Two more big city series events highlight the week ahead for area high school teams.
It is an abbreviated week, with the Monday holiday, as the teams move into the second half of the season and begin to look toward postseason qualification.
The main event of the week will be run on Thursday afternoon at Rockwell Park, as the annual city championship cross country meet features boys and girls teams from Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern and St. Paul.
Central is the defending champion and while the Rams will be heavy favorites to repeat on the boys side, the girls race is shaping up as a much more interesting event.
Central’s cross country boys are undefeated and have been untested in six meets this season. The Rams are coming off a championship performance in the seeded race at the prestigious Wickham Park Invitational this past Saturday.
Central’s Matt Roy is the defending city champ, but will be pressed by teammate Mark Petrosky.
There will be a new individual champ on the girls side, as defending champ Hannah Jones has graduated.
Central, Eastern and St. Paul will also square off against each other in the annual city swim meet on Saturday night at the Malone Center pool.
Bristol Central’s swimmers are undefeated and have put up some impressive performances this season. But Eastern is the defending city champ and the Lancers are expected to put up a strong challenge as they bid to defend that title on Saturday night.
Only one area team has punched its ticket to the postseason so far, but several more are on the verge and could get the clinching points this week.
Bristol Central’s girls volleyball team won two of three last week to reach the magical eight-win plateau that put them back into the postseason after a one-year absence.
The Rams have a challenge tomorrow on the road at Berlin and visit Newington on Wednesday before coming home to battle a perennially-strong Platt team on Friday.
Several area teams remain close to qualification.
The St. Paul girls soccer team is still a point away after stumbling at home against Holy Cross last week.
The Falcons travel to Ansonia on Tuesday looking for the qualification victory against the 2-6 Chargers. St. Paul faces a more difficult matchup at home on Friday against 7-2-1 Naugatuck.
The Bristol Central boys soccer squad is a win away from the postseason and will have a good opportunity to pick up that victory at home tomorrow when it hosts 2-7 New Britain.
But the Rams have lost three of their last four after starting the season with a five-game unbeaten streak and need to turn things around quickly, as they face a big divisional challenge at Sage Park in Berlin on Thursday night.
Most of the other area teams are still a few victories away from the postseason, but have the opportunity to take a step in the right direction this week.
The Bristol Eastern girls soccer team needs three more wins after dropping two tough ones last week. Tomorrow’s visit to Windsor (4-5) provides an opportunity to get things back on track, but Friday’s home match against a very tough Middletown team poses a big challenge.
The Eastern boys played tough against some strong opponents last week to move to within three games of qualifying.
The Lancers have the chance to take a big step toward those wins this week as they take on two struggling opponents, with Newington in for a game on Tuesday and a trip to Middletown on Friday.
St. Paul’s boys soccer squad has not won since the second game of the season and faces two more stiff challenges this week. The Falcons host Ansonia (6-3-1) under the lights on Tuesday and visit 8-1-1 Naugatuck on Friday afternoon.
Terryville’s soccer teams each took a step in the right direction last week. The boys picked up two wins to improve to 3-5. The Kangaroos will be looking for a third straight win when they host Gilbert on Tuesday, trying to avenge a 1-0 loss in the first meeting, but their trip to Lewis Mills on Thursday will be much more of a challenge.
Terryville’s girls picked up their second win of the season last week and will be out to repeat their earlier win over Gilbert when they travel to Winsted on Tuesday. Terryville hosts undefeated Lewis Mills on Thursday.
In volleyball, the Bristol Eastern girls are the closest of the area teams to postseason qualification, but the Lancers continue to face one of the state’s most difficult schedules.
Eastern needs two more wins and with two games in the CCC South - where the Lancers have been dominant - on tap this week, those wins should come soon. Eastern visits struggling Middletown on Wednesday and is home to face Maloney on Friday.
St. Paul’s girls have won three in a row and are also two wins away from the postseason. The Falcons are home Tuesday against Wolcott (8-3) and travel to Holy Cross (6-5) for a pair of NVL games this week.
Terryville volleyball still needs three wins after falling twice last week. The Kangaroos host 9-1 Northwestern on Wednesday in their only match of the week. The Highlanders scored an easy win over Terryville in the first meeting last month.
Bristol Central’s swim team continued its record-setting pace last week to improve to 6-0, but the Rams face their stiffest challenge of the season when they travel to Miss Porter’s School to battle Farmington on Tuesday. Central will host Windsor on Friday.
Eastern’s swimmers picked up two big wins last week and will host Southington on Tuesday before traveling for a big CCC South matchup at Middletown on Friday.
St. Paul will be at Kennedy on Tuesday and visit Woodland on Friday in a pair of NVL contests.
Terryville’s cross country team will take on Northwestern and Wamogo in a tri-meet in Litchfield on Tuesday as the Terryville boys look to continue their impressive Berkshire League season.