By John Goralski
Anthony Bonenfant (18’7”) edged Nathan Bonen-fant and Corbin Garry in a 1-2-3 finish against Simbury’s top jumpers on Tuesday. Garry (19’4.5”) edged the Bonenfants in a sweep at Bristol Central on Thursday.
Stephen Barmore beat anyone who faced him in both meets with wins in the 100m (11.0, 11.13), the 200m (22.6, 22.87), and the 400m (52.2, 51.75).
This week, the boys faced their toughest test of the season with dual meets against Simsbury and Bristol Central but passed with flying colors. At 5-0, Southington is proving to be the team to beat in the CCC West and one of the better teams in the region.
“I’ve been talking about it all season with the guys. This was a big week,” said Blue Knight coach Matt Shea. “These are two powerhouses. We set it up like this for a reason, and they proved themselves.”
Against Simsbury, the win came on the track. Joe Pappalardo, Nick Garcia, Colin Murphy, and Sean Garrison set the stage with a win in the 4x800m (8:29.8), and the Knights never looked back.
“Their 4x800m is always good, but our guys took it. That really set the tone for the whole meet,” said Shea. “It carried over to our sprinters, our jumpers, and everyone else. It just kept flowing from there, and you can see that in the end result.”
The Bonenfants teamed with Tyler Hyde and Jarrid Grimmett to win the 4x100m (46.1). Barmore swept the sprints, and Garcia captured the 3200m (10:11.1).
Southington did well in the field events with a long jump sweep. Travis Daly (42’9.75”) won the shot put, and Grimmett won the high jump (5’6”) but it was the track that sealed the 85-65 win.
“Our throwers didn’t have the best meet, so it was on the track that we really won,” said Shea. “That was interesting. It was our sprinters that took over—Barmore, Grimmett. They scored a lot of good points for us, and that’s what we needed.”
Two days later, Shea pitted his team in a non-conference battle against the Rams to see how his Knights would fare on tired legs. Soutington captured the title in 11 of the 18 events and cruised to an 84-66 win.
“I knew that we were going to be down a little bit after going full throttle against Simsbury. The guys were sore, but there were no excuses,” said Shea. “They wanted to go out and prove themselves. Who wants to win the conference but still end up with a loss in their record?”
Once again, Barmore swept his events, but he wasn’t the only sprinter to have success. Charles Morelli (16.65) captured the 100m hurdles. Mike Sullivan won the 300m hurdles (43.58), and the 4x100m relay (45.37) pared more than .5 seconds off their previous mark.
Ben Gibbons won the 800m (2:03). Mike Sullivan, Anthony Oliva, Barmore, and Dan Parzych captured the 4x400m (3:41), and the Knights won three of the six events in the field. Matt Bennett (44’) won the shot put, and Grimmett (6’) won the high jump. Now, Shea is looking to stay focused down the stretch as the Knights aim at a CCC title.
“Staying healthy is the most important thing,” he said. “This is the point in the season where our winning can start to go to our heads, so we have to train harder. This is where we have to put the grind in.”