Strong talent in East Catholic's cross-country teams

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Tue., Sep. 25, 2012
Captain Evan Cedrone (left) is all business as his co-captain Drew Brennan (right) gets photogenic. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.
Captain Evan Cedrone (left) is all business as his co-captain Drew Brennan (right) gets photogenic. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.

Kathy O'Neill Reilly, coach of both the boys' and girls' cross-country teams at East Catholic High School, sees strong talent in both teams this season. On the boys' team, only one senior is returning from last year, but that reduction in experienced seniors is offset by a strong base of incoming freshman. “The numbers are about the same as last year,” Reilly said. The shift in age has not changed the team's level of intensity. “The level of competition this year is equal to last year,” she said.

According to Reilly, one senior in particular stands out on the girls' side. “We have an outstanding senior on the girls' team, Grace Gothers, who has been All-State her freshman, sophomore and junior years,” she said. “So we're looking forward to a good year for her.”

The top runner overall is Evan Cedrone. Reilly notes that many athletes from winter or spring teams join cross-country as an off-season training opportunity, and Cedrone plays hockey during the winter. He co-captains the boys' team with Drew Brennan.

On the girls' team, Grace Gothers, Mary Elizabeth Henderson and Jessica Leonard are co-captains.

East Catholic is in the CCC North Division, competing against teams that include Windsor, South Windsor, Glastonbury, Manchester, Weaver and East Hartford. Schools participating in the division are based on location rather than school size. Because of this, they compete against the larger Glastonbury team, which Reilly calls the “phenom” of running.

“Because of this, the conference is much tougher than the class meets at the end of the season, which are broken down according to school sizes,” said Reilly. She views this as a good thing, as the difficult conference prepares them to be competitive during class meets.

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