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1997 Cross Country Team

The 1997 cross country team was one of the best in Fairfield Prep history. Under coach Bob Ford Jr. and assistant coach Bob Ford Sr., it wound up ranked 15th nationally and featured four all-state harriers. One – freshman Brian McGovern – would go on to become a four-time all-stater and an All-American. The other standouts included senior tri-captain John Thomas and junior Colin Rochford (both two-time all-staters) and senior Jim Koniers, also an all-state selection.

The team boasted an 8-1 dual meet record, its only defeat coming at the hands of Xavier, which was ranked 25th nationally. Prep captured the SCC championship, the Class LL championship, the State Open (beating Xavier) and finished second in the New Englands. It was also honored as the Connecticut “Cross Country Team of the Year”. 

That season, the Jesuits established the fastest “old course” team time record at Manchester’s Wickham Park (the course has since been retired). Ten members of the team went on to run in college.

1997 Cross Country Team address at Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony