By John Goralski
Matt Bennett never complained when the heavy rains flooded across the throwing circle even though it was apparent that it cost him a return trip to the New England Championship.
With the slick conditions, Bennett’s spins weren’t as crisp. With the lack of momentum, his throws weren’t as far. On Monday, June 9, Bennett continued to slip down the shot put rankings as throws from bigger athletes with worse technique continued to fall beyond his mark.
But Bennett never said a word against them. He just stepped into the circle and attempted to beat the weather…
“He’s a spinner and none of the spinners did really well,” said Blue Knight track coach Colleen Roarty. “He’s had such a phenomenal year, so he has already had a lot of accomplishments that we can look back on and enjoy. It was a phenomenal senior year even if he didn’t make it to New Englands.”
Bennett still held his own. His best throw of 47 feet, 1.75 inches was good enough for 11th place at the elite competition even though his seed distance (50’6.5”) would have been good enough to score him a medal.
“He was definitely more positive than I anticipated,” said Roarty, “but he’s such a competitor that I think he’s already looking forward to college.”
On the other hand, Bennett continued to be the leader for Southington athletes. He finished 11th in the shot put. He placed 16th in the discus (135’5”), and he was the only Blue Knight that competed at the final state event when injuries forced Stephen Barmore to withdraw from the 100m competition.
Roarty said that it was fitting that Bennett was the last man standing for the Knights. The senior has been a leader throughout his career.
“He was out there all summer training. He was always working hard to get to the next level, and he definitely motivated others on the team when they saw how hard he worked,” she said. “It has already brought other people out to throw shot put and discus because he gathered a good group around him. I give him a lot of credit for everything that he accomplished.”
The event marked the end of Southington’s spring campaign.
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer John Goralski, email him at jgoralski@ southingtonobserver.com.