NEWTOWN–The Stratford High School Boys Cross Country team traveled to the foothills of Reed Intermediate School in Newtown to take on the Newtown Nighthawks and the New Fairfield Rebels in the season opener for all three schools.
It was an overcast sky with temperatures in the low 70s and virtually no wind. T
he course is described as challenging with several long wavy hills with one of the hills labeled as “The Reaper.”
Over this racecourse, runners would have to travel over a grassy surface, asphalt surfaces, and some rugged trails.
Newtown boasting a roster of 62 used the home course to their advantage in this one as a sea of blue Nighthawks took 16 out of the first 20 spots.
Newtown’s Nick Jacobs and New Fairfield’s Patrick Gibbons battled the entire way and even at the end with 50 yards to go it was either one’s race.
At the finish line Jacobs had enough to finish first with a time of 17:30, Gibbons in at 17:31. Nighthawk Maxwell Bloomquist was third at 18:39. Teammate Jack Kuligowski was fourth at 19:24.
New Fairfield’s Christopher Martins took the fifth spot at 19:28.
Newtown finished in the next five spots before Stratford’s Elijah Brown came across the line at 19:50.
Two spots later in 13th place Stratford’s Joshua Kydes had a strong finish coming in at 20:14.
The contest now had a two-team battle on hand between Stratford and New Fairfield.
Sean Gibbons (22:09), of New Fairfield, was New Fairfield’s third finisher adding to their slight advantage against Stratford.
Tyler Ciufo (22:29) made things interesting as Stratford’s third finisher.
The race between Stratford and New Fairfield intensified further as fans concentrated themselves to the wooded area and who would emerge next out of the woods to continue down the home stretch.
New Fairfield’s Nick Thiel-Hudson held a slight lead over Stratford’s Paul Duncanson as both raced their way down the line. Thiel-Hudson opened it up at the end with a time of 22:38. Duncanson at 22:49.
New Fairfield’s Colman Doucette (23:59) gave the Rebels the boost they needed as their fifth finisher and victory over Stratford was now certain.
Freshman Amos Colocho (27:27) and Ryan Munoz (29:21) made their Stratford career debuts finishing the rest of the field for Stratford.
Final Scores: Newtown 21, New Fairfield 34; Newtown 15, Stratford 50, New Fairfield 20, Stratford 35.
Up next for Stratford: A trip to Monroe on Tuesday, Sept. 17 to take on the Masuk Panthers, the Pomperaug Panthers, and the New Milford Green Wave.