By BRIAN JENNINGS
NEW HAVEN—The snow storm pushed the Class LL Championship from Saturday to Monday, Feb. 16, but it didn’t stop the excitement and competition that was presented in the event.
The Blue Knights track and field team traveled to the Floyd Little Athletic Center at Hillhouse High School in New Haven to compete against Class LL schools from all over the state, in hope of qualifying for the state open one final time.
Coaches recorded times on their stop watches and teammates screamed out the names of their fellow runners to cheer them on around the track. The balcony of the athletic center was packed with spectators watching the finest athletes of the LL Class compete.
The Southington boys finished tied for 21st with Fairfield Prep and Stamford in the overall results. The girls finished in 19th.
“It’s been a challenge in the last four or five weeks, not just for everybody in Connecticut, but also for us,” said Southington track coach Dan Dachelet. “We haven’t been outdoors for a run in three weeks. We’ve been using elliptical bicycles and running in the hallways. The kind of conditioning that you would like to put in at this point has been there…The performance for these guys to come a tad bit within their personal records and few even surpassed their personal records is saying a lot about the potential that these guys have for the outdoor season.”
Erin Angelillo was on the bubble with qualifying for the state open heading into the championships. Angelillo (3:11.19) just missed qualifying for states, but medaled in the championships with a sixth-place finish in the 1000m. Angelillo was unable to compete later in her best event, 3200m, due to sickness.
“I’d take a look back in the record books, but when was the last time a Southington female finished in the top six and medaled in the state meet?” said Dachelet. “That’s fantastic to have her there.”
“She’s one person that we never have to worry about going out and being competitive,” said Southington field coach Connor Green. “Erin’s a fighter. She’ll go after whatever she wants to get and I think she proved it today.”
The Knights finished the meet with four total top-ten finishes.
“As a team we had potential to do a lot better,” said Green. “There were some people in certain relays who weren’t here who could have made it stronger. Individually, you have people who had great days, which make our team look great as a whole…We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores that we had to plug into relays, but we really like what we’re seeing. It’s not just about getting the top six places. It’s about seeing the potential that we have.”
The girls 4x800m team of Catherine Myers, Amanda Hamel, Lauren Perkowski, and Katherine Mellitt (10:35.16) finished ninth.
“The 4×800 broke the school record three times this year and to do it again at the state meet on the limited training that we’ve had is fantastic,” said Dachelet.
The boys’ 4x800m team of Jack Meyers, Jeff Hannigan, Jordan McMeans, and Vince Zhang (9:02.43) finished in tenth.
Jessica Howe (14’8.5”) had her second-best jump of the season in the pole vault, and Tom Perzanowski (10’6”) had a seventh-place finish with his jump in the pole vault.
“Just the little amount of jumping that he’s been able to get in and the fact that he’s at 10’6”, which is a competitive for our division and in the state,” said Green. “I think he’s done a great job of persevering through his indoor season, hoping for sunnier days come outdoor track and field.”
Dave Massabni (37’5”) had a 13th- place finish with his throw in the shot put, but might have finished higher if it weren’t for an odd call made on one of his throws.
“On his first throw they had him at 36 and his second throw was great,” said Green. “It was definitely around the 40-foot mark, but they said he fouled because he stepped on the grey ring when he entered the circle. I didn’t see it happen. They still let him throw, which was a little odd. But I know what he’s capable of.”
The meet marks the end of Southington’s winter campaign.