By John Goralski
Stephen Barmore came just a few tenths of a second from qualifying for the postseason in three events. Matt Bennett has two qualifying distances under his belt.
The Blue Knights wasted no time in their pursuit of the 2014 postseason. The 89-60 win over Hall was never in question. The only question for Blue Knight coach Colleen Roarty was how many kids would qualify for the postseason?
Southington hit the ground running with a handful of qualifyers and a large number of performances on the bubble.
“I was basically just looking for our kids to set some personal records, and a lot of our guys reached them,” said the coach. “I wanted to get some people qualified for states. We had the standards written down. They all knew where they’d have to be, and a lot of them achieved it.”
Southington cruised to victory with wins in 11 events and another nine runners up. The Knights swept two out of three throwing events, and had multiple place winners in 11 different events.
If there were any questions at the start of the meet, they were quickly answered.
“I was really happy with our performance,” said Roarty. “I researched Hall to find their strengths and weakness, but you never know what will happen. They could have come out with someone phenomenal.”
In fact, the Knights were the big surprise. Barmore swept the sprints with state qualifying times in the 100m (11.05) and the 200m (22.91), and he only needs a few tenths of a second to qualify in the 400m.
Bennett dominated in the shot put (47’2.5”), but he also qualified in the discus (129’6”). Still, it was the large number of performances just under the standard that turnd Roarty’s head.
Charles Morelli needs just a few tenths of a second in the 100m hurdles (16.57) and a few seconds in the 300m hurdles (48.17). Alessio Diana (19’7”) and Matt Maxwell (18’11.5”) are flirting with the long jump standard, and Maxwell is within sights of a berth in the high jump (5’4”). Daniel Smolinski (10’) is already within a foot of qualifying in the pole vault.
A number of others set the bar high for the spring in less than ideal conditions.
“It was really windy, so I think we’ll do even better next time,” said Roarty. “I expect even more things as the season progresses. This is just a start.”
The only events that Hall won were the distance races, but even that saw a number of performances well within reach of a state qualifying time.
“Hall has a really strong distance team, so I don’t want to take away from our distance guys,” said Roarty. “They did such a good job. Some of them did two, three, or four events, and that’s just huge for distance runners. It might have been difficult for a lot of them to place, but it certainly wasn’t because we did a bad job.”
Now, the Knights have a full week to tinker with their performances. Southington’s only road meet has been rescheduled from Tuesday because of rain. The meet against Newington will be held as a tri-team competition with New Britain on Southington’s track on May 20. The Knights will resume action against Simsbury on April 22.
By John Goralski