happy with everyone.”
There was no catching Brown on Thursday. After crossing the finish line, she was greeted by her twin 6-year-old sisters, Hazel and Violet.
“They are pretty much my biggest fans,” Brown said with Hazel in her shadow. “It was a really good race. I was surprised to be that much ahead of everyone else. The course was pretty flat and I feel that gave me an advantage.”
Addorisio said he was satisfied with the effort he saw from all of his runners.
“We maintained our home course,” Addorisio said.
“The kids have been improving dramatically. This is the time of year where you want that to happen and it did. It was a really good day for us.”