Ridgefield girls fifth, boys eighth at FCIACs

Already without two top runners all season, the Ridgefield High girls cross country team took another hit on Monday, when senior Julia Hergenrother sprained her ankle during practice.

The absences were too much for the Tigers to overcome, as the two-time defending champions finished fifth at the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championships Wednesday afternoon at Waveny Park in New Canaan.

Ridgefield had 141 points to finish 40 points behind fourth-place Fairfield Ludlowe (101 points). Greenwich was first with 47 points, followed by Danbury (54) and Trumbull (98).

"We've got three All-FCIAC runners who are injured and sitting under a tree up there," said Ridgefield head coach John Goetz, pointing to a large maple where sophomore Tess Pisanelli (shin splints), junior Kasey McGerald (stress fractures) and Hergenrother were watching the race. "If we had those three it might have been a different outcome for us."

Junior Gabriella Viggiano led the Tigers with a third-place overall finish in a time of 14 minutes, 52.23 seconds for the 4,000-meter course. Viggiano ended the race in a sprint with Danbury's Lauren Moore, who placed second in 14:51.80.

Moore and Viggiano were more than a minute behind Wilton's Morgan McCormick, who finished first in 13:44.83, the fourth fastest time in FCIAC history.

Sophomore Clodagh Ryan was Ridgefield's second finisher, placing 24th overall in 16:01.75. Seniors Maddie Guter (30th, 16:09.12), Katherine Bracken (41st, 16:28.45), and Maia Clarkin (45th, 16:40.73) also contributed to the Tigers' team score.

In the FCIAC boys championship race, Ridgefield finished eighth with 228 points.

Staples was first with 33 points, four fewer than second-place Fairfield Ludlowe (37 points). Trumbull was a distant third with 109 points.

Ridgefield's top finisher was senior Kevin Arnold, who placed 37th overall in a time of 17:25.72 for the 5,000-meter course.

Junior Omkar Ratnaparkhi (42nd, 17:39.72) and sophomores Ethan MacKenzie (45th, 17:48.01), Charles MacArthur (51st, 17:50.50), and Leo Rector (58th, 18:06.81) rounded out Ridgefield's scoring.

Notes: Staples senior Benjamin Seiple was the boys individual champion with a time of 15:27.35. He was nearly 17 seconds faster than teammate William Landowne, who was second in 15:44.14.

Also competing for the Ridgefield boys were sophomore Colin Tarpey (63rd) and freshmen Ryan Crist (68th) and Chaz DellaCorte (78th).

Freshman Rory McGrath (52nd) and sophomores Elizabeth Jasminski (54th) and Isabel Trinkaus (57th) were the other runners for the RHS girls team.