Upperclassmen Lead The Way At New England Championships

Ryan Jones

After a strong showing in the Ted Owen Invitational, Central Connecticut had another successful day at the New England Championships, with some familiar faces leading the way for the Blue Devils.
Senior Roberto Piotto finished in the front of the pack for CCSU, grabbing the bronze medal with a third place finish in the 8k with a time of 24:46.9. Piotto has been a key runner for the Blue Devils all season; the senior has finished first amongst his teammates in all three of CCSU’s meets this season, including a first place finish at the Marist College Invitational.
“Roberto leads by example in everything he does,” head coach Eric Blake said. “I have told the incoming freshmen that if they want to be good, they should just follow Roberto.”
It seems Elias Field followed Blake’s advice in the 8k, as the freshman was the third Blue Devil to cross the finish line with a 25:54.0 time.
“Our freshmen men are racing well together,” Blake said. “But we can tighten up that pack a bit. We also need to get Julio and Robbie in there.”
Following behind Piotto was classmate Richard Grudzwick, who finished 17th with a personal best time of 25:23.7. The men’s team finished the day with a seventh-place finish out of the field of 25.
The women’s side also churned out a strong performance in Boston, with the upper classmen similarly leading the way.
Junior Angie Rafter finished first for the Blue Devils in the 5K. Out of the field of 154, Rafter finished 20th with an 18:25.6. Seconds behind her was classmate Megan Brawner, who finished in 21st with an 18:30.0 time. This finish is not the first time the junior duo led the charge for CCSU. In Central Connecticut’s Ted Owen Invitational, Rafter and Brawner were top finishers for the Blue Devils.
Blake had high praise for the juniors, calling them “great teammates” and explaining how the two “make each other better.”
The Blue Devils’ coach also noted freshman Brooke Morabito’s improvement through the season so far. She finished the 5K with a 20:11.0 time.
“Brooke is doing an excellent job,” Blake said, adding that “she will only get faster this season.”
Sophomore Ashley Dana finished shortly after the two juniors, clocking in with a 19:16.1 time.
The women’s team finished the day with an 11th place finish out of the 22 schools at the Championship.
Central Connecticut will have a week off before hosting the CCSU Mini Meet at Stanley Quarter Park on Friday at 4 p.m.
On the upcoming meet, Blake said, “The Mini Meet is shorter than the normal races, so let’s get out fast and get our legs turning over.”