By BRIAN JENNINGS
Southington’s outdoor track and field teams began their postseason on Tuesday, May 24 at Simsbury High School when they competed at the CCC Central Championships.
The Lady Knights placed fourth out of 10 schools. Glastonbury claimed the girls conference title, followed by Windsor and Simsbury.
The 4x800m relay of Kate Kemnitz, Sarah Minkiewicz, Erin Angelillo, and Gabi Napoli achieved their lowest mark yet on the year by finishing second (9:38.54) to Glastonbury by 0.02 seconds in the 4x800m relay, breaking their own school record by about eight seconds.
“That was a fun race,” said Southington coach Dan Dachelet. “That’s a great mark, but I think we can do better. One of the girls was a little ill. So if we get everyone healthy, firing on all cylinders, I think we can probably go lower.”
The following finished the meet with state-qualifying marks: Olivia Fournier (200m); Kemnitz (4th in 800m, 6th in 1600m); Erin Angelillo (7th in 800m); Gabi Napoli (2nd in 1600m); Isabella Scalise (1600m); Lauren Perkowski (1600m); Megan Biscoglio (4th in pole vault); and Amanda Howe (1st in discus).
“When we start this championship season, everyone realizes the significance of this event and this is what we’ve been peaking for the whole year,” said the coach. “Everything up until this point is great, but this is the reason why we do this; to finish the year at the top of our game. And I think a lot of kids did that with season bests and very-near season bests.”
Other notable performances included Natalie Verderame in the 100m (8th), Allie Brown in the high jump (6th), Howe in the shot put (1st), and Alijah Vega in the javelin (7th).
“We’re in probably the toughest conference in the state,” said Dachelet. “And we’re also in probably the toughest division in that conference, and this is the first time that we’ve been in this conference with these teams. It’s like a mini state meet for us, in terms of level of competition. In just about every single event, you’re going to find performances that are at the top of the state.”
The Blue Knights placed seventh out of 11 schools. Glastonbury won the boys conference title, followed by Windsor and Northwest Catholic.
Zachary Burleigh (3rd in pole vault) and Jeff Hannigan (5th in triple jump) finished the meet with state-qualifying marks.
Other notable performances included Cameron Coulombe in the 400m (8th), Shane Leone in the 800m (6th), Sean Garrison in the 1600m (3rd) and 3200m (4th), Mark Murdy in the 1600m (6th) and 3200m (5th), Mike Mauro in the 110m hurdles (8th), and Dave Pastor in the shot put (6th).
“The boys did very well at the conference meet,” said Southington coach Colleen Roarty. “We are always striving to improve, and there were some really good performances from the boys.”
Southington will compete in the Class LL meet at Willow Brook Park in New Britain on Wednesday, June 1, which is scheduled to start at 3pm. The Southington girls qualified at least one athlete in every event but four, totaling 26 athletes. The boys team qualified 13 athletes for the meet.
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