By BRIAN JENNINGS
Southington High School exploded into the spring season on Tuesday, April 14 with a pair of lopsided victories over Newington. The Blue Knights opened their season with a 110-40 victory, and the Lady Knights won easily, 87.5-44.5.
The boys never trailed, sweeping the relays and winning 15 out of 17 events to score the win. Southington placed first in all three relays and scored the top two places in shot put and long jump.
The 400x100m relay team (8:56) of Dan Parzych, Anthony Plantamauro, Vance Upham, and Diana qualified for states in their first attempt. Tom Perzanowski cleared 11’0” in the pole vault to qualify for the postseason.
Diana (11.63) and Upham scored the top two places in the 100m, and both qualified for the state meet.
“The boys did pretty well,” said Blue Knight coach Colleen Roarty. “I was happy with some of the performances, but there are still areas that we need to work on. (Assistant coach) Connor Green has been helping me out and working with the jumpers. Each day we’re getting better as we work more on the different events for different techniques and Coach Mike Drury has all of the throwers.”
Even the ones that didn’t qualify, set good benchmarks for the season. David Massabni threw 36’10” in the shot put, and Alessio Diana leaped to 19’5” in the long jump.
The boys also swept the first three spots in the 800m with Mike Fazzino (2:13.49), Vincent Zhang, and Jeff Hannigan leading the way. Mark Murdy (10:43.42) and Tom Murdy also helped sweep the 3200m with Sean Garrison right on their heels.
Antoine Harris (55.05) took first in the 400m, but just missed qualifying for states.
“In the open 400, Antoine didn’t qualify for states, but he’s close and that’s a really good time for the first meet of the season,” said Roarty. “He’s all-round a really good athlete. I feel that I can put him in any event and he’ll do well.”
The Lady Knights fared almost as well, winning 10 out of 17 events to out-distance Newington, 87.5-44.5. The girls were tied after the second relay, but quickly pulled away. Southington dominated the field events to put the meet out of reach.
With her first place finish in the 1600m, Erin Angelillo (5:36.39) was the only individual to qualify for the state meet in the opener. The girls 4x800m relay (10:41.56) also qualified for a tournament berth.
Even those that didn’t qualify set good benchmarks at the opening meet.
Rylee Van Epps (18.66) took first in the 100m hurdles. Raquel Romano (1:06.32) took first on the 400m. Southington swept the distance events. Lauren Perkowski (12:37.13) led the pack in the 3200m, followed by Angelillo and Catherine Myers.
Natalie Liquindoli (85’8.5”) threw for first place in the javelin. Jess Howe dominated the field by taking first in shot put (26’0”) and long jump (14’5”). Sarah Palko finished right behind in the long jump.
Sarah Dolan cleared 6’5” in the pole vault to score a win. Kelsea Allen (4’4”) jumped highest in the high jump.
The Knights will be competing on the O’Grady Relays at Danbury High School this weekend and look to qualify more athletes for states.
On Saturday, April 18, Southington competed against six area teams at the R-J Invitational. Originally scheduled for the Southington track on Friday, weather moved the meet to Platt High School in Meriden the following day.
Team scores aren’t kept at the meet, but individual event winners win medals. Athletes from Platt, Maloney, Sheehan, Lyman Hall, Cheshire, and Coginchaug competed. Southington athletes scored a number of medals, but only two Knights scored wins at the meet.
Jess Howe (30’8”) took first in the triple jump, and Lauren Perkowski (12:29.02) took first in the 3200m.
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.