By BRIAN JENNINGS
Southington’s indoor track and field team kicked off the winter postseason in style at the CCC Championships on Saturday, Jan. 30 at Hillhouse High School in New Haven. The Knights broke a school records while qualifying a few more athletes for the upcoming Class LL state meet.
The girls team placed eighth out of 26 schools, tying for fourth with Hall in the Central Blue Division. Bloomfield posted the best team score, followed by Tolland and Glastonbury.
Gabi Napoli (11:58.39) broke a school record when she improved her seeding for the state meet in the 3200m with a ninth place finish. Napoli broke the record by 0.26 seconds, which was set by teammate Erin Angelillo during last year’s indoor season. Isabella Scalise also set a personal best in the same event, trailing behind Napoli in 16th place.
Kate Kemnitz, Erin Angelillo, Taylor Hubert, Napoli came close to their own school record when they took first in the 4x800m (10:24.06). The team broke the school record in the 4x800m earlier this season by 16.55 seconds (10:18.21), which was set by the Catherine Myers, Amanda Hamel, Lauren Perkowski, and Katherine Mellitt during last year’s indoor season.
Kemnitz returned to team up with Allie Brown, Nicolette St. Amand, and Natalie Verderame to take ninth in the 1600m sprint medley. Kemnitz also improved her state qualifying time with a 12th place finish in the 1000m by over two seconds. Hubert also hauled in a best time, finishing behind Kemnitz in 20th.
Angelillo, Marisa Matthews, Hubert, and Natalie Verderame just missed the school record by two hundredths when they finished eighth (4:29.57) in the 4x400m relay.
Amanda Howe has yet to throw under the state qualifying mark in the shot put this season, launching her best throw (36’7”) at the CCC Developmental Meet back in December of last year. However, she muscled her second best throw at the conference meet, placing second overall (35’9.50”) out of 20 athletes.
Megan Biscoglio hit the state qualifying mark in the pole vault for the fourth time this year after she sprung into second out of six athletes, tying her second best distance (8’0”).
“When people PR at the championship meet, that’s as much as you can ask for from someone,” said Southington coach Dan Dachelet. “On the lady’s side, there was quite a bit of depth. Matching our best performance ever at an indoor championship was great to see.”
The boys team tied RHAM for 19th out of 25 schools, placing fifth in the Central Blue Division. Glastonbury recorded the best team score, followed by Wethersfield and Bloomfield.
After breaking a school record in the 3000m at the Yale Classic a couple weeks ago, Sean Garrison returned to the conference meet in top form, with a best time (10:02.27) and third place finish. Garrison also improved his state qualifying time with a 10th place finish in the 1600m by just under a second.
Mark Murdy followed Garrison wherever he went, trailing behind in seventh in the 3200m. But Mark Murdy saved his best for last when he qualifyed for states by more than six seconds in the 1600m with a 12th place finish (4:40.92) and personal best time.
Conner Leone also found success in the long distance sprints, achieving personal bests in the 1600m and 3200m. Jeff Hannigan improved his state qualifying time in the 600m by just under a second.
“On the guy’s side, we represented well, but we just need some more depth,” said Dachelet. “It’s a tough conference. We just need to move those individuals up in the pack a little bit so that we can start scoring points. I think it’s going to come. We’ve got a good prospect of kids that are performing well.”
A day earlier on Friday, the Knights competed in the SCC Last Chance Qualifier at Hillhouse High School.
Tyler Cyr dashed into states in the 55m after finishing a best time (6.96) and finishing eighth. Cyr posted the same exact time in the 55m the next day at the conference meet.
Cameron Coulombe just missed the state cut in the 300m by 0.14 seconds and Tom Murdy earned a personal record in the 3200m.
Matthews finished 11th with a best time in the 600m, Laini Pizzitola earned a best time in the 3200m, and Biscoglio reached eight feet in the pole vault for the third time this season.
The Knights will look to qualify more athletes for the state meet in a final effort when they travel to Hartford Public High School on Saturday, Feb. 6. The Class LL Championships are set to take place at Hillhouse High School on Thursday, Feb. 11.
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