New Canaan Boys & Girls Cross Country Post Dual 7th Place Finishes at 2016 FCIAC Championships


For the second consecutive year, the FCIAC cross country championships, a race held annually in mid-October, featured weather that resembled a late summer day.

On Wednesday afternoon the race temperature at Waveny Park hovered around 80 degrees—and while that type of weather is a spectator’s dream for this time of year, it turns up the heat, literally, on the runners racing in the prized contest of the conference season.

In that race, both the New Canaan girls team and the New Canaan boys team finished seventh, respectively.

“I think it was a solid performance by the team today,” boys head coach Bill Martin told

“Anything is an improvement upon last year [finishing 10th place],” Martin said with a smile. “But the teams who finished ahead of us beat us during the regular season as well so there’s no surprises there. We were hoping to surprise them, but we needed a little more from our 4-7 runners to do that. It was a tough day to run [weather wise]. We’re happy overall.”

Leading the way for the boys squad was junior Max Koschnitzke, who was the first Ram to cross the finish line on the 5-kilometer course with a time of 16:55 which placed him 17th overall. That finish puts Koschnitzke on the 2016 All-FCIAC Second Team.

“It feels great to make that,” Koschnitzke said. “We’ve been working hard all season towards that goal. The last couple races were tough for me so to have a good race in FCIAC’s makes me really happy. And making it with two teammates makes it an even better feeling. One of the things we’ve been good at all season is having our guys finish together and high up in positioning, so today’s result is awesome to be able to show that hard work paying off.”

The two teammates joining Koschnitzke on the All-FCIAC Second Team are fellow junior Alex Urbahn and senior co-captain Michael St. George. Urbahn finished the race at 17:28 just one second ahead of St. George, who clocked a 17:29. The two Rams placed 29th and 30th, respectively, rounding out the final two spots on the All-FCIAC team.

And that finish allows for St. George to end his FCIAC cross country career on a high note.

“Last year nobody from our team made either first or second team [All-FCIAC] so it’s a really big improvement for us,” St. George said. “I’m really pleased with how both Max and Alex stepped up and we had some good performances across the board. Me personally, I was really happy with my race. We’re definitely going in the right direction as a program and I look forward to following the team next year and seeing how they do.”

Rounding out the New Canaan scoring was senior co-captain Jake Grigsby (35th, 17:36), senior co-captain Abhinav Pal (49th, 18:17), senior Faustino Cortina (54th, 18:25) and junior Henry Asker (63rd, 18:52).

The Rams scored 157 points, falling to overall champion Staples. Staples senior Zakeer Ahmad was the race’s individual winner with a time of 15:49 which bested his closest competitor by 22 seconds.

Meanwhile over in the girls camp, head coach Art Brown championed the efforts by all of the varsity runners, even though the results from some didn’t quite represent previous performances.

“The girls gave me everything they had,” Brown told “It was a tough day to run. I thought we’d finish somewhere in the middle of the pack, overall, so seventh isn’t too far off from that. But when everyone gives me one hundred percent, that’s all I can ask for really. I’m happy for both [senior co-captain] Lauren [Carlson] and Elaina [Tiller] with them making All-FCIAC Second Team. You have good days and bad days in this sport. [Senior co-captain] Drew [Davis] and Cali [Brannan] gave it their all today but this sport is tough to predict. Hopefully next race will be one of their better days. But with all the girls giving me one hundred percent, I’m happy with that.”

Carlson was the first Ram to cross the finish line on the 4K course, doing so with a time of 16:00 that placed her 17th overall and on to the 2016 All-FCIAC Second Team. Joining her on that team is sophomore teammate Elaina Tiller who by completing the race in 16:23 grabbed the 30th and final spot.

“We wanted to be able to show today how much we improved this season and our team, I feel, took a huge step forward,” Carlson said. “It’s really exciting to both make the [All-FCIAC] team and to be on it with Elaina.”

Completing the scorecard for the Rams was junior Leigh Charlton (42nd, 16:44), Davis (43rd, 16:44), Brannan (55th, 17:18), freshman Quincy Connell (65th, 17:40) and senior Anne Greer (68th, 17:49).

Collectively the Rams totaled 181 points, well behind the race’s champion Ridgefield. Wilton junior Morgan McCormick placed first in the race with a time of 14:36, 17 seconds ahead of her closest competitor.

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