Peaking for states; Knights are poised for the postseason

By John Goralski
Sports Writer
If you add up both opponents, they wouldn’t gave beaten the lowest Southington score. With two lopsided victories, the Blue Knight track team seems to be sprinting toward the postseason.
With a 128-21 win over NW Catholic on Tuesday and a 100-50 victory over Newington on Thursday, the Knights have improved to 4-2. With two more opponents this week, the boys have two more chances to prepare for their final exams.
“We’re really raising the bar,” said Blue Knight coach Colleen Roarty. “I’ve been so impressed with everybody so far. This was a very good week for us. They really stepped up to meet all my expectations.”
There were no records or surprise qualifyers, but the Knights continue to close the gap with some of the top performers in the state.
With a full roster on Tuesday, the Knights captured the top score in all but one event.
“We did pretty well across the board,” said Roarty. “They really stepped up with some really good wins, especially the sprints. They stepped up with a lot of 1-2-3 finishes, and that was great to see.”
Southington swept all three relays and came within a third place finish of sweeping the distance events.
Kyle Summa (2:10) edged Mike Fazzino and Colin Murphy in the 800m. Jack Myers (10:35) edged Dylan Sperry and Matt Murdy in the 3200m, and Sean Garrison (4:52) edged Andrew Bielecki for first place in the 1600m, but the Knights were just as dominant on the short track.
Stephen Barmore (11.15) edged Zach Maxwell and Noah Violette in the 100m. Barmore went on to capture wins in the 200m (23.4) and 400m (51.47). Charles Morelli and Visoud Kong finished first and second in both relays.
“I had high expectations. I wanted us to go in and win, but I didn’t want to just win by one or two points,” said Roarty. “I wanted to do what we’re capable of doing. I was looking for conference qualifiers and state qualifiers. We’ve really done a great job getting people into that meet.”
In the field events, the Knights continued to shine. Matt Bennett (47’0”) edged Matt Steeves and David Massabni in the shot put. Bennett (138’7) went on to beat Matt Voelker and Jonathan Rauch in the discus. Morelli edged Matt Maxwell in the high jump and won the javelin (127’6) by more than six feet. Kyle Borawski (37’1”) won the long jump for the Knights.
Even with poor weather and a lot of Southington’s top performers out of the lineup, the Knights swept through Newington with ease two days later. The Knights won two of the three relays. Once again, Morelli won both hurdles and the high jump, and Garrison won the 1600m (4:45).
There weren’t many surprises as Southington overwhelmed the Indians. Zach Maxwell (11.68) edged Barmore and Tyler Hyde in the 100m. Dan Smolinski captured the pole vault, and Matt Voelker (115’0” won the discus by four feet.
“It’s a lot of the same people, but we’re still working on our seed times,” said Roarty. “Matt Voelker got really close in the discus. Now, he’s about an inch and a half short. I think we just need to keep striving forward and look for better times and better marks.”
Now, the Knights will try to continue their momentum with meets against New Britain and Farmington this week as Southington tries to position themselves for a run at the conference meet.
“We’re holding up, but we have a lot of athletes that are a little hurt or have issues,” said Roarty. “We’ve been trying to work around our knee issues to get us to conferences and states, but I feel like we’re peaking at the right time as we go into the postseason. This is our last week of the regular season, so we’re still looking to get more qualifiers.”
More than likely, she’ll find some.

By John Goralski Charles Morelli clears the bar during the high jump competition on Tuesday, May 13.

By John Goralski
Charles Morelli clears the bar during the high jump competition on Tuesday, May 13.

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