By BRIAN JENNINGS
Erin Angelillo finished as a conference champion in two events and two more athletes qualified for the Class LL state meet at the CCC West Championships on Tuesday, May 26 at Simsbury High School. Both boys and girls track and field teams finished in fifth place out of eight schools. Southington had about 60 girls and boys competing at the meet.
The boys finished with 83 total points behind New Britain (107), Simsbury (101), Conard (99), and Hall (91).
On the track, Anthony Plantamuro finished seventh in the preliminaries (12.02) of the 100m and went on to finish seventh in the finals (12.13) as well. Antoine Harris (53.00) finished fourth in the 400m. Vincent Zhang (2:05.55) finished fourth in the 800m with Mike Fazzino (2:07.83) behind in sixth. Sean Garrison finished fourth in the 1600m (4:35.52) and fifth in the 3200m (10:16.26).
Michael Mauro finished sixth in the preliminaries (17.42) of the 110m hurdles and went on to finish sixth in the finals (17.76) as well. Adam Dorau finished eighth in the preliminaries (18.04) of the same event, but was able to finish slightly ahead of Mauro in fifth in the finals (17.75). Dorau (43.11) returned to finish fourth in the 300m hurdles and qualify for the state meet in the process.
The team of Matt Maxwell, Jasen Rose, Plantamuro, and Vance Upham (44.90 – personal best) took third in the 4x100m relay, the team of Zhang, Mauro, Fazzino, and Harris (3:41.26) took fourth in the 4x400m relay, and the team of Zhang, Fazzino, Garrison, and Jeff Hannigan (8:31.57) took fourth in the 4x800m relay.
In the field, Dave Massabni (12.91) threw for second in the shot put, with Matt Steeves (12.36) following in sixth. Massabni (34.13) returned to throw for fourth in the discus. Kyle Barry (34.56) threw for seventh in the javelin. Jake Kligerman (1.62) leaped into fourth in the high jump. Tom Perzanowski (3.35) propelled himself into third in the pole vault. Evan Aiudi (5.57) leaped into eighth in the long jump and Hannigan (11.30) leaped into ninth in the triple jump.
“We did pretty well,” said Southington coach Colleen Roarty. “Our 4x100m relay team didn’t drop the baton, but dropped in time. In the throws, Dave Massabni really stepped up and got all-conference in the shot put, which was very good to see. He and Matt Steeves peaked at the right time. They didn’t qualify for the state meet, but they did their best. Other people that did well that have been consistent throughout the season were Sean Garrison, Antoine Harris, and Vincent Zhang.”
The girls finished with 79.5 total points behind Simsbury (164), Hall (137), Farmington (89.5), and Conard (89).
On the track, Katherine Mellitt (2:29.12) finished second in the 800m with Taylor Hubert (2:34.88) trailing in seventh. Angelillo (5:27.89 – personal best) was the conference champion in the 1600m with Gabi Napoli (5:34.41) finishing behind in fourth. Angelillo later returned to help teammates, Mellitt, Napoli, and Hubert (10:02.66) take first as conference champions in the 4x800m relay. Lauren Perkowski (12:11.74) finished fourth in the 3200m with Catherine Myers (12:32.03) right behind in fifth. Rylee Van Epps finished sixth in the 100m hurdles (18.36) and also finished eighth in the 300m hurdles (52.36).
In the field, freshman Amanda Howe launched a first-place throw in the shot put (9.33) that made her conference champion of the event and qualified her for the state meet. Howe also threw for seventh in the discus (23.31) and third in the javelin (28.98). Natalie Liquindoli (24.38) threw for sixth behind Howe in the javelin. Raquel Romano (1.37) leaped into fifth in the high jump, Sarah Palko (9.35) leaped into 10th in the triple jump, and Megan Biscoglio (2.28) catapulted into seventh in the pole vault.
Besides a second-place finish at the conference meet in 2010, the girls’ track and field team had finished third to last, second to last, or last up until 2000.
“Getting fifth after finishing 0-7 last year in dual meet records was a pretty significant bump in terms of the caliber, depth, and performance of the team,” said Southington coach Dan Dachelet. “As a coach, I’m thrilled with the way our seniors performed. It’s good to go out on a high note and I think they’re very positive about their season. At the same time, to have so many brand new athletes is exciting. It bodes well for our future. I think that people realize now that this is a championship caliber program and that’s where our aspirations lie.”
The both girls’ and boys’ teams have qualified all three relay teams for the state meet. The following individual boys have qualified for the state meet: Alessio Diana (100m); Alex Jamele (100m); John Meade (100m, 200m); Anthony Plantamuro (100m); Jasen Rose (100m); Vance Upham (100m, 200m); Mark Howland (200m); Adam Dorau (300m hurdles); Antoine Harris (400m); Sean Garrison (800m, 1600m, 3200m); Vincent Zhang (800m); Tom Perzanowski (pole vault); and Matt Maxwell (triple jump).
The following individual girls have qualified for the state meet: Sarah Palko (100m, long jump, triple jump); Rylee Van Epps (300m hurdles); Erin Angelillo (400m, 1600m, 3200m); Jami Pliego (400m); Katherine Mellitt (800m); Gaby Napoli (1600m); Megan Albert (3200m); Catherine Myers (3200m); Lauren Perkowski (3200m); Amanda Howe (shot put, javelin); Raquel Romano (high jump).
The Knights will look to finish with personal best times and distances when they compete at the state meet this week.