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Top Runners to Compete at 4th Annual CT Distance Festival in West Hartford

Aidan Puffer will be. participating in the 4th annual CT Distance Festival. Courtesy photo from 2021 EastBay XC-NorthEast Region NYC, NY. November 26, 2021. Photo: John Nepolitan@PhotoRun [email protected] 631-291-3409 www.photorun.NET #victahsailer

The 4th annual CT Distance Festival will be held at Hall High School in West Hartford on Friday, April 22.

By Ronni Newton

The CT Distance Festival will return to Hall High School on Friday, April 22, and nearly 700 area runners – including some of the fastest runners in the region – are already registered to participate and members of the public are invited to watch and provide encouragement.

The meet will begin at 4 p.m., and will begin with 1-mile heats (slowest to fastest, alternating between boys and girls) followed by the mile championships beginning at roughly 7 p.m., and then the 5K races. The meet will likely last until 8:30 or 9 p.m., organizers said.

The heat schedules will be published at noon on Thursday, April 21.

Jeff Billing, track and cross country coach from Hall High School, and Xavier High School cross country coach Chris Stonier are meet directors. The meet is open to high school runners from Connecticut and neighboring states, with a cost of $10 per athlete, capped at $200 per school. There is no limit to the number of runners per school that can participate.

“We are thrilled to be hosting the Distance Festival this year,” Billing said. “Hall and Conard have some of the best runners in the state, the region, and the nation. This is a great opportunity for the town to come out and support our athletes, and see them compete against the best. There is no admissions cost and there will be no downtime. I hope to see a great turnout of spectators to see what our sport is all about!”

There are already more than twice as many runners as there were in 2021, when 301 participated and records were set by Conard runners Gavin Sherry and Chloe Scrimgeour. The event was canceled for 2020, and had 220 competitors in 2019 and 102 in the inaugural event in 2018.

CT Distance Festival records

The winners of the girls and boys mile races will qualify for the top-seeded heat of the Loucks Mile, a noted invitational meet for high school athletes that has been held in White Plains, NY for more than 50 years. That race will be held on Saturday, May 14.

Any questions can be directed to Billings at [email protected].

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