Glastonbury freshman Brooke Strauss is 4 for 4 in cross country races, while Conard senior Gavin Sherry edges closer to breaking 15 minutes

·2 min read

Glastonbury girls cross country coach Brian Collins first became aware of Brooke Strauss the summer before she went into fifth grade.

Strauss showed up at a summer cross country meet organized by the former Glastonbury boys coach and ran an 18-minute, 30ish-second time over the Glastonbury High team’s 2.7-mile course. A month later Collins’ high school team ran a scrimmage race there.

“I think in our scrimmage she probably would have placed as our third or fourth girl,” Collins said.

On Tuesday, Strauss, now a high school freshman, won a tri-meet against Avon and Conard with a time of 18:42.47 over 3.1 miles at Avon’s Fisher Meadow course.

Strauss has won all four meets she’s raced this year – Stratton Brook in Simsbury, the Wilton Invitational and a tough tri-meet against Southington and Hall.

“It’s been surprising,” she said of her success. “I was hoping to get under 19 [minutes Tuesday] and I did. It was flat. It was fun to try to go fast but I like hills.”

Strauss led her team to a sweep of the meet as Glastonbury beat Conard 15-50 and Avon 15-50.

She also plays soccer but decided to run high school cross country after competing in the sport last year in middle school.

“A lot of my friends were doing it,” she said. “It sounded fun to run and I like racing.”

“She works very hard and fits in great with the team,” Collins said. “It looks like she’s enjoying it. And she runs fast.”

On the boys side, Conard seniors Gavin Sherry and his brother, Callum, went 1-2 Tuesday, with Gavin covering the flat, fast course in 15:07.8 and Callum almost 10 seconds behind. Avon’s Carver Morgan was third and the Falcons edged Conard to win, 28-31, while Conard beat Glastonbury, 24-31.

Gavin’s goal at the beginning of the season was to go under 15 minutes at some point and break the course record (14:58) at Wickham Park. He’s pretty close to a sub-15 and it’s not even the end of September, although the Avon course is very flat and fast where Wickham is much more difficult.

“It felt pretty good,” Gavin said. “There wasn’t necessarily a number goal in mind [Tuesday], just make it a hard day, have a good effort. We’re sort of tuning up for our harder meets.”

Conard will run in the Ocean State Invitational in Rhode Island Saturday and then the Wickham Invitational Oct. 9.

The Sherrys are both continuing to do higher mileage while racing. That will taper off as the season goes on.

“We’ve never been doing high mileage while racing at all,” Callum said.

Lori Riley can be reached at lriley@courant.com.

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