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Conard Boys, Hall Girls off to Fast Start

Conard sophomore Gavin Sherry is one of the top cross country runners in the state. Photo credit: David Heuschkel

The cross country teams at West Hartford’s Conard and Hall high schools are achieving early season success.

Hall senior Jenna Zydanowicz is one of the top runners in the state. Photo credit: David Heuschkel

By David Heuschkel, West Hartford Press Sports Editor

If the high school cross county season was a race, two schools in West Hartford are among the early pace setters.

The Conard boys have a strong returning group led by sophomore brothers Gavin and Callum Sherry, junior Tyler Remigino, and senior Sophonias Dires. The addition of exchange student Vebjoern Roeed makes the Chieftains a formidable squad.

Conard won the Varsity I team title at the Haddad Windham Invitational with four runners finishing in the top seven. Following an outstanding freshman year, Gavin Sherry opened the 2019 season with a first-place finish at Windham (15:26).

The Hall girls also won the Varsity I championship at Windham as senior Jenna Zydanowicz led the way with a first-place finish (18:35). The Warriors have a strong pack that will follow Zydanowicz with seniors Rose Kitz and Natalie Schaumburger, junior Mia Healer, and the sophomore trio of Nora Holmes, Kate Sanderson, and Scarlett Cistulli.

The Hall boys team, which finished runner-up in Class LL and the State Open, will be trying to keep up with Conard for a change.

Head coach Jeff Billing once again has depth – there are 139 runners listed on the CIAC roster. But the Warriors have some huge running shoes to fill without Miller Anderson and Trey Cormier, the leaders of an outstanding senior class that graduated. Ten of the top 11 runners graduated.

Senior Jackson Grady, the team’s top returning runner, finished 10th at Windham (16:37). Conard’s top four finishers posted faster times.

Senior Adam Hanlon and juniors Luke Dai, Yonah Goldberg, and Sam Frank will push each other throughout the season. They all finished within 11 seconds of each other at Windham, led by Hanlon in 30th place overall (17:24).

The Conard girls don’t have nearly the same lofty expectations as the boys. Sophomore Grace Flynn, who earned all-conference honors last fall, is the top returning runner. She finished 31st at Windham, the only Conard runner to crack the top 100.

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