By John Goralski
Coaches might have been scratching their heads at the start of the 100m, but it didn’t take long to see that the seedings were right.
On Wednesday, May 28, the Blue Knight track team sent eight different sprinters to the starting line for the CCC West championship meet. Stephen Barmore (11.21) came in first. Zach Maxwell finished just outside the medal round, and every single Knights finished in the top 20.
“I think some people may have questioned it, but we have a lot of guys with a lot of talent,” said Blue Knight track coach Colleen Roarty. “I think we even raised the bar further than last year. We really stepped it up.”
If the conference meet is any indication, fans are in for a treat this postseason.
Barmore earned all-conference honors with his finish in the 100m. Matt Bennett claimed all-conference in two events with a victory in the shot put (48’2”) and a second place finish in the discus (138’11”), but they weren’t alone atop the standings.
Simsbury (158.5) edged Farmington (134.5) atop the team standings, but with 90 points, Southington held its own. Blue Knight athletes scored 21 times in 15 different events with multiple place winners in five different events.
“They keep surprising me,” said Roarty. “This has me really excited for the class meet. I really expect us to have some really great performances, and I want to get a lot of people qualified for the open.”
Believe it or not, the 100m race wasn’t Southington’s best event. Bennett, Matt Steeves, and David Massabni won three of the eight places in the shot put, and Bennett, Matt Voelker, and Jon Rauch each scored in the discus.
As good as the Knights were in the sprints, they were even better in the throws.
“We did well across the board,” said Roarty. “We had a lot of boys doing well in the throws. Even in the hurdles, we had a couple of guys stepping up. Charlie Morelli just missed all-conference by .02 seconds in the 110m hurdles. Sean Garrison just missed it in the 3200m, and Stephen Barmore just missed it in the 200m.”
The Knights had a few surprises. Kyle Borawski finished just behind Dan Parzych for eighth place in the 400m even though it was the first time he ran the individual event. Visoud Kong edged Morelli for fourth place in the 300m hurdles, while the 4x100m relay managed to finish third in the conference despite a poor handoff.
Roarty said that she expects this to be a sign of things to come.
“We had top place finishes in the CCC West, so I really think we’re going to do well at the Class LL meet,” she said. “We’ve already started to taper, but I think we’re going to see even faster times. We just have to work on some of our handoffs and the small things, but I think we’re going to be good.”
Now, the Knights will test themselves against even tougher competition at the Class LL championships on June 3 for a chance to advance to the CT State Open on June 9.
“I think we’re ready,” said Roarty.
By John Goralski