By BRIAN JENNINGS
The runners hear the gun and sprint to their best times. The pole vaulters extend high off of the ground in hope of reaching heights they haven’t reached before. The jumpers jump for new records. And the throwers throw for long distances.
It’s time for the CCC Championships.
The boys and girls of the Southington Blue Knights headed back down to the Floyd Little Athletic Center at Hillhouse High School in New Haven on Saturday, Jan. 31 to compete for the conference title at the CCC Championship Meet.
Although there were no additional qualifications for the state meet, Blue Knights track coach Dan Dachelet thought all of his boys and girls gave a great all-around effort.
“I think everyone understood the importance of the meet,” he said. “There were a substantial number of personal records set by the groups across the board in just about all of the events. We asked them to step up and run more—some more events than they normally run—due to the nature of the meet. And to hit personal records and come close for a lot of these guys is impressive.”
Blue Knights field coach Connor Green was impressed with two athletes.
“I think for the most part we had a pretty great day,” said Green. “We were a little bit stronger on the girls side, just in terms of improvements and points scored. But I think overall everyone did well. Dan Parzych had some really good splits in the 4x200m relay, sprint medley, and 4x400m relay. Raquel Romano ran in the same three relays and her splits were fantastic for us. Those are two senior captains that we can always rely on to step up and run really well.”
The Lady Knights scored four points to tie Farmington for 19th overall after 15 events. The boys team (7 points) tied Bristol Eastern for 19th place. In the divisional scoring, the Lady Knights (13) finished fifth in the CCC West behind NW Catholic (16), Conard (18), Simsbury (32), and Hall (39). The Blue Knights (11) finished tied for sixth with New Britain behind Conard (13), NW Catholic (16), Farmington (17), Simsbury (20), and Hall (27).
Erin Angelillo (11:59.05) finished the 3200m with a top-10 finish of ninth place, breaking a Southington school record of 12 minutes. It was her first time finishing under 12 minutes after running a close season-best in the 1000m, where Angelillo (3:12.62) had another top-10 finish of seventh place.
The girl’s 4x200m relay team (1:59.79) of Tayler Riddick, Jessica Howe, Faith Ritchie, and Romano improved their best time by 300 hundredths of a second.
The girl’s 4x800m relay team (10:37.84) of Jami Pliego, Katherine Mellitt, Catherine Myers, and Amanda Hamel broke their own school record for the second time this year with a seventh place finish. They moved up in the standings for the state meet.
The boy’s 4x800m relay team (8:56.19) of Sean Garrison, Mike Fazino, Jack Myers, and Jeff Hannigan finished in sixth place and also moved up in the seeding for the state meet.
Garrison (10:13.55) had a top-10 finish in the 3200m relay, finishing ninth, and Jack Myers (10:30.01) was right behind him, setting a personal record in the 3200m relay.
“[Jack]’s a senior and running toward the end of his career her with Southington,” said Dachelet. “He ran fast times in tough races. He didn’t qualify for the state meet, but he gave a great effort and it was good to see.”
Dave Massabni set a personal record in the shot put with a throw of 41 feet, 6 inches, improving from his previous record of 40 feet, 1 inch.
“At his impeccable meet, he hasn’t even gotten over 40 feet, and he really just put it together on his last throw,” said Green. “He got second in the CCC West for us in shot put and that was awesome.”
The next stop for the Blue Knights is the Class LL State Championship Meet on Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center at Hillhouse High School in New Haven.