By BRIAN JENNINGS
NEW BRITAIN—The Knights qualified a relay team and an individual athlete for the Open Championship meet when they competed in the Class LL State Meet on Tuesday, June 2 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Willow Brook Park in New Britain.
The girls (9) finished 19th out of 22 schools and the boys (2) finished 21st out of 22 schools. Staples (84) finished in first as the girls’ champions, followed by Danbury (78), Glastonbury (72.25), Ridgefield (54), and Newtown (43.25). Ridgefield (102) finished in first as the boys’ champions, followed by Danbury (99), Glastonbury (75), Staples (56), and Hamden (54.50).
Gabi Napoli (5:22.8) achieved a personal best time when she won her heat in the 1600m, finishing sixth overall in the event. Napoli came into the meet as a No.20-seed coming into the meet with a time of 5:32.40 and just missed the Open by one place.
“Gabi had been struggling to get under 5:30 throughout the year and for her to run the time that she did was a major accomplishment,” said Southington coach Dan Dachelet. “To do it all by herself out of the second heat was an accomplishment as well. That was a good way for her to end the season.”
Napoli went on to team with Katherine Mellitt, Jami Pliego, and Erin Angelillo (9:46.49) to earn a personal best time by finishing fifth in the 4x800m relay, just making it as the last Class LL school to qualify for the Open. They came into the meet as a No.10-seed with a time of 9:59.9 and set a school record, just missing qualifying for the national meet by about two seconds.
Perkowski (11:58.21) ran for a personal best time in the 3200m after coming into the meet with a time of 12:05.64. Catherine Myers (12:18.73) and Megan Albert (12:18.74) also ran for personal best times in the same event.
Abigail Connolly, Mellitt, Pliego, and Angelillo combined for a personal best time (4:19.14) in the 4x400m relay. Amanda Howe (31’3”) threw for a personal best distance in the shot put on her second throw.
Sean Garrison (9:41.07) qualified for the Open by finishing in 14th with a personal best time in the 3200m. Garrison then teamed with Mike Fazzino, Vincent Zhang, and Jeff Hannigan to finish in ninth in the 4x800m relay (8:34.51). Fazzino, Antoine Harris, Mike Mauro, and Dan Parzych ran for a personal best time in the 4x400m relay (3:36.63).
Tom Perzanowski (10’6”) launched into seventh in the pole vault.
“It was a meet with excellent competition,” said Southington coach Colleen Roarty. “All of the athletes did well. Sean had a phenomenal season and to get to the state open is an accomplishment itself. We are fortunate enough to have Sean come back for one more year.”
The girls’ 4x800m relay team (9:51.92) finished in tenth as a No.19-seed in the Open at Willow Brook Park on Monday. Garrison (10:05.96) finished in 29th as a No.23-seed.