Some coaches believe in order to get better in their sport they should “Play Up,” which basically means competing against better teams or teams that historically have success. Such was the case last week when Coach Kevin Connell and his Hornet cross country team ran the 3.1 mile course at the Supply Pond against perennial power Fairfield Prep in their dual meet.
Here, Coach Connell leads the runners, showing the route of the course.
Prep had nine of the top 10 finishers with Branford’s Matt Daley finishing sixth with a time of 19:33 over the rugged course.
The top runner for Prep was sophomore Azaau Dawson with a time of 17:07. Dawson and Edward Tristine finished 1-2 for Fairfield Prep.
“Historically Fairfield Prep ranks right up there with the best in the SCC and best in Connecticut,” said Connell. Prep won the head to head contest 15-48.
“They run a terrific program and we’re happy to compete against such a recognized program,” added assistant coach “Bing” Miller.
Andrew DeBenedictis came in second for the Hornets with a time of 20:18.
Senior boys and girls on the cross country teams include Matt Daley (left), Carolina Jara, Khusbu Shrestha, Kacey Gilman and Andrew DeBenedictis.
In addition to the Branford-Prep boys meet, the Branford Lady Hornets competed with Preps sister school, Lauralton Hall, in their dual meet immediately after. In that meet the Branford girls defeated the Crusaders 22-33.
They jumped in front at the start of their meet with Lauralton Hall.
Branford was led by Bella Finta with her winning time of 23:14. Finta crosses the finish line as assistant coach Bing Miller checks her time.
She was followed by Kayce Gilman, finishing with a time of 23:36.
Parents, siblings and classmates were at the start of both races
Next up for the boys is a “quad” meet with Lyman Hall, Shelton and East Haven also at the Supply Pond.