Connecticut does love its 5ks. The Nutmeg State was one of the few states that used to offer the 5000m
race in its state championships until it was discontinued in 2000. Just two weeks ago, Xavier and Hall High Schools put together the Connecticut Distance Festival which offered a 5k and drew some of the top runners in the state including winner Drew Thompson of Fairfield Prep, who won in 15:14.10.
Well for the 7th time in the past eight years, Amity Coach Jon Faitsch organized the Midnight Meet which focused on the 5000m and once again, it brought together a field that broke into the national rankings. Amity junior Connor Visnic surprised everyone by upsetting some of the best distance runners in the state and ran the 5th best time in meet history with a 15:09.17. The performance takes over the state lead from Footlocker All American Thompson and is ranked 15th nationally.
Visnic, who was only 27th at the State Open cross country championships in November, upset Fairfield Warde senior James Maniscalco who was 13th in the Open and Danbury's Dan Nichols, another cross country all stater who also surprise many by taking 2nd in the indoor State Open 3200m with a 9:18.88.
Two other underclassmen who showed their future potential over the longer distances were Danbury's Jacob Hefele who ran the 8th best sophomore time in the US with a 15:43.77 and Azaan Dawson of Fairfield Prep who won the 13-14 AAU national cross country title this fall. Dawson finished 11th with a 16:16.25 and which is currently the 3rd fastest freshman in the country.
Danbury High, which has always prided itself in its cross country success put five underclassmen under the 17 minute mark which should once again make them a contender for some hardware in the fall.
The girls 5k saw a battle between Kylie Raymond of Somers High who was the girls Class SS champion this fall and Emily Sienna of Nathan Hale-Ray High School who was 6th in the State Open as a sophomore and had injuries that plagued her this fall.
Raymond broke the magic 18 minute barrier and won in 17:58.92 while Sienna, who looks to have returned to form finished just five seconds back in 18:03.90. The times earned them the 16th and 18th best times nationally this spring.