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History Made at 2nd Connecticut Distance Festival

Created at 4/19/2019 3:12 PM  by Marty Ogden 
Last modified at 4/20/2019 9:23 AM  by Ron Knapp 

MSR  It was a historic night at Xavier High in Middletown on Thursday night as athletes from across the Northeast came together to compete in the 2nd Connecticut Distance Festival. After an evening of outstanding performances, the athletes in the Bob Michalski Boys 5000m race toed the line and ran one of the greatest distance races held on Connecticut soil.

Xavier’s Robbie Cozean, Hall’s Trey Cormier and freshman Aidan Puffer of Manchester took it out with relatively even splits and pushed each other to run three of the top seven times in Connecticut history and the first time three Connecticut athletes broke 14:50 in the same race.

Cozean used a blistering kick to overtake Cormier by just over two seconds to run 14:40.40. The Xavier junior just missed his school record held by Adam Vess, who won the New Balance Outdoor National championship in 2007. Only Vess, two-time Olympian Donn Cabral of Glastonbury, Danbury’s Andrew Laboy and Darien’s Alex Ostberg have ever run faster, and none have done it on Connecticut soil.

Cozean and Cormier traded off the pace in the middle laps and the Hall senior was rewarded with the 6th fastest time in CT history with a 14:42.90.

“It was about the time tonight” Cozean stated. “It worked really well, and I don’t think we would have run as fast if we didn’t have each other.”

Finishing right behind them was Puffer who added to his already impressive resume by not only running the 7th fastest time in Connecticut history, but also set the American freshman and age record for 14-year old according to Jack Shepard of Track and Field News.

Twin brothers Matt and Alex Rizzo from Bronxville, NY ran their final tune up race before the Penn Relays next week. They are two legs of their team’s distance medley relay that is one of the favorites to win. Matt, who won the Milrose Games mile this winter in personal best time of 4:09 won the Tom Butterfield Boys 1-Mile race in 4:16.23 with his brother was just over a second back finishing in 4:17.53. Both cracked into the top 25 times in the country this young outdoor season which gives them the only school with two athletes in that elite category.

Marzio Mastroianni of Branford was the only Connecticut finisher in the top six, taking 3rd in 4:19.22 which is the top mark in the state rankings. “I wasn’t expecting this today” Mastroianni stated. “I went out kind of slow and just gave it my all on the last lap.”

The UConn-committed senior, got the best of one of Massachusetts best runners, Rishabh Prakash of Burlington who ran 4:19.56, All American 800m runner Conor Murphy of Classical, RI who ran a mile PR of 4:20.13, and New England indoor mile champion Joseph dosReis of LaSalle, RI who ran a 4:20.34.

Mario Mastroianni 

View the interview of Marzio Mastroianni at the MSR YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/mm_NM8ECcJU

The top eight finishers in the mile were all seniors, but the future of Connecticut distance running wasn’t too far behind them. Freshmen Jack Martin of Avon and Eamon Burke of Xavier battled it out down the home stretch with Martin coming out on top running 4:35.65 to Burke’s 4:36.79. Both scored in the 1600m in the CIAC class meets this winter and earned All State by virtue of their top 12 finishes in their divisional meets in cross country.

Boys 1mile Race

View the condensed video of the Tom Butterfield Boys 1-Mile race at the MSR YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/viQLiP7jXYM

In the girls 1-mile, Immaculate senior Taylor Mascetta, a member of her school’s New England championship 4 x 800m this winter, led most of the races as she likes to do but was overtaken on the last lap by All-New England junior Kate Hudlund of Manchester who ran 5:10.64 to Mascetta’s 5:11.56.

Finishing right behind them was last year’s State Open 1600m champion Elizabeth Stockman of Rocky Hill who is coming back into shape after an injury at the end of cross country. While her time of 5:12.89 is 17 seconds off her personal best of 4:55 last spring, the junior still has plenty of time to get herself back into top shape.

The girls 5000m had pre-race favorites Rhiannon Richmond of Avon and Emily Sienna of Hale Ray being challenged by New Fairfield’s Kayla Cohen. Richmond took 5th in the 3200m this winter at the Open in 11:14 and 11th at New England running 11:13 for the slightly longer two- mile distance. Sienna ran a PR of 11:09 winning the Class S 3200m race in February and qualified for NBNO last spring in the 5000m with a 18:03 at the Amity Midnight meet. They really shined this winter, but many forgot about Cohen who finished 15th as a junior at the State Open in cross country but was held back by injuries this fall.

Once Richmond took the pace, Sienna went with her. But the Hale- Ray senior seemed to tie up in the last 800m and Cohen came back on her to take 2nd in 18:29.06. Richmond was able to reach her goal of breaking 18:10 and qualifying for New Balance Nationals Outdoors in Greensboro, NC by running 17:55.61, good for the 21st time in the US this spring with Cohen taking 2nd in 18:29.06.

Connecticut Boys All-Time Outdoor Track and Field 5000m List

RANK

TIME

ATHLETE

GRAD YR

Team

MEET

Place

Date

1

14:16.61

Alex Ostberg

2015

Darien

New Balance Nationals Outdoor

1st

June 14, 2015

2

14:32.60

Donn Cabral

2008

Glastonbury

Manchester Midnight Invite

1st

May 2, 2008

3

14:37.83

Andre Laboy

2002

Danbury

USATF JR Outdoor Champs

7th

Jun 21, 2002 

4

14:38.23

Adam Vess

2007

Xavier

Nike Outdoor Nationals

1st

June 7, 2016

5

14:40.40

Robbie Cozean

2020

Xavier

CT Distance Festival

1st

April 19, 2019

6

14:41.05

Eric van der Els

2016

Brien McMahon

New Balance Nationals Outdoor

3rd

June 21, 2015

7

14:42.90

Trey Cormier

2019

Hall

CT Distance Festival

2nd

April 19, 2019

8

14:47.66

Aidan Puffer

2022

Manchester

CT Distance Festival

3rd

April 19, 2019

9

14:50.03

Trevor Hopper

2014

Ridgefield

New Balance Nationals Outdoor

10th

June 13, 2016

10

14:53.69

Jay O'Keefe

1980

E.O. Smith

TBD

TBD

1980

11

14:56.78

Kevin King

1981

Westhill

CIAC Class LL Champ

1st

1981

12

14:57.61

Austin Gilbert

2015

Ridgefield

New Balance Twilight

1th

May 14, 2010

13

14:58.2

Roy Mascolino

1983

Staples

FCIAC Championships

1st

1983

 

This list was compiled by Marty Ogden. Any questions or additions should be addressed to him at info@therunningacademy.com.

 

View the latest MySportsResults.com meet photo gallery at SmugMug: https://mysportsresults.smugmug.com/Connecticut-Distance-Festival

 

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Rankings and personal records noted above are based on performance lists compiled at Athletic.net.